6-10 Bruton Street
Tel. 020 7495 7100
Food type: French
Nearest tube: Bond Street
Website: The Square
We have just returned from a nice holiday away to the Far East. I will update the blog with a few of our meals out there. In the mean time, I have a back log of meals to cover from before we headed off for our vacation.
I popped in to the Square for a cheeky Saturday lunch as I was around the area looking to purchase a suit for my sister’s wedding. A quick phone call confirmed that they had a table free so I made no hesitation in heading there. I was greeted by familiar faces, none more so than sommelier Mohammed whom I have not seen during my last couple of visits to the Square. After exchanging pleasantries, I was shown to my table and with a nice cold glass of ’05 Dom Perignon in hand, started to make the difficult decision of what I would be eating.
A few nibbles were brought to the table including the signature foie gras cornetto and squid ink cracker with taramasalata but what caught my eye was the seasonal cep cracker with truffle cream which had good earthy flavours. After much deliberation (and munching of my canapés) I settled to go for the 3 course a la carte option as I was drawn towards the daily special. However, Gary would have none of that.
First off, an ‘amuse bouche’ of sardine with tomatoes was offered up which I happily demolished. This really reminded me of my childhood as my mom would often serve up some sardines with tomatoes and onions. Of course the version here is a lot more sophisticated with the oiliness of the fish perfectly balanced the gentle pickling and the sweetness coming from the tomatoes.
On to my starter of Strozzapretti with Alba White Truffle which was brought to the table with a cloche covering the plate. The cloche is lifted so that the diner can enjoy the intense aroma of the truffle. I still remember a few years back, spending a day with Gary in the kitchen of the Square making strozzapretti (amongst other things) so it something I will always order when I see it at the menu here. By keeping the dish simple – pasta and aged parmesan, the white truffle is allowed to shine.
Next was a fish course of mackerel with eel. If there is another restaurant in London which cooks mackerel better than at the Square, I have yet to find it. The fish is cooked just to the point where the flesh has barely set and turned opaque but the natural oils of the fish has melted to add to the juiciness of the fish. Of course, Gary adds his little touch with a miso glazed eel which was another umami-bomb.
My main course was an absolute joy to eat – short rib of Dexter beef with sweetbread. The restaurant gets the beef from a small supplier in Cornwall who also supply the Ledbury. We are talking really small supplies here because they are only allocated two ladders of ribs a week. I don’t need Gary to tell me that these ribs are heavily marbled as they taste absolutely amazing – beefy, meaty but simply melt-in-your-mouth tender. Alongside is a huge nugget of sweetbread, perfectly caramelised on the outside but soft and unctuous in the centre. With such a magnificent dish, Mohammed was on top form, suggesting a Clos Rougeard “Le Bourg” 2004 which drank amazingly well with the cow.
The Brillat Savarin Cheesecake is still mysteriously missing so I opted for a Damson Soufflé to conclude my meal. In my opinion, the Square makes the best soufflés in town (sorry Koffmann’s you come a really close second) based on its lightness but still packing a mean punch.
Absolutely filled to the brim, I passed on petit fours. Gary was cooking in the kitchen today so I managed to have a quick catch up with him after my lunch. I really like the direction of the cooking that the Square has adopted since Gary has come on board as head chef. In particular, his use of Asian flavours has really added a new dimension to the cooking here. Now if only someone could get that cheesecake back on the menu!!!!