Saturday, November 29, 2008

Restaurant Ciçou, Makati

I finally get to try Ciçou (pronounced see-sue). I initially wanted to wait a bit more since they had just opened Nov 15 and normally restaurants need like a break in period but I heard some good reviews so I decided to go.

I was given a cell number to make a reservation. It turned out I was messaging Anna Soenen, the wife of the Chef and owner of the restaurant - Cyrille Soenen. While I was messaging Anna for the reservation I asked if they could accommodate a special request: Steak Tartare. After consulting with the Chef, she replied that it would be no problem to make a special order of Steak Tartare. I was quite impressed and happy about this. Not many restaurants would do this.
For starters, we ordered a total of 4 appetizers plus the additional "special" order of Steak Tartare. We ordered the ff:

Marinated in Fresh Herbs, Goat Cheese on Warm Farmer’s Bread, Tapenade and Fresh Herbs
On a Crispy Puff Pastry, Eggplant Caviar, Mozzarella and Parmesan Shavings
Tuna Belly
Seasoned Confit on Romaine Salad, Crispy Vegetables
Foie Gras
Duck Liver Sautéed with Confit Pomelos

I tried a small portions of the appetizers but was fixated by the Steak Tartare. Although I have to highlight the sardines were very fresh and went perfectly well with the goat cheese. As for the Steak Tartare - it was excellent. Just the right amount of spice. Ive noticed some recipes tend to use a lot of anchovies/capers / Tabasco etc.. and this tends to overpower the taste of the meat. Chef Cyrilles was just right. No need to add any more extra ingredients. I do intend to come back and try it again since it was very well prepared.

For the main course, I had the Pork (Kurobota US)Slow Braised Caramelized Belly, Duo of Apples and Potatoes and Ria had the Lamb (Australia)Roasted Filet Coated with Herbs and Braised Shoulder, Oriental Style in Ravioli.

The Pork Belly was excellent. Very tender and was probably 'cooked' for many hours to reach that oh so tender state. The apple was gave it a good contrast. Its only the 2nd time I taste Pork Kurobota and in both instances I enjoyed it. The Lamb of Ria was also exceptionally good. It had a 'crust' of herbs which gave the dish depth and the oriental style ravioli is what gave it good contrast. Presentation of the plates were ok - my pork was presented very simple but really there is not really much you can do to present this dish better.

For Dessert, I had the cheese prepared by the Chef. The cheese was like a slice of cake. Two layers of Brie I think and in the middle, a layer of strong mix of cheese with blue cheese. Another dessert worth mentioning was the Mango (Caramelized, Fresh and Sherbet, Passion and Basil Sauce).

For the wine, I brought a bottle of 2003 Tourelles de Longueville, which we drank with the appetizers. For the Pork Kurobota dish, I paired it with a 2006 Petalos from Bierzo (The Bierzo Denominación de Origen (DO) is in the northeast of the province of Leon (Castilla y Leon in Spain). Not a big wine but intense and soft tannins. I think it went perfectly well with the my pork and the Lamb.

Over all I was happy with the food/service and do plan to return there again. Only 2 comments ...its quite hard to park (but they offer a valet service for 100 pesos) and I think their corkage charge is quite excessive(1,000 per bottle). But I do recommend this restaurant. Chef Cyrille and Anna are very attentive to the customers and service is good and fast and their prices are very reasonable.


Noel said...

Happy you enjoyed. I agree with your last 2 comments. You're lucky they already have valet parking.

The 3rd time I was there, I didn't bring a driver because I thought the hotel's underground parking lot would already be open - unfortunately, it was not; so I had to park in the Renaissance. Not that big a deal except I wound up drinking more than I expected that night.

As regards the P1000 per bottle corkage, that is really too much. I really want to support Ciçou, but that corkage policy is quite unfriendly.

Anna told me they will offer a special menu one night a week, and, if you avail of that special menu, corkage will be waived. I don't think they've implemented that yet though.

Being a regular customer in several good restaurants, not to mention, as an IWFS member, I get free or majorly discounted corkage in many fine establishments, I really dislike paying corkage - especially high corkage.

I'm no cheapskate when it comes to dining, but if I give good business to a restaurant, I do not think it is right to be charged in corkage more than the entire bill of a table of other diners. There, I draw the line.

Miguel said...

Yes I did. We decided to take a driver going there but its good they already offer valet parking, although they park your car all the way in Park Square.

Yes I really thik that 1000 corkage is too much - Im with you i dont mind spending even 500 pesos is ok.

Anyway I'd like to try that special once a week menu they have...lets see :)

Chinkee said...

Hi Miguel! How was the portioning of their regular menu items? When I was there for Jerome's wine festival, the portions were way too small. I would love to go back and try their regular menu, but i want to be sure that I would not go home hungry. Hehe.

Miguel said...

The portions I wouldnt say they wer large but I wouldnt say small. Of course we could always do with bigger portions but its not bad.

I could have eaten one piece more of my pork hehehe...but thats me...

Noel said...

I could have eaten one piece more of my pork hehehe...

Only one piece more?

¡No me digas!

Miguel said...

Hahaha...well actually could have had like 2-3 more pieces - but would need to pop like 2 lipitors right after... :)

Anonymous said...


Where do you buy your 2006 Petalos from Bierzo (The Bierzo Denominación de Origen (DO)? I want to try this wine as per Noel's very enticing tasting notes.
Thank you


iFoodTrip said...

Wonderful restaurant. Next time you eat there, have the prawn bisque with sea urchin, that just blew my mind. The lamb ravioli, the duck liver ravioli with truffle foam, and everything else ordered by our table was just excellent. I just wish they would waive the corkage.

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