Tuesday, 16 April 2013


We were invited to the Yakitori Pop Up Launch at Bar @ Circa by Jenny Brookes at The Melbourne Pub Group.

During the month of April, Circa's chefs Paul Wilson and Jake Nicolson will be dishing out yakitori dishes straight from their new robata Japanese wood barbecue.

The idea is to use seasonal autumn ingredients to create Japanese style bite size dishes to be enjoyed at their bar over drinks.

Seasonal ingredients at Yakitori pop up launch party
Yakitori pop up launch - Circa courtyard

Food and drinks were served in their lovely courtyard. The area is undercover and is normally filled with tables as part of the restaurant. If you are booking a table at Circa, I highly recommend booking the courtyard for its romantic and lively atmosphere (we got married here!)

We started with amazing sake cocktails ... Refreshingly sweet, these cocktails tasted deceptively light. I was feeling the sake buzz after a couple of them and decided to move to mocktails instead as the designated driver. Hubby was happy to have a couple more than I did - and I don't blame him!

Sake cocktails 
Now to the food. The highlight of the night - and of the Japanese menu that will be on offer for the next few weeks - was the bao selection ($5 per piece).

The buns were extremely soft and not overpoweringly sweet. My favourite was tea smoked duck + quince with bush plum sauce. The duck melted in my mouth and I loved the combination of sweet quince and slightly sour plum.

Tea smoked duck with quince and bush plum sauce
Sticky pork with mango and fragrant herbs bao  
The buns quite filling, I wouldn't order more than 3 or 4 per person, especially if you intend to try other menu items as well.

Hubby loved the yakitori dishes ($5 per piece). Here is what will be on offer in their pop up menu:

Mountain peppered wallaby w. quandong caramel

Husk roasted snow baby corn w. smoky white + black garlic aioli

Flinders Island lamb fillet w. Sichuan eggplant

Bonito glazed w. bush lime gastric + green tea

Yakitori bar
Yakitori bar 
I may be biased to talk about Circa; it's one of my favourite restaurants in town. As always, the food served was seasonal, excellent quality and very well executed. I like the idea of bite size dishes to share over a few drinks Be quick if you want to try it - the special menu is only available until the end of the month.

As always, thanks again to Jenny at MPG for the invitation.

Circa, the Prince on Urbanspoon

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