Monday, May 28, 2012

Mother's Day at Brasserie Cicou ♥ ♥ ♥


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Published on Manila Bulletin Sunday Lifestyle Section, May 27, 2012


If there is one thing you need to know about me, it is this: I do not like going to Greenhills at all.

We would frequent Restaurant Cicou when it was still at its first location on Pasay Road. My mom loved the complimentary bread. We also loved the other dishes on the menu, of course, but my mom LOVED the bread.

I did not understand what all the fuss was about until I took one in my hand and heard the beautiful sound of the crispest crust break as I tore the bread in half. It revealed insides so soft, chewy, moist and pillowy I wanted to make a bed out of it.

And the butter, as soon as it touched the warm and tender insides (yes, we’re still talking about the bread!), melted into liquid gold. Ahhh… such simple pleasures of life. I allowed myself to eat, and eat, and eat, unbound by the limits of the frail human body, until I felt my stomach was about to explode, at which point I stopped, hesitantly.


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THE Bread


Fast forward one year and I still think about the bread.

And I thought it would make my mom, my grandmother, and all my aunties happy if we could all have that bread for Mother’s Day. Obviously, the love for this type of sustenance made from flour and water runs heavily in the family.


I love Chef Cyrille’s new home.


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 Brasserie Cicou


Mind you, I still do not like Greenhills, but inside Brasserie Cicou is an exception. The relaxed and homey feel, the bursts of happy colors, the shabby chic furniture, the couch seating, the open kitchen theater, and OMG, the wine glass and wine bottle chandeliers!!!

And yes, the bread was just as excellent. It was the perfect place to celebrate Fatterside Mother’s Day.

“I just want to confirm the menu title: Fatterside Mother’s Day Dinner,” Anna, the wife of Chef Cyrille, double-checked with me as she prepared our menu cards.

“Yes, that is correct.”


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The Nicoise Salad of lettuce, seared tuna, sardines, green beans, potatoes, egg, olives and tomatoes was simply prepared, allowing the tuna and sardines to take center stage. This is, in my opinion, how all good quality seafood should be served. The vinaigrette brought a refreshing, cleansing and entertaining counterpoint to the healthy dish.


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Nicoise Salad



The Egg Cocotte with Ham and Cheese, perfectly baked until the whites are set yet jiggly and the yolk still loose, was so sinfully good. Imagine the absolute luxury of dipping a piece of very crisp toast into warm, gooey yolk... I almost felt like going to confession after having just a tiny ramekin of this egg-stacy.


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Egg Cocotte with Ham and Cheese



I scrutinized the skimpy portion of the Mushroom Soup and wondered if anyone had slurped away at my bowl when I was not looking. One spoonful and I understood why Chef Summer, Cicou’s very young and talented sous chef, served a huge family of giant eaters such a babyish amount. Because the flavors are big, rich, earthy and did I already say big?


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Mushroom Soup



The Flounder a la Placha was perfectly fresh and impeccably seared - with a nicely crisp crust and the flesh moist and succulent and juicy. The fillets were adorned with crispy garlic chips and perched beautifully on layers of bell pepper, eggplant, zucchini, marble potatoes and capers.


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Flounder ala Plancha



Everyone’s favorite was the Braised Lamb Shank. Cooked tajine-style with potatoes, carrots, chickpeas, mint-coriander salad and lemon confit, the flavorful and aromatic piece of meat was so incredibly tender it fell off the bone at the slightest nudge of the fork. The rich, hearty stew absolutely hit the spot.


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Braised Lamb Shank Tajine-Style



The real magic of that night for me was after dinner when we moved onto dessert. I was giddy with excitement for everyone to try The Kouign Aman. I knew my family would love the superbuttery, sweet and crusty pastry that Chef Cyrille created and brilliantly paired with salted caramel ice cream. I just did not expect they would love it THISMUCH.

I saw everyone smiling ear to ear, and my eyes, they watered a bit from pure delirious happiness.


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Kouign Aman



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All mothers received small tokens from us. These ones from Achi Donna are so adorable!



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Cupcake box with mini chocolate bars inside. I got one, too!
I'm NOT a mother. I'm just adorable! Ha! :P 



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The Mothers and pots of flowers from Brasserie Cicou
(Wake up, Gwama!) 



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With Auntie Natalie, Chef Cyrille, and Hearty - the very first furry appearance in Brasserie Cicou! :)



Brasserie Cicou is located at 57 Annapolis Street, Greenhills, San Juan, and is open for lunch and dinner Tuesdays to Sundays, 12:00 noon to 10:00pm. Call 661-9200 or +63917-885-8841 for reservations.



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