Tell us about CIRCUS, what did inspire you to start it?
The inspiration came from a wedding I went to in Thailand, where young and old danced the night away to the early hours. Everybody had so much fun.
I wanted to create a venue which combined drinking, dining and dancing under one roof. The entertainment seemed a natural complement to this and get everyone to that ‘let your hair down and get up onto the table’ atmosphere.
All the dining cabaret experiences I had had before felt very much like a theatre with food. I didn’t want the performances to be overwhelming or intrusive, so we limited them to 5 minutes and they help build the excitement throughout the night.
What is unique about the restaurant?
We were the first to do many things, but our stage/dining table is surely one of our most memorable features. The quartz catwalk on wheels was bespoke built especially for this space by aerospace designers. It acts as both the stage for our entertainment and as a dining table for 28 front row diners.
How do you select the menu for the restaurant?
Having spent much of my life in Southeast Asia, a Pan Asian menu seemed the perfect fit, and my exec chef Andrew Lassetter is one of the best there is with those cuisines.
What is your signature dish that everyone has to try?
My favourite is the Black Cod dim sum, but customers go wild for our fillet steak with caramelised soy. So take your pick.
What would you say has been the most memorable experience while developing this business?
Wow, it’s been a long journey. I think seeing a 92 year old man dancing on the stage to celebrate his birthday and the whole restaurant cheering him on. The whole thing happened very organically and in the end his daughter had to drag him off!
What are your future plans?
Right now I have just opened my new venue Bronte next to Trafalgar Sq, which is taking up most of my time. There have been rumblings about a Circus in USA, but we never found quite the right site. You’ll just have to wait and see.