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6-10 Bruton Street
020 7495 7100
18 months after he bought The Square from chef Philip Howard and restaurateur Nigel Platts-Martin, Marlon Abela has put his own stamp on the famous Mayfair restaurant, re-opening it following a refurb and with a new chef. Clément Leroy has spent time in the kitchens of French legends such as Guy Savoy in Paris and has presumably been tasked with winning back the second Michelin star that evaporated when Howard left. Abela has said that The Square is “a modern take on haute cuisine”, which means that butter and cream are out and umami and a light touch are in over a four course à la carte (£95) or seven-course tasting menu (£110). Thus smoked Lincolnshire eel comes with caviar, potato and watercress (superbly subtle), red mullet is treated to a delicate Asian twist with aubergine, shiitake and Sarawak pepper, saddle of lamb gets its seasoning from razor clams and seaweed butter, while the flavour of salt-baked pineapple is amplified by salted butter ice-cream. This is top-flight cooking, to be sure, underscored by a deeply impressive Franco-Italian wine list that extends to almost 2,000 bins – but there was a sense of fun lacking on our visit; as at The Square of old, this sombrely furnished space remains a restaurant better tailored to a suited clientele on expenses than food-loving diners with personal accounts.
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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.
SquareMeal Award - Restaurant Of The Year
StreetSmart - London restaurants
Best Haute Cuisine
Best Wine Lists
Best Modern European restaurants in London
Best in Mayfair
Best restaurants for business
SquareMeal 3 Stars
Best French Restaurants in London
6-10 Bruton Street
020 7495 7100
Green Park Tube Station 525m
Bond Street Tube Station 558m
Medici Gallery 64m
Mon-Sat 12N-2.30pm 6.30-10pm (Fri -10.30pm Sat- 6-10.30pm)
Food & Drink:
Rate & Review
Food + drink: 5
excellent lunch menu. Langoustine salad had some wonderful surprise flavours and generous as well. Guinea fowl 3 ways delicious with strong umami taste to the sauce and fabulous mashed potato and green sauce. Pudding and cheese both ok and good coffee. Three of the cheaper white wines were not available but the rustic french red was greatly enjoyed. Will be going yet again
The main surprise here was that the restaurant was far from full, which is apparently the norm in January after the end of year rush, and yet another surprise was that the six-course lunch tasting menu was such a reasonable price, so we happily opted for that as we had sufficient time before our next engagement. The wine flight would certainly have been over the top, so we chose a half bottle of an excellent Condrieu to accompany the first three courses and a glass of brilliant Brunello to go with the main course and the cheese. We liked: the amuse-bouche of chicken consommé with its super pickled walnut jelly, crunchy fried onion and butternut squash purée; the flaked salt-cured cod which combined beautifully with a bright red juniper sauce, raw chestnut, chestnut cream, fresh leek hearts and heritage potato; the slow-cooked (waterbath) duck egg and its Speck crumble, "melted onions", chanterelles, and the nice touch of some Poilâne toast as a soldier for dipping; the flame-grilled mackerel, as superb as we expected and enhanced with an excellent vegetable mixture, beach herbs, chives and delicious mussels; the ox cheek main course which deserves Oscar status, slow-cooked overnight in veal stock, chicken stock, beef stock and vegetable stock and then glazed with a fabulous reduction of the stock to yield a texture to match the deep, rich flavour, contrasted with the baby shallots and turnips and the perfect potato mousseline; the generous and classy cheese plate, often a supplement elsewhere, made up of Stilton, Waterloo, excellent Comté and Monrachet goat's cheese and some hazel nut toast, light oat cake and raisin bread to help it down; the surprising dessert of good, light clementine and camomile fool cleverly accompanied with wild thyme and a touch of olive all amazingly perfectly in balance and well served by the tiny macarons and tasty tuile; the chocolate rock and caramel marshmallow with the very good coffee.
We were not so keen on: there were, however, two fairly minor niggles, namely that, even with our preference for not being rushed, we found the initial tempo to be dragging on, and not all the staff managed to impress and it was noticeable that some did not last the whole lunchtime shift.
Nonetheless, this was a seriously good dining experience which echoed our view of our previous meal at The Square.
Food + drink: 2
Disappointing. While the food was pleasant, and service was excellent (once they bothered to notice me), pleasant should not be the standard for a restaurant which charges 50 pounds for two courses and a single glass of wine (at lunch).
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