Sunday, 9 December 2012

Circa, The Prince - Melbourne - 2 Acland Street, St Kilda

Circa, The Price has had a number of lives and this time he is Asian.

The cuisine is upmarket hawker style food.

There is a lot of choice on the menu and honestly the waiter was a bit hopeless in helping us make our selection. "This is good, that's good, that's good in fact all of it's good."


We tried pretty much all the starters including wagyu tacos, soft shell crab with kimchi, pork buns and trout tartare.  All of it was good - the waiter was right.

Our mains of hainese chicken, szechuan fish and noodles were also good but we couldn't help but wonder:

Where is the originality in these dishes? With so many fancy pork buns, homemade noodles and crab rolls around town at the likes of Golden Fields, when do we draw the line and say "hey, I can get this for $8 in Chinatown, why should I be paying $40 for this dish?"

The desserts were good but those who ordered the pavlova were actually after pavlava and not a deconstructed pavlova that resembled pannacotta. "They should say that it is deconstructed and not expect that a few chards of meringue will do" one of them commented.

The salted caramal dessert was nice but the pineapple all around was just wrong.

As for the service, one of my friends said it was "profoundly empty." And I added "emptiness in the service like the patrons."  A bit discriminatory but this place is full of women with their hair done for the day and perfectly manicured in nails and in chest.

In summary, a big place with vacuous people eating street food to feel cultured.

But no lack of depth when it comes to your pockets - $135 per head for lunch with a few bottles of wine amongst 7 people.

Better if you have not been to Asia just before paying a visit to the Prince.

Circa, the Prince on Urbanspoon

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