Monday, August 16, 2010

Il Circolo

Il Circolo
22 Angove Street
North Perth
(08) 9328 7667

1. Comfort & surroundings

Alexander: Il Circolo is on Angove Street in lovely North Perth. Incidentally, our very first breakfast blog review all of those months ago was just down the street at Milk'd, so it was nice to return to the area to try a new venue (ahh, memories). I really like the general surrounding and Il Circolo fits in nicely on the Angove Street coffee strip. The place gives off a casual, rustic vibe, with polished floorboards, exposed brick and blackboard menus. Definitely cool without trying to be cool. My only complaint is that it was freezing on this particular morning, so the expanses of wood and brick needed some sort of heating device - a wood fire would be ideal but I would've settled for a space heater - to temper the cold. Or, at the very least, someone could have closed the door! The practical effect of this was food that got cold before it was eaten - see below. 3 out of 5.

Lola: I'm not sure to what extent a troublesome back at the time of our visit is impacting on this score, but I'm going for a 2.5. While I enjoyed the rustic setting which was reminiscent of a little Italian trattoria, I consistently felt awkwardly exposed and in the way, especially as it got busy towards the end of our visit. As Alexander mentioned, the draft was irksome, also. But the visit wasn't unpleasant, just mediocre.

2. Service

Alexander: I had never been to Il Circolo before, so as I peered in the door, I wasn't sure what the deal was. Take a seat anywhere? Please wait to be seated? Obviously, not hard to work out, but it would have been nice if the guy behind the counter had said "Welcome, feel free to sit wherever you'd like". Instead, I got a stare. Not a good start. After deciding what we wanted from the blackboards, located above and below the counter, I went up to order. The menu items all have Italian names, but I wasn't getting any help from the guy, so I just felt awkward once again. Story of my life, but not what I want at breakfast. To be fair, the food came out very quickly after we ordered, and it's not like anyone was unpleasant. But I know much friendlier cafes in Perth. 2.5 from me.

Lola: I had less contact with staff - waltzing in and heading directly for Alexander's table and not doing the ordering (see back, troublesome). I did, however, get smiles after eye contact and helpful directions to the bathroom on request. I'll go a 3.5.

3. Tastiness

Alexander: I ordered the funghi strapazzat which was scrambled eggs with sauteed mushrooms, served on ciabatta bread. The mushrooms were the highlight - I don't know if they were Italian style or what was going on, but they were a bit different from all the other breakfast mushroom dishes I've experienced. Tasty. The eggs were good too. Ciabatta is never my favourite (too many holes to properly complement eggs), but I could look past that. What I couldn't look past, however, was the fact that my dish was cold before I finished it! Lola will attest to the fact that I'm not a slow eater, either. This would have been a 4, but eating cold eggs isn't nice. So I'll give it 3.5.

Lola: Damn, I regret not sampling some of these mushrooms of A's! Will have to go back. My dish on this particular morning was the asparagi alla fiorentina. You can see from the picture that this consisted of a mound of asparagus spears over two poached eggs and slivers of ciabatta toast. The asparagus was sweet and a nice level softness without being mushy and the eggs were beautifully poached. Now, I should probably reveal to you my feelings about toast and bread. I'm one of those people who doesn't really love her bread products. I know, I know, many of you must think I'm crazy, especially as a breakfast lover. It just doesn't agree with me and I don't feel it offers me enough in terms of flavour and enjoyment to warrant a stomach ache and subsequent feeling of lethargy. There are exceptions - fresh, top quality baguettes (like at our last breakfast adventure); chunky, deliciously tasty brown bread; dense loaves filled with seeds and grains; you get the idea. These shaves of ciabatta were clearly just there as a vehicle and not as a taste sensation. They were quite crispy and dry and resultantly I was a little disappointed. Overall a 3.

4. Drinks

Alexander: Solid long black. Enough said. 3.5.

Lola: I've recently returned to the world of coffee after about 6 years of absence. The flavour is what got me back, that delciousness calling my name. Upon my return it appears I am much, much fussier than ever before but, luckily, Il Circolo delivered. My flat white was quite tops! A 4 from my side of the table.

5. Fiscal matters

Alexander: Il Circolo is well-priced given the location and the quality of the ingredients. My breakfast cost a mere $12! Other dishes were similarly well priced. Good value - 3.5 from me.

Lola: The servings are not huge, but they are no smaller than they should be. In fact, they are quite appropriate in my opinion. So, while you might not be getting as much in terms of quantity at Il Circolo when compared with other breakfast venues, the prices are also lower. My dish came in at $12.50 which was a nice change. I'll have to give a 4 in this department!

The verdict...
Comfort & surroundings: 5.5/10
Service: 6/10
Tastiness: 6.5/10
Drinks: 7.5/10
Fiscal matters: 7.5/10
TOTAL: 33/50

Il Circolo on Urbanspoon

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