I was, however, in for a surprise of Stephen King proportions.
The café layout of the restaurant was a bit of a disappointment, as was the very obviously replicated design of the establishment.
The menu at Circus Circus Musgrave centre is really nice and eclectic, filled with international flavours from Barbados, Mozambique, Italy, France and even the USA. It has such a lot of potential, and reading the newspaper print style menu, one can be forgiven for getting into the circus spirit of things. The menu lends itself to such a wonderful spectacle of interesting dishes, exotic flavours and daring moments, but our dining experience was more like watching a trapeze artist trip and fall into a terribly suspect net.
Circus Circus was a busy little spot that seemed to be very popular with the diners. Social and noisy, filled with a variety of patrons of various ages enjoying their meals. I looked around and was glad to see folks enjoying themselves but wondered what had gone wrong with our dining experience; perhaps Murphy had decided that this was our night.
Our order of chicken nachos was adequate and filling. But the guacamole was unseasoned and bland with chili’s sprinkled in between the corn chips like little land mines waiting to explode on the unsuspecting; unfortunate especially when we asked about the spicy element.
The chicken livers peri peri was also unseasoned and a overly watery for my liking, but I bet there are plenty of folks out there who are happy to eat a bowl of chicken liver peri peri soup. The clump of hair that came out of the primordial peri peri goop was terrifying – cue Stephen King scary clown moment.
Sticky Barbeque ribs with chips seemed a safe bet until my steak knife was unable to make it’s way through the meat without applying excessive amounts of strength to the activity.
Flambé steak with mushroom sauce was next on the chopping block; Although the fillet was done to our requested doneness, it wasn’t actually on fire. Maybe I presumed incorrectly that “flambé” had something to do with alcohol and a bic lighter, and perhaps the dish had already crossed paths with the flame of “flambé” while on the grill in the kitchen before coming out into the dining area. The mushroom sauce was a bit floury and garliced to within an inch of its life.
The wine list on the back of the newsprint menu, boasts an interesting selection of locally brewed beers as well as some good wines like Chocolate Block which I quite like. Pongraz and Moet also make an appearance, and let’s face it you can’t go wrong with those either. The milkshakes and smoothies were tempting and I was pleased to see non-dairy options on the beverages section as well.
The server and manager were most apologetic about the dishes that were problematic; exchanged quickly and without argument. However after the debacle with mains, I was too scared to try the Butter Chicken Curry or even a toasted sandwich sadly.
Sometimes you just get a bad hand dealt to you; I say this because on looking around the restaurant I saw a dining area packed with happy faces, people socializing and enjoying their food. So besides the Murphy moments, Circus Circus definitely has something worthwhile to offer.