Popular breakfast joint, Au Cirque, in New Farm have opened their doors two nights a week on Thursdays and Fridays to provide casual bistro-style dinner and drinks.
Their modern French/European-influenced menu is based around generously-sized share plates as well as a small selection of rotating daily mains and sides. A small offering of desserts are also available.
Between one of the Two Plump Peacocks and myself, we ordered 3 share plates, two mains, two desserts and lots of nibbles from others.
Our starters was bready and delicious. We assumed that the starters, like most places, would not serve enough bread. Oh how we were wrong! Generous and thick slices of bread in a mound next to the decadent duck liver pate as well as the fresh sardines, drizzled in lots of olive oil to be dabbed up with the bread was more than enough. It’s almost a small meal on it’s own. The goat’s cheese and zucchini croquettes were equally filling, the crumb was crunchy and the filling was fresh and summer-y.
I found room to sneak a garlic and butter snail from the next table. Oh, man! I love butter like nothing else and this was basically butter with a bit of snail to slurp out of a shell. Not great for my hips, but great for my taste buds. The taste buds win every time!
The mains available that night were 3 simple but equally delicious meals, all sitting comfortably under the $30 mark. There was steak frites with cafe de paris butter. See? I told you I love butter. A healthy and simple salmon niçoise salad as well as a vegetarian option of a
mound of cheese twice baked gruyere cheese souffle with cauliflower puree. A highly visual side dish was also available that night – balsamic roasted purple carrots. Packed with colour (and vitamins) that could only be good for me (and counteract the butter).
The mains were simple but effective. No fussing about. This was honest and tasty food. Unfortunately, my steak was a little overcooked but I think it was just miscommunication and a little bit of rushing about in the tiny kitchen – others who ordered a steak received their correct preference.
When you have that little voice inside your head that tells you that “you don’t have anymore room for dessert”, I find it’s best to ignore it. I haven’t gone wrong yet.
I opted for a cherry and vanilla semifreddo. Just quietly, I think this was the BEST dessert on the night. It was sprinkled with a cherry glaze and crushed pistachio praline and possibly there was a layer of meringue too. Amazing. The best dessert I’ve had in a while. I’ve actually not been able to stop thinking about it. This is what dreams are made of.
The chocolate mousse was pretty good too. It was bittersweet and firmer in texture than a aerated cloyingly sweet mess and bittersweet too. Definitely on the more decadent side of things with a touch of whipped cream and some mint. Think of it like a dessert form of an after dinner mint.
This small, intimate venue has a casual atmosphere that fits in so well with New Farm. There’s room upstairs for those who want a bit of privacy.
They’ll be closed over Christmas from 20 December to 6 January. These dinners will start from 16 and 17 January. Get in while you can!
I dined as a guest on behalf of Lucid Media and Au Cirque.