Brasserie CiÇou: French Cuisine at its Finest
When in Manila and you’re looking for a place that has the best French cuisine, drop by at Brasserie CiÇou. Brasserie CiÇou (‘see-sue’) is one of the best French restaurants in the Metro and its recent win at the 2012 MBKRS (Manila’s Best Kept Restaurant Secrets) Awards for Best French Restaurant proves just that. I had the privilege to drop by at CiÇou a few days ago to sample some of its exquisite dishes.
Winner of the 2010 MBKRS Best Hotel Restaurant and 2012 MBKRS for Best French Restaurant
CiÇou’s Owner Chef Cyrille Soenen and Manager Eric Norbert sat down with us to talk about this fine French restaurant. Originally located in Makati, Brasserie CiÇou moved into the Greenhills area around January 2012. Eric said that apart from proving the best French cuisine in the Metro, CiÇou aims to bring a Family Style dining in the area. This Family Style dining can be seen in the restaurant’s big proportioned dishes that can be shared by the entire family.
The Brasserie theme of CiÇou is evident as its menu showcases a varied selection of beer and wine. Brasserie CiÇou has a tapas menu plate that has a selection of dishes that fit well with either beer or wine. CiÇou also offers a weekly special menu that highlights the dishes of the week (Plate du Jour) as well as a monthly special (Menú Degustación).
The interior of Brasserie CiÇou gives off a ‘cozy’ wooden feel as seen from the walls to the furniture. There are notable decorations such as the bottle chandeliers. This French restaurant is big enough to host parties and other functions for 90 to 100 people.
CiÇou’s Play Area
The spacious play area can thoroughly entertain the kids with its selection of toys and board games. It goes to show that Brasserie CiÇou really does cater to the family not only with its big servings but also with this play area. After the little tour around CiÇou, it was time to taste its wonderful French delicacies.
The CiÇou Salad was the first on our food agenda. The salad had a combination of lettuce, ham, chicken, eggs, tomatoes and Gruyère Cheese. The CiÇou Salad comes in two serving sizes (regular or family sized serving) and the one that was given to our group was big enough to serve around 5-6 people. The Gruyère Cheese was the ‘x-factor’ in this salad. The taste of the Gruyère Cheese had a potent mix with the rest and makes this a ‘must order’ salad in Brasserie CiÇou.
A trio of French Pâtés: Pâté en Croûte (upper left), Pork Rillets (upper right) and Pork Head (lower right)
Next, we were treated to a plate of assorted pâtés (L’Assiete de Pâtés in French). It included Pork Rillettes, Pâté en Croûte and Pork Head. The Pork Rillette had a smoky and spam-like taste. It went well with CiÇou’s homemade bread. The Pâté en Croûte was a pork/chicken pâté that is enclosed in this semi-sweet bread crust. The result of this combo was a wonderful blend of tastes for the diner. The Pork Head had that distinct jelly taste mixed in with the pork. The trio of French pâtés truly gave us something to remember.
Local Sea Bass à la Plancha
The main dishes came our way soon enough and it started off with the Local Sea Bass à la Plancha. The Sea Bass, as mentioned, was cooked à la Plancha (grilled by a metal plate). The grilled Bass was coupled with some crispy garlic, bell peppers, eggplant, zucchini, potatoes and capers in olive oil. The fish meat was very tender, showing that it was grilled to perfection. The crispness of the fish skin added some depth to the dish.
Le Boeuf Bourguignon
Le Boeuf Bourguignon (French for: Beef Burgundy), a traditional French dish, was another treat. The dish had a Braised US Certified Angus Beef in Red Wine, Carrots, Mushrooms, Shallots and Croutons. The pasta, on the other hand, was tossed in cream and parsley. This beef was braised for around 3-4 hours to seal in the lovely flavors. Upon first bite, I found it to be succulent and tender. The pasta itself was perfectly cooked. Le Boeuf Bourguignon can serve up to 4-5 people and was an excellent French dish.
An assortment of French desserts: (top L-R) Vanilla Cannelé, Madeleine and Mocha Macarons. (Bottom L-R) Mocha Macarons, Financer and Chocolate Cannelé.
The desserts at CiÇou are also something to marvel at. We received a plate of Assorted Mignardises for our dessert. The plate featured a variety of French desserts which were: Chocolate and Vanilla Cannelé, Financier, Madeleine and Mocha Macarons. The Chocolate and Vanilla Cannelés have a soft and spongy taste when you bite into them. Both Cannelés tasted very sweet and it was heavenly. The Madeleine, which has a shell-like shape, had a taste was rather soft and light. The Financer had a crunchy exterior but a lovely and tender interior. The French Macarons tasted equally wonderful as you can taste the mocha fillings at first bite. We were already amazed by the assorted French desserts…but our night wasn’t over yet.
The Kouing Aman truly blew my mind away. It consisted of a caramelized laminated sweet dough with a scoop of caramel ice cream on top. The dough alone was sweet, but when you combine it with the caramel ice cream, you’d feel like you were in heaven. The ice cream on its own was sweet, rich, and creamy. If you have a sweet tooth, the Kouing Aman is for you.
We capped off the night with some coffee and tea. As seen in the picture, the coffee smelled so good that we had to taste it before getting a quick snapshot.
I had a wonderful time eating the at Brasserie CiÇou. For me, this place not only one of the best French restaurants in the Metro, but also one of the best family-friendly places you’ll ever find with its big servings and its dedicated play area for the kids. So When in Manila and you want the best French cuisine for you and your family, go to Brasserie CiÇou. I’m pretty sure you and your family will have a very delicious experience as you feast in one of the best French restaurants in the area. I’d like to thank Chef Cyrille, Eric Norbert, Anna Soenen and Chef Summer for inviting us to partake of some of the best French dishes this side of the Metro.
WIM Photos by: JoTan23
Address: 57 Annapolis, Greenhills, San Juan
Contact No.: 661-9200
Mobile No.: 0917-885-8841