Location: 2 Acland Street, St Kilda, Phone: 03 9536 1122 Link:http://www.circa.com.au/ Cuisine: Modern Australian, Japanese, Asian
Gastrology bloggers were privileged to be invited to the launch of Circa’s Pop Up Yakitori Bar (which will only be around for the month of April) at Circa, The Prince.
In conjunction with the excitement of the Pop Up launch, Circa showed off a more permanent addition - its sleek new bar. The new bar has an indoor outdoor feel, with fairy light wrapped foliage hanging from the ceiling, and natural light streaming through sky lights.
This month, to match the yakitori, the bar is celebrating all drinks Japanese (sake, Japanese cocktails and Kirin beer) – as self confessed sake enthusiasts, we must say we were impressed.
We observed skilful chefs presiding over a series of delicious Japanese-inspired canapes.
While the night out in Japan theme runs through the menu, there is a clear distinction from traditional Japanese yakitori. The Yakitori Bar menu is incredibly modern, embracing a large range of different ingredients, all of which work wonderfully together.
The menu features delicious offerings including mountain peppered wallaby loin, served with quandong caramel; husk roasted snow baby corn with smoked white and black garlic aioli; Flinders Island lamb fillet with Sichuan eggplant; and lastly, bonito glazed with bush lime and green tea.
On the non-yakitori side of things, there is a selection of bao that Chef Paul Wilson has crafted to compliment the yakitori. The mouth-watering bao fillings include tea smoked duck and quince with bush plum sauce; caramelised toothfish and native fingerlime with miso mustard; crispy Australian soft shell crab with kimchi relish; as well as sticky pork with mango and fragrant herbs.
The caramelised toothfish and native fingerlime with miso mustard bao was certainly the highlight of our night. It had a great balance of different flavours: salty yet sweet, soft flesh, with just a hint of heat. It had strong soy and mirin flavours.
Uninhibited and welcoming, Circa’s Pop Up Yakitori Bar serves mouth-watering, yakitori and delicious Japanese drinks. Get in quick before April comes to an end!
*There is a daily happy hour that will run from 6pm to 9pm across the month for Kirin beer, matching cocktails and sake. All yakitori and bao dishes will be available for $5 dollars each.
Images courtesy of Anthony Licuria of APL Photography