A group of us went along to Circa for a byo lunch on Friday – they are licenced but also allow you to bring your own for a small corkage fee. The restaurant is long and narrow on two levels on Beaufort Street in Mt Lawley and terms itself a continental bistro.
The lunch menu is rather limited – with a section devoted to burgers and sandwiches which gave me some pause – although I guess they are catering for the lunchtime takeaway crowd – and I assume in the evening the offerings are somewhat different.
Anyway, I, along with two or three others, chose fried octopus with crushed potatoes to start – the octopi were few and rather overcooked – a little tough to the bite – while the potato was a tad greasy from the cooking oil – the seasoning was fine but the preparation could have been improved.
The other entrée chosen – arancini balls – received positive comments – nicely crisped on the outer, gooey and cheesy inside.
For mains – eye fillet with truffled mash and broccolini was one of the dishes chosen and again they missed the mark – one order of medium was so well done it was sent back, while the other of rare was perhaps more along the medium to well done line, only a thin pink line remaining – the meat was tender however, and the accompaniments fine – a little more attention to the cooking to order would have improved things.
My order of baked gnocchi with tomato sugo didn’t really set my world on fire – I asked that it be cooked with some chilli but instead I was given a small dish of dried chilli flakes to sprinkle over the fairly doughy pasta – again the flavours (leaving aside the chilli) were OK.
The others ordered ossobuco and this was much more successful – good sized serve and the meat cooked to a nicely rich and tender stage and sat on bed of polenta. The most enjoyed meal of the lunch which showed they can turn out reasonable food.
So I guess Circa is not quite hitting the markers on all dishes, at least as far as we were concerned – flavours seem OK but more needs to be done to get it to where it could be recommended. Having said that our waiter was charming and friendly and it is quite a pleasant dining space.