Lounge Review : Circus, Delhi | Mint
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Business News/ Mint-lounge / Features/  Lounge Review : Circus, Delhi
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Lounge Review : Circus, Delhi

A multi-cuisine resto-bar which is not short on fun, especially so far as the dcor goes

Try the Andhra Chicken Roll at the Circus. Photo: Courtesy CircusPremium
Try the Andhra Chicken Roll at the Circus. Photo: Courtesy Circus

There is a new Circus in town, and it’s not short on fun, especially so far as the décor goes. The space is large and split into multiple levels, with high wooden tables, red-leather booths, oversized, hoop-shaped ceiling lights and TV screens and mirrors on the walls. The staff is dressed cheerfully; some are even wearing jester hats. A large bar houses an impressive number of alcohol bottles, while the floor design resembles one half of a backgammon board. There’s no Big Top, but there is terrace seating for times when the weather is pleasant. The washrooms feature taps emptying into two big steel buckets—circus style.

The good stuff

Every kind of street food finds its way into the menu, from burgers, hot dogs, pizzas and pastas to Indian snacks, Chinjabi, grills, soups, salads and even tiffin meals—if you think of it, it’s probably there.

We started with cocktails: I tried the Masala Gang ( 150), imli (tamarind) flavoured water with vodka, which was appropriately tangy and whet my appetite. My lunch companion tried the Pomo Sapphire ( 300), pomegranate with gin and chaat masala: She, too, enjoyed its tanginess. I liked the serving style: They brought the glass with the non-alcoholic mix to the table and poured the alcohol in a shot glass in front of you. Smart, since many bars short-change you on the alcohol as the evening goes by.

We next tried the Palak Patta Chaat ( 175), five crisp leaves of batter-fried spinach with the good stuff—sonth, chutney and chaat masala. There wasn’t a trace of oil and it retained its crispness throughout. We followed this up with an Andhra Chicken Roll ( 295), wrapped in a paratha and served with pickled onions and chutney on the side. It hit the spot. The roll was juicy, spicy and perfect in size.

The staff, well versed with the menu, was able to recommend items and even noticed when I put aside my beautiful lavender Circus Kala Khatta LIIT ( 375): I had had a sip and almost passed out from the alcohol content (I know, I know, not too many people would complain about this, but I had missed reading the “LIIT" bit). They took it back and diluted it by adding more ice and syrup to make it easier to drink (I was driving).

The not-so-good

A large, buzzy space that will work for the after-hours casual office crowd looking for thumping music, a drink and something to eat, Circus is yet another undistinguished multi-cuisine resto-bar that aims to please all and delight no one. Almost every single fish dish uses the taste-free—if inoffensive—basa, which is probably a good metaphor for the place.

There was nothing on the menu that we felt compelled to order, but with the exception of the dishes mentioned above, even the menu descriptions of others proved to be off the mark. The Burmese Chicken ( 445), cooked in a coconut sauce with brown onions, sounded interesting but turned out to be annoyingly bland. The Fisherman’s Basket ( 575) of assorted seafood fritters did not have even a hint of the coconut and green chilli marinade promised on the menu. A sharp tartare to cut the fat would have helped, but it came with a commercial, oily mayo. The Chocolate Caramel Turtle Sundae ( 375) was cloying. The Atte Ka Halwa ( 275) was perfect on the sweetness meter but, again, bland.

Though it’s well-located for the many offices and retailers in busy South Extension, finding parking space is a headache. The restaurant offers valet parking space at 100 a pop.

Talk plastic

A meal for two—one appetizer, three mains, two desserts and four cocktails—cost 4,667.

Circus, D-14, Third floor, South Extension-II (tel. 91-8826171617, 011-41329210). From noon-1am.

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Published: 12 May 2016, 07:35 PM IST
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