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Jake Hodges, former head chef at River Café and The French House and co-founder of Moro, is celebrating 16 years at Cigala – his renowned Spanish restaurant in the heart of Bloomsbury.

Images: Cigala.

Having spent many years travelling around Spain as well as spending time at his family home in Andalucía, passionate Hispanophile, Hodges remains as committed to the delivery of authentic Spanish cuisine as he did the day he opened Cigala’s doors in 2000.

Using only the freshest and finest of ingredients, many of which are not available elsewhere in London, such as appetizing baby aubergines which come from a small town near Madrid; olive oil from a single estate producer in Valencia made with arbeguina olives; olives from Cheste, and La Bomba rice from Valencia, Cigala offers classic Spanish national and regional cuisine complemented by an excellent wine list.


Main dishes include Paella de Pollo  rice with chicken and chorizo; Fideus de Marisco – noodles with seafood along with a delicious selection of tapas such as Espinacas a la Catalana- spinach with raisins, garlic and pine nuts, and Higado a la Jerezana – pan-fried chicken livers with softened onions and Pedro Ximenez – all of which should be accompanied by the restaurant’s homemade bread delicious alioli, and of course the olives!

‘…Cigala provides a calm and tranquil atmosphere for an intimate dining experience…’

And while Hodges is keen to include the best in class from across the Spanish regions, he is not afraid to put his own twist on his dishes – his Mulhacen desert which contains orange and saffron jelly, bitter chocolate mousse and black bean ice cream is entirely his own and should not be missed along with the mouth-watering chilled Tarta Whisky.

Unlike the atmosphere of many central London restaurants, Cigala, which featured in the 2003 film ‘I’ll Sleep When I’m Dead’ with Charlotte Rampling, prides itself on being discreet and functional and offers a stripped-down dining experience that allows the food to do the talking.



Whilst Cigala provides a calm and tranquil atmosphere for an intimate dining experience, its private room and bar offers the perfect location for any celebration. Catering for 28 people seated or a party of 40, it even offers an optional disco ball!

For more information contact Melanie Faldo at

Cigala is located at 54 Lamb Conduit’s Street, Bloomsbury, WC1N 3LW.  Go to

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