There is a new circus that has come into town and its here to stay for good. This Circus has found its home in the newly created and chic Fashion Avenue at Pavilion, KL. There is no monkeying around at this Circus, the only thing that will be doing acrobats here is your palate and it will be the bartenders that will be performing all the juggling acts. The ringleader of this Circus is the savvy and award-winning restaurateur Jospeph Afaki, whose previous successful endeavors include the popular Al-Amar Fine Dining and Al-Amar Express. Displaying their act for the first time yesterday at an exclusive launch party, the team made sure it would be an unforgettable one.
Eclectic, modern and with a touch of funk, is how you can describe this modern bistro and cocktail lounge. The decor too was the brainchild of their ringleader. Splashes of color set against a dark canvas enhance the aura of this place, with hip posters adorning the walls. The focal point of this Circus is their bar that is created against a backdrop created from a carnival of various bottles and modern art. The wall emits light that is used to metamorphose the ambiance of the entire restaurant. Mood-altering lighting is used to create the perfect atmosphere to suit the time of the day, whether it be a brightly lit business lunch or dim lighting for a romantic dinner or glam effects for a dazzling night-out with friends.
We entered the Circus with anxious excitement and were warmly greeted by all the ‘actors’ of the carnival. The place was abuzz with all the invitees eager to take the first bite of their creations. Starting off with a glass of Moet and Chandon, we opted to sit in near the bar area rather than next to the glass windows overlooking a busy KL thoroughfare. And there it was right in front of us, our first glimpse of the multi-faceted menu. It was a carousel of culinary gems, enough to satiate any epicurean’s appetite. Catering to the taste buds of all their visitors, the vast menu included wood-fired pizzas, burgers, sandwiches, pastas, soups, salads, sliders and mouth-watering desserts. What caught my attention was the black cod with truffle butter foam. Having begun my love affair with black cod from Nobu in London, it was like music to my ears when told the Spanish Chef had previously worked under the Michelin Star chef Nobu Matsuhisa. Here is a sneak-peak of the menu for you:
As I was being enticed by the menu, the polite servers brought us a tray of small bites. All the tasters were from the menu. The visually appealing tray included Ahi Tuna Tartare, Wild Mushroom Agnoletti, Chili Crab Cakes and Beef Stroganoff.
Each bite was bursting with flavor, the tuna tartare was fresh and succulent and the Chili Crab Cakes were smooth with a subtle kick of chili. But my favorites were the Beef Stroganoff and the ultimate prize was the Mushroom Agnoletti.
The al-dente Agnoletti with filled with mascarpone cheese and accompanied by a wild mushroom truffle sauce. The earthy flavors combined with a hint of mascarpone was like an arcade for my palate. It was difficult to stop eating. Aside from the black cod, I know what I would order the next time I visit Circus. However, to continue to eat was not an option either. The cocktails and desserts had to be given a try too.
Aside from the flowing Moet, our palates were tantalized by 3 of their signature cocktails. To stand out amid the crowd, Circus aims to offer off-the-beaten track cocktails, hence they have a list of over 60 cocktails to choose from. Leave the mundane choices behind and hop on the bandwagon to find your new favorite concoction. The Raspberry Freeze was superb; strong but full of fun and flavor. Next was the Pineapple Martini, which to my surprise was not as fruity as I expected, making it even more of a treat. And finally there was the Russian inspired Ginger Mule; not a fan of ginger in my drinks, but subtle flavors of this cocktail were beyond my imagination. It is the perfect refreshment for a hot KL afternoon. For the more discerning palate, Circus offers an extensive wine list along with Moet and Chandon and Dom Perignon champagnes.
The carnival picked up as the evening progressed, conversations were in full flow. And to sweeten the evening, we were treated to a stunning array of desserts. Small kiwi tarts, strawberry tarts with custard and mini profiteroles with intricately decorated chocolate discs. While feasting on the desserts, we were introduced to the team managing Circus and the concept behind this avant-garde bistro/lounge.
And of course, no launch can ever be complete without fireworks in the sky. The roof turned into the sky, as digital fireworks were displayed on the screens above our head. The Circus had now turned festive.
With the ringleader taking control of the beats behind the DJ booth and,
the waiting staff refilling our glasses, we were trapezed into a circus of merriment. Circus opens to the public tomorrow, 14th September, and it promises to be a carnival of food, a carousel of drinks, an arcade of enjoyment and a escape from reality. Holding true to their slogan, Gather, Relax, Mix, Mingle, Flirt, Eat and Drink at Circus.