The Square restaurant

On the last day of my holiday I decided to save the most interesting for last.  The Square.  I was last here several years ago and left not very impressed to be honest.  All my friends have implored me to give it another chance, so I decided that I would try.  Maybe they had an off day.DSC_6269

Off to a good start.  What a pretty plate!  Not square though and it has lots of circles.  With a restaurant with this name, I almost expected a plate in the shape of it’s namesake.  Maybe the name “the square” was a reference to “square” meals, I thought.  Hmmm..

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House bread.  Not bad.  A definite step up from Hibiscus and Dinner but not up to the heady heights of Fera.  Disappointingly not square either.

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The amuse bouches.  Rabbit nugget, something which tasted like the prawn crackers I used to have in Chinese restaurants in my youth (but much more refined).

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And a caramel wrap.  In particular, I noted to the waiter that the wrap was the same as the one I had previously raved about!  I still dream of this:

The egg spring roll I had on my previous visit.  It really blew me away then.  Read about it here.

I thoroughly enjoyed all of these.  The rabbit nugget (my plebeian name for the dish as I forgot what it is supposed to be called) seemed to be like a minute rabbit explosion in my mouth.  Best of all, it was a square!  I almost laughed to myself in childish delight over the shape.  But of course I didn’t show any sign of this.  I am of course too mature for that.  The prawn cracker was a lovely taste of the sea and a trip down memory lane for me.  The wrap was a lovely surprise with the caramel and nuts combining in the wrap to create a little crepe-like delight.

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Salad of potato with smoked eel, leeks, pollen and olive oil.  Now, I am not much of a fan of eel from the western world.  I recoil in disgust every time I am offered jellied eels.  Although I do love it when it is served in Japan.  My impression of western eel was that it tended to be oily and overly salted.  I was pleasantly surprised with this dish as the eel was light and cooked just right avoiding the rubberiness when this seafood is not treated right.  The potatoes and leeks provided a pleasant counterpoint to the meatiness of the eel.

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Pig’s head with poached apple.  Baked with a panko パン粉 (potato starch) lining and poached apple, to me as a pig (eating) lover, it was simply divine.  Especially when served with a little dollop of tonkatsu 豚カツ (fried pork cultlet) like sauce which is created by distilling Worcester sauce and then customizing the glaze with all of the little chef secrets.  It really took me back to the heady days of eating in Tokyo.

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Cod with potato, garlic, salsify and red wine.  I had a bit of a mediocre experience with the cod at Outlaw’s.  This was to prove far more tasty!  Besides being a glory to behold being so artfully arranged, the flavours all blended together to make this dish a greater sum than all its parts.   The creaminess of the potato complemented the thin slices of cod to provide a glue to the slippery and altogether delicious pieces of fish.

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Roast lamb with monk’s beard, garlic and capers.

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A little extra of heavenly potato mash with anchovies and monk’s beard to go with the lamb.  The creaminess of the mash with the crunch of the monk’s beard and smoothness of the anchovies created a delight for my sense of touch.  The lamb was perfectly cooked to a light pink which allowed the juiciness and taste of the lamb to shine through.  My only criticism was that I found the lamb and the mash slightly too salty for my liking but not enough to substantially detract from this dish.

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Apple tart with almond ice cream.  The waiter very helpfully offered to change the ice cream as my friend is slightly dairy intolerant.  Instead, he got a blood orange sorbet which he told me was excellent!  The tart tasted as if you had steamrollered an egg tart squeezing out all the extraneous matter to only leave the concentrated goodness of said dessert.  I loved my pizza apple!

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Truffle and jelly.  Smooth chocolate to start with, sweet squarish jelly to finish.  An excellent finish to lunch.

 

I think I can safely say that this was the best service that I have ever received in a restaurant.  The waiters made an effort to come and explain our food and engage in discussions about the finer details.  The front of house obviously knew exactly what was going on in the kitchen and was able to elaborate on the finer points.  Now, I know I am not the easiest conversation partner, so I found the warm attention throughout the meal and after to be above and beyond what I would expect at a restaurant.  I found the entire experience to be a good square meal, well deserving of their two Michelin stars.  I will definitely be back.

Set lunch was GBP37.50 excluding service and drinks.

 

A quiet eating 8.5/10.

 

The Square

6-10 Bruton Street

Mayfair, London

W1J 6PU

Square Meal

The Square on Urbanspoon



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