Across the UK many restaurants have reopened their doors, but it’s a tough time to be in the hospitality industry. With social distancing restrictions, and the looming threat of another ‘lockdown’ – even if it is a local one – means that restaurants have had to think outside of the box. Or even, inside.
Circa is tucked behind the High Street in a central location; they are an independent restaurant which has carved their name into the dining scene here in Exeter; ‘Where is a great place to get a steak?’ is a question I am often asked and always on that list of places, is Circa.
Circa have created a takeaway menu that can be delivered to your door. One of the highlights of this new menu is the DIY Steak Boxes; your chance to recreate the legendary, lovely Circa steak experience at home. We were gifted The Blowout Box which includes a starter, main and pudding for two.
It’s not just steak though, there are other options available that Circa have made at-home friendly. Click here to get to their takeaway order page to see for yourself what lies in store. My blogging partner-in-crime Lauren had a delightful Confit Pork Belly, skip to the end of this post for photos.
Circa use fresh local ingredients; this is one of the cornerstones of their ethos and why they are a firm favourite with city diners. The box comes with everything you need to recreate a Circa steak at home with minimal effort and maximum taste.
There is a bit of skill and care needed in cooking the steak and if you’ve never cooked a steak before, it’s dead easy, even for those who have cooked a steak before it’s helpful to have some instructions. Circa include them in with the box.
The starter is a very moussey Chicken Liver Parfait with Pickled Apple, Chutney, Butter and Rosemary Flatbread for a proper parfait party. Parfait party? James Beard award please, even I have impressed myself with that alliteration.
We matched our meal tonight with a nice light Pinot Noir from somewhere in Hungary. It wasn’t worth shouting about, but it really brought the meal together.
Cooking the steak was quick & easy. It came with beef butter which lubricated and smothered the meat as it sizzled, sounding like little claps. An applause almost. It needed a little time in the oven too, so make sure you have a griddle with an ovenproof handle!
The chips just need some time in the oven, before emerging like logs of crispy, moist potato.
The whole thing came together pefectly. A big thank you to Tori for cooking the steak so masterfully.
The DIY element of the steak box does mean there is a little bit of skill involved. If you’re a complete novice with very little confidence cooking steak, you won’t find it too difficult but you do need to follow the instructions to the letter.
As this is The Blowout Box, there is a pudding too. A traditional treat that is easily microwavable – a gooey sweet Sticky Toffee Pudding that just needs some microwave goodness. With a dash of brandy, this is a delightful, flavourful, steaming, blissful end to a very special meal.
Things I love about Circa’s Takeaway menu:
- The packaging is compostable and turns into soil within nine weeks. Anything that isn’t compostable is completely recyclable and can go in the recycling bin.
- The ease that it takes to get everything ready means you could most probably get away with having a glass of wine beforehand! The Confit Pork Belly only takes 15 minutes to get ready at home – grill skin side up to get crispy!
- No taste has been skimped on. This is just as delicious as you will find in the restaurant.
Lauren received one serving of the House Menu consisting of:
- Chicken liver parfait
- Confit pork belly with apricot, charred broccoli, pickled turnip and pork jus
- Lemon & elderflower sabayon
- Courgette, Labneh & radish salad with radish top vinaigrette, parley oil and herbs
- Fish Pie for 2 containing prawns, mussels, cod, haddock & salmon, side veg of cavalo nero, broad beans, peas and mint, fermented gooseberry sauce (the pie is frozen so great for when you need it!)
- Sticky toffee pudding and clotted cream
Everything was absolutely delicious and minimal effort, the pork belly especially was melt in your mouth with an intense jus – feast your eyes on her pics below….
Future plans for Circa? They have some exciting plans for reopening their restaurant soon – they will have transformed the upstairs space into a farm shop, deli and micro bakery and will be selling lots of homemade goodies (pickles, ferments, sauces, desserts etc.) and fantastic local produce, (meat, dairy, veg).
They are even making their own charcuterie to sell as well. The ready meals will soon stop (so get ordering asap!) however they will be launching an online shop, available for delivery locally and nationwide, selling provisions boxes made up from delectable goodies in the deli & shop, alongside continuing their DIY steak kits.
Visit their @Home page for tasty options