22 Hollywood Road
Old-school American Diner charm has arrived in Soho’s Hollywood Road – and not a moment too soon. Set in a 19th-century-style railway dining car, Burger Circus offers magical burgers, fries and shakes with all the bells and whistles.
Part of the Black Sheep Restaurants group, Burger Circus majestically juggles fun, flavour, novelty and nostalgia. The juke box churns out a mix of 1950’s rock ‘n’ roll and 1980s fun pop while the busy servers whirl around every table with trays of warm juicy 5oz burgers and even warmer smiles.
The circus theme is not very evident in the dining car but comes alive on the menu. The Shark Rider ($88) tuna melt and The Flame Swallower ($88) spicy chicken burger sound fabulous but we felt we just had to dive in to more meaty classics.
The American Acrobat ($75) elevated the humble cheeseburger to spectacular heights, The Magician’s Maytag Blue ($88) with crispy bacon and Maytag blue cheese was another supreme balancing act while The Double Act ($98) itself was a juicy two-pattie delight under the big bun top! For a little lighter fun, The Cannonbowl is your favourite burger without the bun and as a salad with extra lettuce. Before ordering we were warned to keep our burgers half wrapped as the juices and special circus sauce squirt out with every bite – all part of the magic of Burger Circus. The fries were good but the onion rings were quite simply the best we have ever had – chunky, sweet onion in the crispiest batter; such a crowd pleaser.
Novel House-made Sodas also got our attention; the Strawberry Basil was light and fragrant as was the Ginger. Mandarin Creamsicle and Cherry Limeade also sounded inviting – maybe next time, with a shot of vodka ($30) for Dad, to spruce up the juice! Other drinks on offer include some show-stopping Shakes: Coffee Toffee Crunch was a bit like a high-wire act without the net – if this combo of coffee ice cream and toffee brittle was the last thing you ever tasted you’d die happy! The jars of candy on the counter were more than just for show, as Sophia chose a milkshake with M&Ms and later another one with Oreos; Mars, Kit Kat, Maltesers and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup were also on offer. For the grown-ups, Spiked Shakes incorporating your favourite cocktail are a wonderful late-night idea.
Burger Circus is a heavenly piece of nostalgic Americana and how fitting that it’s located in Hollywood Road. High on flavour and fun, it’s a magical treat for young and old.
Must-try dish: The Double Act with a side of onion rings
Karl Woodbury and daughter Sophia (8)