Monday, 4 December 2017

The Square

The great come back?

Marinated Scottish langoustine, hibiscus, citrus

If you are a serious foodie and lives in London, the chance is you will know about The Square, an iconic restaurant in the fine dining sector in the UK. Once owned by the double Michelin starred chef Philip Howard before it was sold to a fine dining restaurant group called MARC in 2016, it went through a sketchy patch with a replacement chef coming in leaving due to personal reason. However, it appears MARC is determined to regain The Square's formal glory and has appointed a new Executive chef from France and redesign the dining room completely to a more urban, dark and modern look and feel. New chef Clement Leroy earned a Michelin star for Auberge du Jeu de Paume back in France before taking on his new role at The Square.

amuse bouche
Hand picked Devon crab Beetroot, iced coral
Baby violet artichoke Confit quail egg, trompettes
Seared Orkney scallop Marsala, hazelnut, green coffee bean
Roasted milk-fed veal sweetbread Squid, black truffle
Pan-fried foie gras Apple, mango, ginger
Pan-fried Yorkshire roe deer Salsify, lemon, praline

Over the two visits, I opted for the a la carte on both occasions and got the chance to try most of the dishes on the menu. The langoustine was refreshing and sweet, the addition of citrus and hibiscus added such a delightful summer tone which really brighten up my palate.
The roasted veal sweetbread has star quality written all over it, it was seasoned perfectly and worked in harmony with the tender squid, the extra touch of earthy aroma from black truffle also added a richness to the dish. I was also a massive fan of the Yorkshire roe deer, it was so tender and rich in taste with just a hint of nutty flavour coming out from the praline, it was a proper winter meaty treat. The dessert failed to hit the high standard, however, the chocolate grand cru with pistachio was thick and sickening, very overpowering and tasted just like a standard chocolate ganache.

preview of John Dory...
...with Celery, sea urchin, lychee
Rare Kentish lamb saddle...
...with razor clams, seaweed butter, savoy cabbage
Roasted Cumbrian beef sirloin Braised cheek, Swiss chard, bone marrow
Chocolate grand cru Pistachio, red shiso
Trinket box Quince, beer, charcoal meringue

All in all, even at its soft launch days, I actually found the food very enjoyable and very technically sounded, especially the savoury dishes. The desserts weren't as strong but overall, this is the kind of modern cooking that displayed great skills and a touch of imagination which warrant a Michelin star easily. The big question I guess is, would I come back to pay the normal price? The answer is a yes, but only if they can polish off the dessert to a higher standard. On a side note, the service level could be a notch better too, it seems that are short of staff and it does take a while to attend our needs on a number of occasions. It was decent at best for a standard fine dining restaurant, but I am sure MARC wouldn't settle just for average standard and aspire to turn The Square into something really special and once again becoming a dining destination.

Food 4/5

Executive chef: 

Clement Leroy

What I paid: 

£78 pp with a glass of wine (soft launch offer)

Average cost without drinks and services:

£37 set lunch menu
£110 tasting menu

6-10 Bruton St, Mayfair, London W1J 6PU

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