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The Square - London, England | Restaurant Review

Disappointing Dinner at The Square


Restaurant Category : French

The Square – London (Mayfair), England: Chic and trendy, The Square Restaurant, with its Two Michelin Star rating, is listed as one of the best restaurants in London. That of course meant, it was a restaurant that we needed to visit and write a restaurant review about during our long weekend in London.

We had booked our table in advance so when we arrived at The Square in London we were seated after just a very short wait. I took the opportunity to scan the restaurant; with about twenty tables, it was smaller than I expected. The dark and medium colored parquet floor was a nice accent to the white tablecloth covered tables and deep purple upholstered chairs.

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The table tops were set with fine crystal, china and silver and a large flower arrangement added to the upscale feeling. Some abstract art pieces hung on the walls. Along the front of the restaurant, a large window stretched from one end to the other; for maximum privacy, the bottom of the window was creatively covered, passerbys would not distract from the restaurant fine dining atmosphere.

Overall, The Square Restaurant had the upscale feel of a modern French restaurant in Paris, however, the clientele ranged from those dressed for a fine dining restaurant to a few dressed more appropriately for a burger joint. Sadly, this did take away from the overall tone of this upscale, fine dining restaurant in London. The staff however, was all perfectly dressed, the waiters and servers in sharp dark suits and the busboys in dark uniforms.

Once seated, we started with a glass of Rose Bollinger Champagne as we pursued the menu. We quickly made the easy decision and agreed we would have the 3 course dinner for £75. The harder part would be actually selecting which dishes we would have. The menu, as well as the wine list, was exasperating, everything sounded wonderful; how could we pick just one dish? As we reviewed the menu, our server brought us two small treats from the chef: squid ink with a thin pasta and foie gras. If everything was going to be this tasty, we were in for an enjoyable evening!

The starters menu had items like Terrine of Foie Gras with rhubarb, orange, honeycomb and sauternes; Tartar of Venison, Salad of Spring Vegetables, and Thinly Sliced Roulade of Middle White Pork.

The mains ranged from Fillet of Turbot and Sauté of John Dory to Breast of Duck, Loin of Lamb and Slow Cooked Veal Cheeks. Reading the menu put my taste buds in overdrive!

For starters I had the Lasagna of Dorset Crab with a cappuccino of shellfish and Champagne foam; my partner had the Sauté of Scottish Langoustine Tails with parmesan gnocchi and emulsion of potato and truffle (a £10)

My starter was a nice sized portion, but the taste was disappointing. The lack of flavor left me wanting. My partner’s langoustine had much more flavor, but the strong taste (and smell) of the truffle was a bit overwhelming. One course down; were we impressed? Not overly!

For my main dish, I had the Herb Crusted Loin of Lamb with creamed potato, grilled asparagus and artichokes. My partner had the Slow Cooked Veal Cheeks with crushed courgettes and a ravioli of sweetbreads and morels. With the help of the sommelier, we had ordered a bottle of 2002 Gevrey Chambertin to compliment our dinners.

My lamb was prepared just as I had ordered, medium-rare. It was juicy, tender and was a great cut of meat, but the seasoning again was dull and pretty much non-existent. As for the flavor of the loin of lamb, it was as average as average can be; it surely did not taste like loin of lamb from a two star Michelin restaurant. The best part of my main course was the creamy potatoes. Quite sad, that at a fine dining restaurant like The Square that the best part of my dinner was “mashed potatoes!”

My partner’s veal cheeks were just as unimpressive as my lamb. They were overcooked, dry and lacked flavor. What a disappointment our dinner was turning out be. Luckily, our red wine was lovely and did compliment our meals perfectly, even if we found them quite lacking. Disillusioned, we moved on to thoughts of dessert and hopes of a decent finish to the night.

The dessert menu had just as many options as the other courses, with dishes like Brillat-Savarin Cheesecake, Rice Pudding, Cocoa Crème Brulee, Tarte Tatin, and Warm Crushed Pear with a Truffled Honey Ice Cream to name a few.

I had the Cocoa Crème Brulee with Mocha Ice Cream and Walnut Oil Powder; my partner had the Rice Pudding Soufflé with Seville Orange Ripple and Dark Chocolate Ice Cream. My crème brulee was respectable, but not being a huge chocolate fan, I questioned why I actually ordered it in the first place. My partner’s rice pudding on the other hand was the hit of the night. Perfectly prepared, it quickly became our favorite dish of the whole evening.

At the end of the evening, after spending £160 on food, we felt ripped off and even taken advantage of; there is no way our dinner was worth £160. Now, was the food “off” because it was a Sunday evening and the most experienced chefs were off? I don’t know, but what I do know, is that we left The Square Restaurant in London completely disillusioned and unfulfilled. How this could be considered as one of the best restaurants in London, I will never know.

Our restaurant review rating for The Square in London is a low, between bombastic and not.

What I liked: The Rice Pudding

What I didn’t like: Most of the food, value for the money

Rating: Between Bombastic and Not (just points from our lowest score)

The Square Restaurant address and telephone number:
6-10 Bruton Street,
Mayfair, London,
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7495 7100
Fax: +44 (0) 20 7495 7150

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