The Square reviews
by tropicad, 15 Jul 2011
My wife found a hair in the amuse bouche, but put it on the side of her plate discreetly and kept quiet about her 'extra starter'. We had the 3-course Menu at £80 per head. The food was very bland and very, very boring. The menu planning was terrible - if you did not like lemon verbena, which I think was in at least 2 dishes, or girrolles (2 dishes) or truffle (2 dishes). Can the Chef not see his menu writing mistakes? Must admit service was good though.
Maybe we went to the wrong restaurant, but I expected something cutting-edge. Don't waste your money - Benares is much better and only round the corner.
by annalebrocq, 11 Jul 2011
by pholahan, 15 Apr 2011
The ambience at The Square is bright and noisy, like a Pizza Express. The food was worse than many restaurants without Michelin stars we've been to, and the service was terrible. It took two of us four hours to get through a three course meal on a Friday night, the service was that slow. In the end we went to the desk to pay the bill because we were so bored of waiting to pay. They didn't even ask us if everything had been alright - I guess they were scared of the answer!
So, if you're looking for somewhere dark and romantic with impeccable food and flawless service, then please, please go to Le Gavroche instead.
by carolinepobereskin, 29 Dec 2010
by Renaissance222, 18 Aug 2010
by jenssen, 18 Jul 2010
It was a Friday but the restaurant was empty. Service was non-existent, the manager was absent. The first course was barely edible and the second course was inedible because it was cold. When they brought the same meat re-cooked, it was still cold. We could not eat it and complained. It was explained to us that to serve the food hot, it would have to be overcooked! This is an incomprehensible explanation, especially for a 2-star Michelin restaurant. Needless to say, we left without eating.
Strongly advise that you don't waste your time or money going there. Quality has gone way down.
by bettylondonnyc, 18 Apr 2010
by benoit.faure, 28 Jan 2010
by ER, 06 Dec 2009
by vlodorp, 26 Oct 2009
by Milla "top london reviewer" (46 reviews), 19 Nov 2008
by Martin Cox, 20 Sep 2008
A smiling blonde hostess offers a chair opposite the wooden bar, and brings me something to drink while I wait.
It is a modern yet soothing space, with a fresh spray of orchids and pussy willows reflected in the mirror. Cream colored faux-stone flooring inlaid with black marble is underfoot.
The dining room has perhaps twenty generously sized tables, nicely spaced apart. There is a dark herringbone wood floor, and the room will be fashionably noisy later on as well-heeled couples drift in to fill the space.
Recessed halogen lights provide light and leave a feeling of pristine space. They subtly set off cream colored side walls hung with abstract modern paintings, interspersed with dramatic framed beveled mirrors on the back wall.
Gilt silk curtains and sheer shades are by the windows. Decorated half screens cleverly block the sight of the cars passing by, while allowing a demure peek at the building across the street.
The heavy, floor length, gray, square pleated tablecloths are topped by white linen. Wooden upholstered armchairs are more comfortable than they look.
Pink rosebuds in a vase are discreetly placed on each table. The pepper grinder and salt shaker are polished silver. The 'charger' plate has a beautifully decorated modern design on it, flanked by Christofle silverware.
The serving staff is dressed formally in black, wearing ties, and they all seem to have french accents, which may be a prerequisite for a Michelin 2 star restaurant in town.
The sommelier shakes his head in polite dismay as I decline wine, and brings a bottle of Speyside Glenlivet still natural mineral water to the table.
Large rounds of both unsalted and salted butter are brought on glass teardrop shaped dishes. From among four types of warm freshly baked bread that are offered, I choose walnut-raisin (sweet enough to have at breakfast)and a sourdough baguette. Both are light in texture, a nice intimation of things to come.
An amuse bouche is brought, five cunningly shaped, delicious, light, just crunchy enough, morsels of intriguing flavors I cannot identify.
As usual, I am a finicky eater. I have called ahead and begged the Master Chef, Philip Howard, to indulge me. He graciously complies, and we agree on a tasting meal . Let the pleasure begin :)
Each course is brought on a silver platter, a lovely formal presentation of the goodness to follow.
(It is actually beyond good. Read on, and I must warn you that you will be drooling before you are through.)
The first course is white asparagus veloute with cauliflower.
The second course is Scottish smoked salmon offset by tiny potato rounds garnished with chives. The plainness of the potato is a perfect offset for the delicate saltiness of the fish.
The third course is large, fresh green asparagus tips, lightly garnished with Parmesan and watercress, and accompanied by a lightly poached egg cunningly set in a delicate pastry shell. The rich flavor of the egg is an excellent offset against the cool vegetable.
(At this point, I already want to marry the chef, but the waiter regretfully informs me that he already has a wife.)
The fourth course is a garden salad. A tiny, fresh mound of leek hearts, charlotte potatoes, swisschard, artichokes with pickled beetroot, microherbs and dandelion. I squeeze the juice of a half of a lemon over it, and am in heaven.
The fifth course is a single, large poached rock oyster holding in its shell a light curry veloute, coriander, mousseline, and a pomegranate, caper and raisin dressing.
The sixth course is hand rolled farfalle pasta with an emulsion of winter vegetables (cauliflower, onion and green beans) garnished with Parmesan in an amazingly delicious butter sauce.
Once again, the blend of flavors and textures are exquisite. I shamelessly use the rest of my baguette to soak up some of the sauce.
Someone approaches the table, and my hand tightens on my fork, ready to poke anyone who dares to touch the plate. Mine, I think, too delicious, unwilling to give up a single bite to an overly ready busboy. Instead, it is another party of three diners -their hands are safe :)
Steaming hot, fresh mint leaf tea arrives, leaves steeping in the now familiar glass pot. A light golden sugar is in a frosted glass bowl.
The first of a series of desserts is brought.
Vanilla yogurt like none I've ever had (no aftertaste) is layered in a shot glass with rhubarb compote and blood orange foam. Incredibly light, the sour mixes perfectly with the sweet. A donut hole, dusted lightly with cinnamon, again contrasts perfectly with the yogurt. Warm versus cool, airy versus creamy.
The there is the airiest of passion fruit souffles, dusted with powdered sugar. Lime ice cream brings just the right hint of tartness. A coconut dusted meringue adds a hint of texture to offset the light-as-air creaminess of the souffle
Incredibly, there is more, and another small plate is brought.
Chocolate covered orange sticks are the best I've ever tasted, with each flavor distinct and perfect. There are also tiny truffles of some sort, perhaps coffee.
I ask now for hot jasmine tea - it is also perfect. (I'm not overusing the word - it is accurate each and every time)
Then as a finale, 5 lollipops of fresh fruit gellee are served, orange, strawberry, apple, passion fruit and Turkish delight.
The bill comes, and for a meal this extraordinary, at 111 pounds inclusive of everything, it is very reasonable.
I ponder how soon I can return.
by Loving Annie (7 reviews), 03 Apr 2008
by peterdoig (2 reviews), 28 Mar 2008
Starters were decidedly average on the whole - langoustine (which was tasteless), foie Gois (very good), and a mushroom salad. For the main course I shared lamb with my partner, which we were presented with and which was then taken back to the kitchen to be carved. 15 minutes later the lamb arrived with the other main courses - both lamb courses were cold. I immediately called our waiter back, who said we would have to wait as his head waiter was dealing with a big problem! 5 minutes passed and eventually the head waiter came to our table. I told her that both our dishes were cold. She offered us another course but said it would be a further hour until it would be ready!! We declined. My parent's sea bass was apparently good but nothing out of the ordinary. We passed on dessert.
The bill arrived - £450 for a bottle of wine + 4 full meals, with no reduction for the main courses that we returned. The maitre 'd was called and I queried the bill. Here's the reply: "We offered to cook you another lamb, so it's your problem that you refused [by now it was 11.15pm]." They refused to give us any refund until I dug my heels in and refused to pay the bill. Eventually they removed the charges for the 2 main courses that we never had but - in French - called me a "f**king a**hole" and various other comments in the same vein. I speak perfect French and understood every word they said about me.
I have never had a more disappointing meal, nor have I ever experienced worse service than I experienced tonight. If you are looking to impress a business client, take them to Nobu or Sketch or Le Gavroche (a true 2-star restaurant). If you're looking to impress a partner, take them to Nobu or Locatelli's.
How this restaurant got 2 stars, I have no idea. A bad meal is excusable, but the way they treated us is totally unacceptable. I've had meals in the past at the very best restaurants in the world and occasionally something isn't quite right and there's never a question about it - either a reduction in the bill or an acceptable alternative is supplied.
by bigdog (2 reviews), 28 Mar 2008
by baiji, 06 Mar 2008
by fernando51, 20 Jul 2007
by martinidoc (5 reviews), 14 May 2007
by Anonymous, 27 Apr 2007
Have we missed a great restaurant in London? Let us know.