Circa Espresso is a testament to fabulous interior design and the ability to turn a narrow space into something very special. The normally bustling centre of Parramatta is deadly quiet on early Sunday mornings. And another plus is the fact that the parking structure directly adjacent to Circa offers 2 hours of free parking on Sundays. Almost as though SoS endorses them!
As they should, the barrista and coffee bar take prime position at the front. Walk through the eclectic interior featuring everything from gladiator helmets and cold drip makers to toy robots and medieval portraits.
We felt at home right away; Circa boasts a multitude of friendly staff. They offer plenty of seating on the sidewalk, throughout the interior and even passed the kitchen into a small dining room near the rear.
They pride themselves on their coffee here. You can try their house blend of Five Senses coffee (regular $3.50, large $4) or Single Origin (regular $3.50, large $4). The more adventurous may want to try the honey soaked loose leaf chai (regular $4, large $5).
Our Single Origin brew was certainly enough to put hair on our chests – robust and full bodied it gave us the welcome kickstart we needed.
Teas included Single Estate teas ($6) are available. The Single Estate blends are Green-Long King Special Grade, White Maikabari (oily mouthfeel and flavour of sweet summer fruits) and Oolong.
There is a nice selection of cold drinks as well – Charlie’s Organic Juices ($4), Charlie’s Quencher (lemonade and raspberry lemonade, $4.50) and freshly squeezed juice (varying types, $4).
Some of the fresh and cool dishes include bircher muesli soaked in milk, yoghurt honey, green apple, pear and served with fresh fruit and nuts ($9) and in house made breakfast granola served with poached fruit, seasonal fresh fruit, yoghurt and crushed pistachio ($10).
It seems like crushed pistachio is the flavour of summer 2012, we’re starting to notice it on a lot of menus.
We sampled the organic fruit and nut bread ($7) which comes with ricotta, fresh strawberries and a sprinkling of cinnamon and pistachio. This is topped with a touch of honey and makes for an astoundingly good, light dish. Even the bread by itself tasted delicious, with a dash of walnuts and fig.
One for the vegetarians (as long as you ignore the side of bacon we requested), the Porobello mushroom ($12) is stuffed with a decadent concoction: ricotta, walnuts and basil. The mushroom itself was juicy and bursting with flavour. Top this with rocket and a rich, scrumptious gorgonzola dolce and you have a dish to remember. The toast also had a flavoursome basil pesto.
Served in the pan it is baked in, is the baked eggs ($14). It isn’t as sauce-based as others I have tried and found that to be the only thing lacking – I wanted something to dip the delicious toast in! The flavours were great though – Sujuk (an Armenian sausage), Danish fetta, tomatoes and a healthy dash of chilli. I would have this again but there were also so many other dishes to return and try…
Dishes like the scrambled eggs with kipfler potatoes, shitake & enoki mushrooms, parmesan and silverbeet on sourdough ($14) or French toast with rhubarb compote, labne and crushed pistachio ($14).
There was very little not to like about Circa and I can definitely recommend that you pay them a visit. It’s comfortable, friendly and represents very good value for money.
Overall Rating: 22.5/25
Website: http://www.circaespresso.com.au/ and http://www.facebook.com/CircaEspresso?fref=ts
Phone: 0410 757 757 or 0414 477 812
Address: 21 Wentworth Street, Parramatta, 2150
Payment Options: Cash only