Hg2 : The Hedonist


Burlesque, drag and aerial shows; the carnivalesque concept behind Circus, a sleek new restaurant/bar tucked away on Endell Street, can swing one of two ways. While thrill-seeking spectators will love the gimmicky, somewhat voyeuristic nature of Circus, hard-nosed critics seeking serious substance are likely to pan the place without so much as a mouthful of its lipsmackingly good pan-American fare. And that would be a great shame, as the food – overseen by former Gaucho chef Nik Biok, no less – is every bit as delectable as it reads on the descriptive matte menu; think belt-bursting comfort food, with sexy starters such as Smoked Stuffed Chicken Wings, Chipotle Tamarind, Lime Relish and Sour Cream, and mouthwatering mains such as Slow Roasted Beef Short Ribs, Guava and BBQ Glaze. Desserts are no less decadent, with wicked temptations such as Peanut Butter and Chocolate Brownie to lure you from your calorie-controlled diet. Going wild, it seems, is the order of the day here. Legendary British designer Tom Dixon is the man behind the décor, with interiors that are as dazzling as you’d expect; a secret entrance on the street opens into a darkened club-like reception area, with heavy double doors giving way to a stark concrete dining room filled with Louboutin-wearing media types. Dozens of mirror balls hang overhead in the bar, while row after row of synchronised lights are embedded on the wall in the lounge area; there’s even a pole for stripping, should you have one two many glasses of Champers and wish to remove a layer or three. And Circus’s theatricality doesn’t stop there, with showstopping entertainment punctuating dinner at regular intervals; diners sat on the longest table in the room get the best view, with an aerialist jumping up onto a silver hoop suspended directly above. With the lights dimmed, the music cranked up and the shutters to the open kitchen firmly closed, the performer works the hoop like something out of Cirque du Soleil. Which is hardly surprising, considering a number of performers have been pinched directly from the world’s most famous travelling circus. Indeed, if gravity-defying acts such as these don’t make you put down your knife and fork then it’s quite possible that nothing will. Open for lunch and dinner, and to those who just want liquid sustenance, Circus could quite possibly become the greatest show in town.

27-29 Endell Street,
Covent Garden
+44 20 7420 9300
Opening Times
Open: 6pm-midnight Tues, Wed and Thurs; 6pm until 2am Fri and Sat; closed Sun and Mon.
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