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After 25 years holding the reins, Phil Howard has left this haute cuisine thoroughbred and The Square has been bought by Marlon Abela, whose stable of pedigree restaurants includes The Greenhouse and Umu. Abela has installed Japanese-born Yu Sugimoto as executive chef, who arrives after heading the kitchens at two stellar establishments in France (Le Meurice in Paris and L’Espérance in Burgundy). Anglo-French food, executed to a rarefied level, remains the métier, though chef Yu has expanded the à la carte from three to four courses and diners can expect a ‘clean, sophisticated and precise’ cooking style. The seasonally pertinent menu might commence with marinated langoustine sandwich with mushroom, apple and coral mayonnaise, and continue with sugar-spiced foie gras with dates, pumpkin and Earl Grey tea, before a main course of roast turbot with squid, baby carrots and chicken jus. Tasting menus could incorporate signature dishes such as St Ives Bay lobster with Muscat grapes or red mullet wrapped in fennel branches. To finish, try one of the signature soufflés, perhaps Lorraine Mirabelle plum soufflé with caramelised oat ice cream. The trustworthy wine list, heady with great producers, has been expanded still further of late, and the quiet, civilised dining room is “ideal for business”, with staff gliding seamlessly between the widely spaced tables. All of this comes at a price of course, but the prix-fixe lunches don’t stint on the luxury – though the atmosphere is much better in the evening. In short, The Square remains “a seriously good dining experience”.
An incredibly well-put-together list. The Champagne selection is a delight, but the real highlight is Burgundy, with a section divided by different domaines as well as appellations. A good place to treat yourself.
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.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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