Circus

Restaurants Covent Garden
  • 5 out of 5 stars
(12 user reviews)
26 Love It
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Venue says: "Hendrick's takes over the bar and lounge for July 19, 20, 26 and 27, with £7 cocktail specials! Email for guest list with a free cocktail!"

Despite the name, the entertainment here comes not from clowns in collapsible cars or daring young men on the flying trapeze but from a new breed of cabaret acts: the long banquet table doubles as a catwalk-cum-stage for fire-eaters, burlesque acts and dancers.

The food is pan-Asian, with dishes ranging from sushi and sashimi, dim sum, tempura and som tam salads to mains of miso black cod, baby chicken with white miso, truffle, lotus root, spinach and teriyaki, and Chilean sea bass with chilli, black bean, shaoxing wine, garlic and ginger. Desserts travel further afield – think churros with vanillia poached peach, or a chocolate and caramel fondant. 

The drinks list delivers classic cocktails with a twist: bellinis made with blood peaches, margaritas made with hibiscus juice and agave nectar. It gets quite clubby at weekends with regular DJs and, more often than not, dancing on the tables.

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Circus says
Circus is a beautiful collision of cabaret restaurant and cocktail bar nestled in the heart of Covent Garden.

The restaurant and bar attracts those in search of fine-dining, cocktails and exhilarating bursts of entertainment. Perfect for a much needed martini after work or a full soirée, diving into our specially designed sharing menu.

Our highly popular pan-Asian menu is created by executive chef Andrew Lassetter. Favourites include the black Angus fillet or the yellowtail sashimi.

The venue becomes buzzy late weekend evenings when the DJs take you dancing into the small hours.

An evening at Circus will take you from drinks, to dining, to dancing on the table, all with a touch of cabaret and circus. Not a normal night in London!
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Venue name: Circus
Contact:
Address: 27-29 Endell Street
London
WC2H 9BA
Opening hours: Open 6pm-midnight Tue,Wed; 6pm-1am Thur; 6pm-2am Fri,Sat. Food served 6pm-10.30pm Tues-Sat
Transport: Tube: Covent Garden tube
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Average User Rating

4.7 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:10
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|12
1 person listening
Sheens86
Tastemaker

I was swept up in the hype surrounding this restaurant and booked a table, 2 months in advance. It wasn’t overly difficult to find the restaurant but it isn’t very conspicuous (we did have to ask the doorman if it was the place!)

The staff were very pleasant and accommodating, attentive to our needs and the waiter helped us choose a nice sake.

We saw 3 performances, which were every 20 minutes, lasting about 5 minutes. They were pretty great, especially if you’re lucky enough to be seated at the head table!

The general mood of the restaurant was quite relaxed, it was quite dimly light and at one point I couldn’t really make out what I was eating.

Which would’ve mattered had the food been what I was expecting, given all the hype. Unfortunately, the price you pay is more for the performances than the food. Firstly, if you have even numbers, I would recommend that half of the diners order a starter & main and the other half a main & dessert as I don’t think you would need more than one starter between two people.

We had the Seared Salmon Maki Roll, Chicken Truffle Shumai, Black Cod Tempura & Blow Torched Wagyu Beef Nigiri to start, the latter 2 of which were the clear winners.

For our mains, we had the White Miso & Truffle Baby Chicken, Salmon Salad (which was the best out of the 3) and the Chipotle Chilli Lamp Chops. Overall, the food wasn’t mind blowing or tantalisingly tasty. The presentation was nice, the ingredients were of a high standard but they just didn’t come together in the execution and taste. At nearly £90.00 a head, you could go for a Michelin star meal elsewhere and spend an extra £20.00 to go see a circus show afterwards! It’s fine for a onetime “I went there” experience but that’s all, probably not worth the 2 month wait, glad I tried it though.

KirstyAnne87
Tastemaker

Circus is a weird and intriguing collision of cabaret entertainment, restaurant and cocktail bar smack bang in the centre of Covent Garden!

Venturing their on a work Christmas dinner, in the middle of the afternoon, I was immersed, in true Alice in Wonderland style, through the glass doors and treated to jugglers, musicians, artists and dance to keep you entertained between meals! The menu is Pan-Asian fusion , offering the best of British and an Asian twist. When it works, the flavours are outstanding and very unique adding to the exceptional ‘out there’ experience of the restaurant! When it doesn’t work, some of the food can be bland and confusing! 

What is so nice about the menu is that it is a mixture of sharing banquet style as well as individual dishes. It helped my party share and express what they liked and did not like against the backdrop of our own pre ordered drinks mini bar! It all helped add to the party atmosphere .

For starters the table shared Duck & Watermelon Salad with cashew nuts, spring onion, coriander & mint. It was light and refreshing and similar tasting to a Pad Thai but felt a lot lighter, good for a starter and the duck gave it an exciting twist! Starters also included chicken skewers, selection of dim sum and my highlight was the Prawn ball! The ball was Circus’ take on the classic Prawn Toast – a small rolled fresh cooked prawn mix wrapped in crispy  batter and sesame seeds – it was sweet and savoury and juicy ! Absolutely yummy!!

Mains were hit and miss! I admit complete food envy over some of my colleagues’ choice to have Duck Thai Red Curry – it looked gorgeous, smelt so wonderful and really inviting! I had the Scottish Black Angus Fillet Steak with Shiitake & caramelised butter soy beautifully presented on an individual plate for me with béarnaise sauce . The table shared sides of Baby Bok Choy dressed with soy, ginger & garlic, Smoked Aubergine with white miso, palm sugar & chipotle chilli  and steamed Rice with toasted sesame seeds. As a complete plate, whilst the sides were individually delicious – together my main felt bland and dry in comparison to the bursting and unique flavours of my starter. The steak was quite tough too! Still enjoyable to eat, but some confused flavours – pak choi and béarnaise sauce? Oh well, Alice didn’t have an easy time in Winter Wonderland either and it was fun to try these different flavours after all!

Circus completely surpassed my expectations with a fabulous dessert! Again we all shared the dessert and fun to watch everyone nodding in agreement, eyes wide with contentment and the yummy flavours and trying to communicate whilst scoffing! My dentist will be unhappy to hear I ate 4 plates :S We had Baked Vanilla Cheesecake with  Passion fruit & ginger cream, topped with an Amaretto Soaked Blueberry alongside a crispy vanilla profiterole and complimented by a dark chocolate truffle tart. Absolutely spot on flavours, some I was used to –like the tart but perfectly executed and some new exciting flavours that left me wanting more – and I gave in. EVERY TIME! (the ginger essence in the cake with the wonderful touch of blueberry!)  served in a fun and classy bento box!

The entertainment was fun, the atmosphere was playful yet classy as well as the food! The drinks were exceptionally well crafted and the shots after our meal left me leaving wonderland with some new experiences of taste and a new found love of daiquiri’s!

I recommend circus for a party of any occasion!

Emma C

Great atmosphere, food, staff and entertainment. Couldn't ask for anything more from a venue, highly recommended.

Levi Y

Great Service, Great Entertainment, Delicious Food. We had a great night out here and will most definitely be returning.

Tony H

Circus consistantly delivers a food and entertainment experienced that when combined together is unmatched in London. No other venue maintains such a high standard in food in an environment that is electric with excitement. The recent revamp has freshened up the venue and with subtle but inspired changes to the menu (foie gras beef dumplings and the cod dumplings in particular - wow) keeps Circus at the forefront of my mind when needing to take clients or friends for dinner. The service is also very friendly and efficient without being snooty or any signs of obnoxiousness. Great work Circus...

mike c

Without doubt one of London's truly interesting venues. Top class food combined with a hugely original approach......circus acts on the main table while you eat. Outstanding!

Mem

Had a great evening here last night. The venue looks different to the picture above, the waitress told me they'd just had a refurb and expanded in size, but the different pockets of spaces they've created still retain its intamacy.


The food was AMAZING- and the fact that proseco is listed under starters (as a part time alcoholic) assured me I had definitely picked the right place!  It's Asain dishes of varying sizes so you can choose to have a main dish- I had white miso and truffle baby chicken, which is one of the best main courses I've ever experienced in london- or there are a huge variety of smaller plates- I recommend the beef and foie gras gozya!


The only thing better than the food was the entertainment- with a range of acts coming on every 30 minutes or so you could easily spend a whole night here sipping cocktails and enjoying the topless gynasts complete with abs you could grate cheese on!

Charly Lester
moderatorStaff Writer

Incredible evening.  The venue has had a refurb, so the 'gleaming white walls' in the review are no longer relevant.  The food (various Asian dishes of differing sizes) was delicious - in particular the lobster tempura and teriyaki steak, and the atmosphere was brilliant.  Various acts performed through out dinner, performing on a long marble table stage, which you can request to sit around (though arguably the best views are on the small tables around its periphery). There was something for every - a hula-hooping Elvis, girls in tiny swim suits in hanging hoops, and a topless gymnast performing on stirrups. It's easy how you could spend the whole evening - the restaurant has an almost club-like feel, and a large bar area, but the food is top notch.  I eat out a lot for work, and this was one of the best Asian meals I've had in London.  Definitely one to try.  A word of warning though ... the toilets look unisex, but the ones at the back are definitely the men's!!!

NB

I booked a table here to celebrate my Birthday and it has a fantastic atmosphere. A classy and intimate restaurant/bar with ongoing impressive entertainment throughout the night. The food could be pricey but probably average for London but the dishes are definitely worth it. I had some melt in your mouth teriyaki after sharing some fun Asian starters accompanied with delicious house wine. The venue is the perfect place; not too big and the comfort of being entertained in elaborate style in somebody's front room. I will definitely be going back to sample more menus and be amused by entertainers. A perfect night out! I have already recommended to friends!

The Man on the Street

Oh what a night ! Our table for 4 was a reunion - and I don't think we could have chosen a better venue. Dinner was good, service was great and the cabaret outrageous .... and right in front of our nose.

Linda

I brought a visiting friend here for dinner & drinks and we were not expecting much. To our surprise, the food is absolutely great, drinks were done so good i had to keep it coming and the well-timed interval performance of the cabaret is a good break from our catch up (not tacky at all). The staff are so friendly and good in attending to us despite how crowded and busy the place was on a friday night. Even the girls at the cloakroom seem to always be in good spirits! I highly recommend this place especially for visitors coming to London to have a different dining experience.

ML
0 of 1 found helpful

Visited this place for drinks on a Saturday night and was served by a very rude barman. Suffice to say we only stayed for one drink and left, despite having paid the £5 door chargs