March seems to be passing at an uneven rate of knots. It seems all slow-slow-quick-quick-slow, possibly because I’ve had a lot of stuff in the diary that just never seems to be arriving. One of these is a trip to Martin Wishart, that we’re now putting back until May; then there’s the looming prospect of my 35th birthday, which there’s no avoiding; there’s a trip to The Kitchin that we’ve changed three times; there’s the ever lengthening training walks; and now I’m in a truly murderous run of reviewing nine places in the next ten days. And somehow it’s still only the 19th of the month. It makes no sense, but hey ho.

Circus was the place that MJ had originally told me to visit, a few weeks back, when I ended up in Wee Bite. Today, while MJ was away having more post-PhD merriment, this time in London and Oxford, I managed to successfully arrive at my target destination.

Opened a few months back as an offshoot project of nearby Empires, Circus has the same Ottoman influences, with its array of meze dishes, but offers more standard breakfast, brunch and lunch options, too.

Today, I was in for a quick takeaway lunch, so enquired what soup I would be trying. This turned out to be leek and potato. I asked the counter girl what I should have to go with that. Rather strangely, she advised that the soup would be enough on its own. “Are you sure?” I checked. She confirmed that it came with bread, so would be sufficient.


For any folks working in the restaurants, cafes and bars in Edinburgh who might be reading this, when I say “what should I have to accompany this?” that’s my (I thought quite obvious) code for “I am hungry – give me your tastiest offerings.” But lesson learned: sometimes I shouldn’t rely upon such subtleties.

I was invited to take a seat while my soup and bread was brought from the kitchen. This took a few minutes, but this allowed me to take in the place, which was very smart. I looked like a really nice location for a leisurely brunch or good catch-up over coffee.

Once safely united with my lunch, I toddled round the road to my office, and was soon contemplating a good chunky slice of wholemeal bread and a very chunky looking rustic soup. It looked a touch greasy, but this soon dissipated with a good stir. The bread was lovely and fresh, but the soup wasn’t great. It had nice flavour from aromatic dill, but that was about it. And even though it was a good slice of bread, this wasn’t enough for anything other than a very light lunch.

Soup and bread

So overall, what I got from Circus was a good introduction. It wasn’t fantastic, but I liked the look of the place, so will return next time I’m looking for a relaxed brunch style place. Furthermore, I will dispense with subtlety, forthwith, as it simply didn’t work as a successful tactic, today. I have no desire to spend my afternoons in the same hungry state I ended up in today, ever again.


Blythe scores Circus:
2.5/5 for food
3/5 for presentation
2.5/5 for service
3.5/5 for setting
giving an overall 11.5/20

Today’s questers was: Blythe

I ate: leek and potato soup, wholemeal bread

I drank: nowt

I wore: pinstripes

Total bill: £2.50

Written by BKR