About a week ago, W and I went to Circuz Japanese Noodle Bar and Grill in Glen Waverley for our combined birthday dinner. I wanted to try this place not because of its popularity but merely because I was intrigued by the change of food type and the mixed reviews on the internet. Some of you might know, Circuz used to be a Modern Italian restaurant, in fact, it’s still in The Age Good Food Guide as just that. After speaking with the waiter, I found out that the ownership did not change (thus the restaurant name remained the same) but food changed from Italian to Japanese at the beginning of this year.
As we walked through the door, the remaining Italian decor of the predecessor jumped out at me, from the wrought-iron doors to the stripy walls and the somewhat cafe/bistro feel all seemed a little out of place. However, I can also see the odd Japanese decorations placed around the room and thought perhaps with time, we’ll be able to appreciate the ambience of an authentic Japanese eatery to match their delicious food.
Food was not the cheapest around, but it was definitely scrumptious. We decided to order a number of entrees and only one main so we can enjoy the large variety of dishes Circuz offered. The first entree was Gyu Tataki (one of my all time favourite things to order at Japanese restaurants) for $8.90. This dish was the highlight of the day and is probably one of the better gyu tatakis I’ve had. I loved the Spanish onions on top which added an aromatic/herby taste and was just perfect when mixed together with the sauce and egg yolk. The beef was cut very thin and melted in my mouth…I’m drooling just thinking about it…
Next was the Sushi (entree size) for $12. It wasn’t the best sushi I had but it was passable. I felt the fish to rice proportion could have been improved and perhaps the fish could be cut a bit thicker so the fish taste is stronger. Also, the rice was a bit warm for my liking (but I guess this can be a personal preference? :S).
We also ordered a Takoyaki (octopus balls) for $7.50. You get 7 or 8 pieces of grilled balls filled with batter, spring onions and baby octopus pieces topped with okonomiyaki sauce, Japanese mayo and katsuobushi (dry fish shavings). I liked Circuz’s version of takoyaki because I could taste the chewy and juicy octopus inside compared to some places that are not as generous. But overall, the takoyaki was quite normal.
Another Circuz specialty (as its name suggests) is the skewers from the grill. As there were so many to choose from, W and I decided to order the safest – the mixed grill platter ($25). We got two of each of the following: prawns, scallops, chicken, beef and zucchini on a bed of salad with 3 sauces (mayo, sweet chilli and teriyaki bbq). I liked the seafood and zucchini skewers more because they were juicy and cooked to perfection whereas the meats were slightly dry and overcooked. Nonetheless a very nice dish.
We didn’t stop there! Next up was our main (which we shared) – Sukiyaki with rice ($23 + $2). Both W and I didn’t like this dish as much because…well frankly, it just didn’t look that good and tasted quite average. By the end of this dish though, we were both very full (we sure eat a lot for two Asian girls).
I wanted dessert no matter what (it’s so much happier when you end the day with something sweet :D) so we ordered the special of the day – black sesame pudding with vanilla ice cream ($7.50). It was totally delicious! So delicious that I was almost not satisfied just sharing the plate with W.
I also wanted to mention how good the service was. Perhaps it was my huge DSLR + lens that did the magic or the fact that there weren’t that many customers, it was a Monday night after all (or maybe they were just awesome waiters :D) but we almost never had empty tea cups all night. Every now and then the waiter would come and fill it up for us in a totally unobtrusive way. I was quite impressed and wanted to take a photo of him pouring tea (to the waiter’s dismay of course because I was oh SO very slow) and made him spill tea all over the ground – sorry!! It wasn’t even a great photo in the end because I forgot my lens hood and polarising filter. 🙁
Overall I was very impressed with the service and the food. Ambience might not be the best, but at the end of the day, it’s the food and service that matters more! Keep up the good work and I highly recommend it to people in the vicinity wanting great Japanese food.
Circuz Japanese Noodle Bar & Grill
Phone: 9560 8666
193 Coleman Pde, Glen Waverley VIC 3150