Circo (formally Señor Buddha)

Brighton really is the place to be a foodie right now, it feels like all of the restuarants in Brighton are either upping their game or just moving in! I have long walked past Senor Buddha and wanted to go in, but with their recent rebrand, I was so excited to be invited along to opening night. With the menu split into five and perfect drink pairings, it was an amazing evening. 

With their second venue coming soon, the rebrand has seen a new decor and a brand new name themed around their location. But what hasn’t changed, is the passion for food and the amazing meals...

The Pintxos 

To start, alongside a beautiful cava we had seared tuna served with wasabi and prosciutto, and it was stunning. A mix of flavours that I haven't tried before but a perfect representation of the combinations of flavours to expect from Circo.

We also tried an Ajo Blanco. I am not a huge fan of a cold soup however for something so small it was packed with flavours from almond to the black garlic oil on top. There was also a Branada de Bacalou served in a sesame tuile which was beautiful, but unfortunately I missed that shot!

The Planta

We were then onto the vegetable-based dishes. I often shy away from vegetarian dishes when out and worry that they lack flavour... this was not the case! The first of the vegetarian courses was a combination of tender stem broccoli, silken tofu sauce and a punch of pickled chilli and mushrooms. The dish was perfection, and with the addition of fruit and nuts (which I am usually not a fan of with savoury), it was perfectly balanced in texture and flavour too.

We were then treated to the pumpkin dish; pumpkin paired with deep fried kale, candied cashews and a Thai aioli it was brilliant.

The Pescados 

Next was the fish courses - an absolute favourite of mine. 
To start we had a calamari fritto served with squid ink and a pickled chilli. Too often a calarmi can be chewy or underseasoned but this was brilliant. I loved the combination of texture with the smoothness of the squid ink and the crispness of the squid. 

This was then followed by the Polpo a la Gallega. I know that many people are put off by food with tentacles but if I can recommend anything, it's this! This dish was gorgeous- the crunch of the tuile paired with the textures of the fennel and the octopus was, as expected, cooked perfectly. I will definitely be trying this again when I go back.

With all of the fish dishes, we were treated to a sherry. It wasn't for me but it did go very well with the fish to complement the strong flavours with its sweetness.

The Carne

We then moved into the meat courses and a stunning red wine which I will be sure to order again. First was an Iberico pork, a cut I had recently tried in the canary islands. Served with aubergine and a shrimp crumb, it was a great mix of flavours, and the smell filled the restaurant. 

Then we moved on to the lamb rump. Lamb is one of my guilty pleasures and this dish did not disappoint. A combination of lamb rump and lamb bacon was served with a plum sake chutney and the bittersweet brunch of fennel. The meat was cooked perfectly and the sauce alongside was a perfect match.

The Postre

To finish the meal we were treated to a lemon and almond tart with mascapone and a basil sherbert. Whilst this was being served we were also given a sake. I had never tried Sake before so must admit I was sceptical about the pairing...I was wrong. The combination of sweet and citrus from the pudding worked well with the sweet sake and was a perfect end to the meal.

Overall, as I am sure you can tell, the meal was delicious. Each dish summed up the restaurant brilliantly; a perfect blend of flavours. The drink pairings were well thought out and the atmosphere of the night was stand out. I cannot wait to head back. 

The Allergies

I also wanted to make a special nod to the allergies. The head chef Jon was amazingly accommodating and all of the staff were knowledgeable about the food and allergy concerns. The menu is not over complicated but has dishes for all dietary requirements.

Make sure to head to their website to book a table soon, and make sure to let me know what your favourite dish was.

Did you see my last review of L'Atelier Du Vin

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