This Circus has finally come to town, pitching its bright, shiny tent at Pavilion KL after months of elephant-sized expectations.
Circus, helmed by The Eatertainment Group (the ringmaster for Al-Amar), has heaps of ambition, aspiring to juggle a cornucopia of culinary influences: everything from tuna tartare to quesadillas, crispy mushroom risotto to foie gras.
Circus' public opening is still up in the air; we went on Monday and were encouraged to return the next evening, but everything remained postponed through Wednesday's publicity launch. Friday's likely the earliest for folks to sit here and order properly.
This lively setting is meant to create a "social circus," encouraging endless nights of taking long sips from a selection of sixty-plus cocktails.
Circus' catchphrase: Gather, relax, mix, mingle, flirt, eat, drink. All made possible through the effort of the efficient service team; they're certainly no clowns.
Canapes, including a fun presentation of lump crab cakes with filo dough, foreshadow the shape of things to come; we hope Spanish exec chef David Caral has a trapeze artist's courage to create recipes with a high-wire sense of adventure.
Circus' cocktails, infused with the likes of raspberry, pineapple, lime, ginger and mint.
Also anticipated: Sunday brunches with Dom Perignon and Moet & Chandon champagnes.
But for now, let's take this chance to return to La Boca Latino Bar, another Pavilion newbie that's scarcely a five-second stroll from Circus.
Main entry on La Boca Latino Bar: Sept. 10, 2012
Peruvian cod (RM33 before taxes), wrapped in plantain leaves, served with tomatillo sauce, saffron rice and sweet plantains. Not a Thai banana leaf fish; a gentle purity of flavor rings through every component on this plate.
Brazilian seafood moqueca (RM36): salmon and prawns in a non-fiery coconut curry with creamy honey-glazed butternut squash and toasted coconut flakes. Another understated recipe, but with a cascade of subtly sweet-savory grace notes.
Completing our triumvirate of seafood with tangy freshness: prawn ceviche, cured with lime juice, tossed with tomatoes, onions, coriander and extra virgin olive oil.
Argentinean Finca las Moras San Juan Shiraz Rose and Spanish Gran Feudo Navarra Granacha.
Circus Bistro Lounge and La Boca Latino Bar,
Level Three, Pavilion Kuala Lumpur.