Alla piogga lunch - Circa

Unfortunately Monday’s deluge coincides with a planned al fresco meal at Lewes’ most renowned restaurant, Circa. We make do with a table by the window, overlooking the statue-filled garden, which we watch getting greener. Circa have introduced a specially priced summer deal whereby you can have main course and a pudding for £12.95. A pleasant Polish waitress arrives with the menu: there are three choices for either course. I go for the confit duck-leg, celeriac seaweed, fondant potato and onion oyster roll (should cost £13.75) and the goat’s milk pannacotta, saffron crunchy and poppy orange jelly (£6). We splash out on a bottle of Italian chardonnay (at £12.95 the cheapest on the list).

The duck’s succulent, and the celeriac seaweed, a kind of chic leek, has that taste explosion properly cooked Chinese boiled vegetables give you. The most exciting element of my pudding is the gold-coloured saffron crunchy, which sticks to your teeth like Dime Bar. I attempt to snap half of it in half so Nick can taste it: it explodes into what might best be described as smithereens. No matter. In return I get a try of his fruit pudding in cinnamon tempura, a kind of posh man’s Christmas pud. On leaving, the Polish waitress asks me if I’m from South Africa. I tell her I’m from Lewes. Soon after I realise my front is covered in saffron crunchy crumbs, melting in the rain.

Circa: Fowl weather, nice food
St Andrews Lane, Lewes
When? Lunch 12-2.15, dinner 6.30-9pm
How Much? £12.95 for 2-course meal.

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