The Eating Out Scout: FullCircle

Tucked away in an industrial area at the bottom of Cardigan Road might hardly be where you’d most expect to find a wholesome, huge and delicious roast dinner. But sunk two metres deep in a sofa on Sunday, cup of tea in hand, I for one was most pleasantly surprised.

Utterly nondescript from the outside, save the 1950s ambulance parked by the door, inside FullCircle is a pretty incredible space. With projectors and paintings on the walls, jewellery and Star Wars collectables on exhibit and bars and a big balcony area which open up in the evening, it feels at once cosy and cool. Brickwork and a lofty corrugated warehouse ceiling clash brilliantly with a deli bar and sofas. The open kitchen is also a great and enticing feature, especially with all produce locally sourced and home-made.

The menu is therefore refreshingly dependent on the vegetables and ingredients available. Week day options include big breakfasts, soups, pies, stews, curry and vegan chilli, with prices averaging £6 a dish. On Sunday Super Lounge, it’s the classic roast dinner; our choice was between smoked chicken, beef, lamb, and a vegetarian or vegan nut roast. My companion’s lamb was beautifully cooked and tender; also not too fatty, which she assured me might easily have been a menace. I tried the vegan alternative, a risk as a meat eater, but which certainly paid off. It was rich, tasty and satisfying – a combination of polenta, vegetarian sausage meat and heaps of nuts. For accompaniments we were spoilt. Crisp and garlicky roast potatoes, mature cheesy cauliflower, soft cabbage, creamy carrot and swede mash…the only disappointment was perhaps the broccoli, and quite frankly, you’re often hard pushed to make that sparkle. The portion was enormous, a proper plate which then anchored you sofa with a groan and a grin. To pay £6.50 for it is also ridiculously good value.

For that is precisely the point of FullCircle, on a Sunday at least; a place in which to haul up and wile away the hours listening to the live jazz trio, reading the paper, soothing a hangover, being with the family you’ve made for yourself. The food is just one of many strings to FullCircle’s bow. It’s a “design emporium and multi-faceted creative hub” but somehow in no way is it pretentious, or try-hard edgy. It’s a cultural and community centre – a platform for people to run their own art classes, film clubs, gallery nights and events like Monocult.

On Sundays there’s a craft market from 11am, with the roasts available from 1pm-5pm, and Rock n Roll bingo from 5:30. There’s so much going on; the food is the tip of the iceberg. But it’s seriously such a great tip that it had to be shared.

Words: Anna Foster

Aire Place Mills, LS3 1JL

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