By Chiara Pannozzo
Having been a resident of Canonmills for nearly three years now, I can remember the numerous factors supporting my decision to finally grow up, sign on the dotted line, and jump on the proverbial property ladder. One of the draws to living in this area were the number of coffee shops and eateries, in particular the Circle Cafe. Having been a regular customer long before living in the vicinity, there was a reason I would spend my Sunday travelling in the opposite direction from home, being lured by Barry Bryson and his team’s commitment to excellent food.
After firmly establishing my Sunday brunch routine of eggs Benedict at The Circle, I had a number of reservations when I heard that Mr Bryson himself was selling up and moving onto pastures new. However, my visit last week affirmed that I had nothing to worry about, and my beloved Circle was still doing what it does best; delivering top quality, restaurant standard food at very reasonable prices.
The choices on the menu were varied, with a good selection of cuisine, plus a number of vegetarian options. Moments after we had taken our seats, friendly staff drew our attention to the specials board, talking us through the options. With mouths watering, we both chose from the day’s specials, as they sounded too good to miss. I opted for the 10oz rump steak, served with salad and fries (£10.95). Cooked medium-rare, as I had requested, the steak was perfect. The accompanying fries were crunchy and delicious, and the French style leaves in the salad were dressed with an olive oil and mustard dressing, which elevated the salad to something so much more special. My dining partner chose the fish and chips (£8.95), which proved to be another winner. The fish flaked beautifully under the batter, with not a single irritating bone to be found.
Since it was back to work for both of us, we stayed on the soft stuff, and each had a glass of apple juice with our meal (£2.00).
Unfortunately we were both too pressed for time to stay for dessert, but it was a real effort to leave without smuggling some of their spectacular looking cakes, which adorn the front bench, ready to tempt you.
There are very few places in Edinburgh where you can go, eat restaurant quality food and spend under £30. The Circle is one of those exceptions, where standards never falter and I have yet to leave disappointed. With an array of multicultural dishes to choose from, the Circle ensures it provides a range of options, making the hardest decision being which one to choose.
Suitable for disabled? Yes. There is one small step into the restaurant and all the tables are on ground floor, as is the bathroom.