Dining buddies aren’t always free when you need them. As a immature gal in my teens and twenties, this would have been quite a dilemma. Only people with no friends go out on their own! Over the years (how sophisticated being in your thirties sounds!) I’ve come to enjoy occasionally eating out alone as I’m able to take the time to really absorb the surroundings and take note of everything around me.
I had driven past Circa a few times and it was jam packed every time. The cafe is set on a quiet side street near Parramatta station, crammed into a long single-car garage with brightly painted murals on the walls.
I tried my luck just after midday on Saturday, hoping they would have a spare spot for moi. As I approached I could see a number of diners hunched over the wooden tables that spill out onto the street. For a minute I thought that maybe this wasn’t going to be my day. Thankfully there were a couple of empty tables out the front and I swiftly nabbed one. Within minutes, before I had even ordered, a steady stream of hungry lunchers were arriving and started queuing on the street for a table.
After viewing a comment on Circa’s Facebook page, I started with a ‘soy chilli’. Now I’ve had a lot of hot chocolates and most of them are pretty average. This one was special. It was rich and creamy with a warming hit of chilli. In fact it was so good, that I had to have two!
While blissfully sipping my hot chocolate I noticed the wait staff and baristas casually chatting with the regular diners. Commenting on new hair cuts, talking about the week at work and asking about the kids. You can always spot the regulars as they order without having to look at the menu. This kind of personal touch must be one of the reasons why people quite happily wait on the street to eat here.
For brunch I had the mushrooms and boy were they good. Two fat portobello mushrooms filled to the brim with a mixture of ricotta, walnuts and basil. These were served on thin toasted multi-grain sourdough, smothered with pesto and a generous serving of rocket. I loved all the different textures in this dish. It was not only delicious and fresh but also quite filling. But that didn’t stop me from scoffing every last bite!
How did it rate?
Circa has a really comfortable and relaxed feel. It’s a little bit trendy and it’s reasonably priced. It reminded me a lot of my recent visits to The Baron in Castle Hill (which I love). It’s really great to see quality cafes popping up in the area. I’ll absolutely be visiting Circa again, I want to try more of the menu. It’s a super dooper two happy faces for me!