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La Cigale Montmartre French restaurant 123-33 Itaewon-dong, Seoul, South Korea
Sep 3rd, 2009 by Olivier

La Cigale Montmartre
123-33 Itaewon-dong, Seoul
South Korea
02-796-1244

La Cigale Montmartre

Outside of restaurant

Outside of restaurant

Interior

Interior

La Cigale Montmartre is a French restaurant located in the Namsan (South mountain) area of central Seoul.  There are many foreign restaurants in this area – above la Cigale is an Italian restaurant, and right beside is an American buger joint.

La Cigale – Montmartre got its name because the French chef wanted to introduce two styles of French cuisine in Seoul: the Mediterranean style – La Cigale – and Parisian style – Montmartre. The restaurant is famous for their mussels and they are cooked in many different styles.

The menu reflects the two styles of cuisine. For example you can have the tartare de 3 façons (saumon, tartare de boeuf aux anchois et Saint Jacques au citron vert – salmon, anchovy, beef tartare & lime scallops – W24,000), the tarte salée de 3 façon (tarte feuilletée aux escargots, tuile parmesan au jambon cru & mesclun, quiche – puff pastry with snails, parmesan crisp with salad and prosciutto quiche scallops – W35,000), the foie gras de 3 façons (terrine mi-cuite, escalope de foie gras poêlé aux pommes, en crème brulée – foie gras terrine, one slice pan fried with apple and foie gras custard cream – W35,000), the traditional soupe à l’onion du bistrot (onion soup – W12,000), the salade niçoise (olives, thon, anchois, oeuf, tomate, poivron, laitue – olives, tuna, anchovy, artichoke, egg, tomato, lettuce – W16,000). Then we have grilled dishes like the filet de boeuf grillé et escalope de foie gras poêlée (grilled beef tenderloin with pan seared foie gras, 150gr of Australian beef – W40,000), the entrecôte au grill, sauce bleu, poivre vert ou beurre maître d’hôtel (grilled ribeye, blue cheese, lemon butter or green peppercorn sauces, 200gr of Australian beef – W35,000), the T-bone steak en marinade courte puis grillé, beurre d’herbes au citron (T-bone steak in short marinade and grilled, herbs lemon butter, 400gr of Korean beef – W38,000), the Côtelettes d’agneau grillées marinées, ail, zestes de citron et huile d’olive vierge (lamb shop marinated with extra virgin olive oil, roasted garlic, lemon zest, 3 pieces of New Zealand lamb – W40,000) or the escalope de saumon sur le grill, béarnaise et garniture du moment (grilled salmon steak with béarnaise sauce and daily garnishes, Fresh Norway salmon – W27,000). Beside the various kind of mussels, their signature dishes which are the quenelle de volaille à l’ancienne, bisque et gambas flambées (chicken quenelle old fashion style, crustacean sauce and flambed prawns, Korean chicken – W26,000) and the tarte de boeuf coupé au couteau et préparé par nos soins, frites du bistrot (bistro style steak tartare, chopped raw beef, served with French fries, 150gr of Australian beef – W35,000). Add a 10% VAT to the prices as they do not include it.

La Cigale placemat

La Cigale placemat


 
We chose mussels, salmon and 3 styles of  foie gras (I couldn’t resist), but there were plenty of other choices available as you could read.

Overview of the table

Overview of the table

Trio au foie gras

Trio au foie gras

The three foie gras (terrine, pan fried and crème brûlée) were actually very good.  The bread that accompanied them was a bit hard and tough to eat, but the foie gras itself was pretty good. My favourite, naturally, was the pan-fried :)  I’m a little less convinced by foir gras crème brûlée, which comes out tasting somewhat like a crèpe.  Overall though, it really was quite decent.  The mussels were also very good, with a sort of cream and bacon soup that tasted rather like a carbonnara sauce.  The meal was accompanied by a bottle of the house red wine.

Cost and conclusion:  It was 146,000 Korean won (about £72) for the trio of foie gras, salmon, two bowls of mussels and a bottle of red wine which fed four of us.  Perhaps still not that cheap for Seoul, but considering the foie gras, was overall a reasonable price.


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