I liked the food at Cicada. The tempura was unusual, containing, amongst other vegetables, avocado. Baked avocado is a horror from the 70s. There is a restaurant that still serves it, the café at Lauderdale House in Highgate. It's worth going there just to sample its wrongness. But avocado tempura worked: the crispyness of the batter and the soft buttery density of the fruit made a good combination. I also liked the Cicada dipping sauce. In proper Japanese restaurants the dipping sauce for tempura, 'tentsuyu' is often bland. Here it was zingy...soy and lime perhaps?
The setting at Cicada was classy; comfortable banquettes and flattering lighting. In fact I caught a glimpse of myself in the strip mirror on the wall and thought :
'Looking good! You go girl!'Which was lucky as I had an interview afterwards.
I was taken there by a lady who wants to open an Underground Restaurant. What a lovely approach...taking a foodie out to lunch is the perfect way to prise information out of me.
Her aubergine/lychee curry and my Pad Thai noodles were delicious. The sorbets for dessert were fine. The waiters gorgeous. Other customers were mostly business men. There was a New York vibe about the place.
We ate the lunch deal which was £15 each, generous portions and including a glass of wine.
Address: 132 - 136 St. John Street, London
Tel: +44 20 7608 1550