Circo is a stunningly unique, show stopping spectacular extravaganza of a place, with a unique circus theme that you won’t find elsewhere in the city. Set in the heart of Liverpool’s Albert Dock, they grab your attention from the moment you walk in with a vivid decor and inspirational dishes on the menu. Their restaurant, 1770 is named so in honour of the wondrous, Philip Astley; the father of the modern circus. 1770, the year circus was born.
The night we dined in Circo, a Friday, hadn’t got off to the best start. We had tickets to see Maroon 5 in the Echo Arena, so wanted to dine nearby, but at the last minute, the concert was cancelled. We were both pretty disgruntled and upset but we still wanted to make the most of the night so we kept our Circo booking and stepped into their world of mysticism and whimsy.
Though we had booked a table for two, we managed to persuade my friends sister to join us and the staff were more than happy to move us to a bigger table and wait a little longer for her to arrive too, before taking our orders. The restaurant wasn’t busy. Remember that.
Once all three of us were settled and catching up, we ordered food and drinks. Though I was tempted by a few things on the menu, one item kept coming out of the kitchen that looked pretty delicious; the pizzas. We started with some cheese-topped garlic bread which was ok, nothing too special and was pretty small compared to ones I’ve had elsewhere for sharing. For my main, I ordered a parma ham, mozzarella, roasted tomato and fresh basil pizza with a side of sweet potato wedges.
Then the waiting game began. When you’re talking and catching up then time doesn’t matter, but when you start to feel that familiar twinge of hunger and realise your wine going down a little too quickly, you start to wonder where your food might be.
Eventually, the food came. My pizza was nice enough, but the parma ham seemed saltier than usual. I have to admit, I was pretty underwhelmed by it, I’ve had better that didn’t cost me £12.50. The crispy wedges were really nice, but quite a few of them were quite soggy.
It took some time, again, but we managed to have the plates cleared and dessert ordered. Considering it still wasn’t busy, we could never seem to find a waiter or waitress, it was starting to feel like a game of Where’s Wally.
Dessert isn’t on the menu, this confused us as there was no specials board or anything but eventually someone told us that dessert changes daily and out of that night's options, we all went for the chocolate fudge cake with vanilla ice cream.
Again, we waited. I don’t mind waiting, I’m English, I can wait, but we couldn’t even put in another drinks order as there was just no-one about to order from. By this point, we had been in Circo for almost 2 hours.
When dessert came I was initially really impressed, the slice of cake I had all to myself was huge! We’d ordered one each but two people could have easily shared one slice. The cake was put down so quickly that the waiter raced off before we could even ask for a drink, and the cake though tasty enough, was quite dry, even with the ice cream.
Then the real waiting game began. It took almost an hour to not only get the bill, but the card machine to pay too. Thirsty, fed up and with our bums going numb from sitting down for so long, it wasn’t the magical, whimsical experience I’d been expecting.
Circo do have entertainment but you have to book a dinner show slot, and the shows only run on certain nights. Maybe with a little entertainment we might not have minded sitting around for so long.
Not the worst meal I’ve ever had but not the mind-blowingly best either. Would I go back? Maybe to the bar for a drink but I doubt I’ll be going back for a meal anytime soon.
What’s the longest you’ve waited in a restaurant for something before complaining or giving up?
Until next time,