Around the Farringdon area, there are many pubs for you to sit down and have a good old quiet drink. Sometimes however you want cocktails with some foodie nibbles on the side. This is where Cicada steps in.
Cicada was the original Ricker restaurant, which now has six varying bars and eateries in the group. You can tell that it is a Ricker establishment by the distinctive red neon sign and the dark and moody atmosphere within.
What is most striking about this venue is its gorgeous sheltered terrace, which is fantastic during the warmer months. Stunning wooden tables and a hedged banquette makes the experience a bit more private. Although it is just off the rather hectic and busy Farringdon Road, its position is almost serene and you forget that you are in central London for a split second.
The venue is divided into two sections, one being the party bar section, the other the chilled out restaurant area. So whether you want a formal sit down meal or a few bites at the bar, Cicada provides for all moods.
As with most Ricker restaurants the theme is Pan Asian, and if you need a helping hand in choosing your meal, they have introduced bento boxes which represent a selection of their best dishes. You can choose from vegetarian (£8.95) or meat (£9.95) boxes, each of which have four sections of food with sauce in the middle.
The meat box contains a Vietnamese prawn salad, edamame, vegetable tempura and thai green curry. The salad symbolises the joy of this cuisine: the juxtaposition between sweet and sour. The prawns are small but still very juicy and the flavours tease your senses, which is why Asian food can be so interesting. The tempura is lightly battered and spiced and a pleasure to eat. Dipping it into the soy mirin gives it an extra dimension. However, the thai green curry, excellently made as it is, can be quite lacking in spice. The curry itself is very creamy and has good chunks of butternut squash in it, but if you are expecting a spice exploration then you may be disappointed. The curry still tastes lovely though; it’s just not what you normally expect from this dish.
Not forgetting the cocktails, which are expertly made by the trained and very friendly mixologists, and consist of unusual yet fitting ingredients. The Rose Petal Martini (£7.50) is a very delicate drink, deliciously sweet. The lychee and apple hits you first, then the gin sneaks in afterwards. It’s a great drink with their dishes, as the flavours complement them so well.
Cicada is a place where you can relax in sumptuous surroundings and eat authentic Asian fares. Twinned with a few cocktails, you can see why the Ricker restaurant group has been such a success.