The stars aligned this April and for three days of annual leave you scored a magic ten days in a row off. Thank you Easter and Anzac Day! It was just magic. I booked in my three days back in 2013 when it was first brought to my attention. Annual leave is a precious thing, especially when you are saving it up for a 6 week stint off in 2015.
So GG and I took ourselves to Melbourne for Easter, flying back on the Tuesday, and the rest of the week was spent kicking it in Perth town. On the Wednesday I’d arranged to catch up with my parents and sister, Miss A, for lunch at Circa, a cafe on Beaufort Street I’d long wanted to visit but hadn’t gotten around to. Because Miss A had a 1pm appointment we met for lunch at 11.30am and had the place to ourselves when we first arrived. We were sat at the booth seat closest to the door, so I didn’t really get too much of a feel for the size of the place, but for a fairly narrow frontage it did seem to go back for a while and there was a nice long bar area.
We were brought menus by the friendly waitress and also told about a few specials. After an indulgent few days in Melbourne I turned my attention to the salad section. There were some tasty sounding options but I was drawn to the one with haloumi because I think haloumi is just magic. What a squeaky wonder! My sister and I ended up deciding to split a salad and the Fried Ricotta Gnocchi, Zucchini, Parmesan Crisp. Pasta and salad, a happy compromise :)
Mum ordered the Beetroot Ravioli, Butter, Sage, Pecorino, Hazelnuts ($26) which I had been eying off and dad went for a Free-Range Chicken Baguette, Rocket, Tomato. We also ordered a serve of bread and olives to snack on while we waited for our mains.
The starter arrived fairly quickly, which I was pleased about given I was pretty peckish despite our early bird lunch time. It was a decent bowl of mixed olives. It came along with four lightly toasted slices of bread and a dish of olive oil. I meant to ask where this olive oil was from because it was really good oil, but it slipped my mind. And as we polished off the last few olives it was time for the main event.
Everything presented well. Dad’s roll was full of chunky slices of chook and there was plenty of rocket greenery, avocado and ruby red tomato. From all reports it was a nice roll and they had also been restrained on the mayo front as had been requested.
Miss A and I enjoyed our gnocchi and salad combo. The ricotta gnocchi were pleasant little pan fried pillows and paired nicely with the crunchy parmesan crisp. It had been well seasoned and the combination of flavours worked well, with the gnocchi itself the star.
The salad was refreshing with all it’s greenery, it’s sweet cherry tomatoes and the added yum factor that was the pan fried wedges of haloumi. Honestly if you haven’t tried haloumi before, then do yourself a favour and get to the shops immediately and grab a block. It is just delicious and an inspired addition to a salad. It’s a little bit creamy, a little bit salty and it’s squeaky when you eat it pan fried – yum and fun for everyone!
I think sharing the two dishes was a good call and we liked both but I believe that my mum actually took out the battle of the mains. Her beetroot ravioli had a wonderful vibrant colour from the beetroot and the flavours were just lovely! Quite al dente pasta and I really enjoyed the crunch from the sprinkling of hazelnuts on top, but pecorino is a nice bold cheese. Basically I just love cheese….. not sure if you’d picked up on that :)
So it had been a nice first visit to Circa. The dishes we’d ordered had all looked and tasted nice and there were a few other menu items I was also keen to tackle on a return visit. I’d also heard great things about their breakfast offerings. So see you again soon Circa.