Posted 6th May 2010
Tucked away at the top of Park Street, this culinary gem deserves to shine. Suave and sophisticated, yet young and hip, Square, part of the Berkely Square hotel, brings together nouvelle cuisine and affordable prices.
The Chef’s Choice event, held once a month at this unstuffy members club, is the perfect opportunity to try something new. With a wine matched to each of the five courses, and at £50 a head all in proved too much to resist.
We chose to have a drink in the funky lounge before taking a seat at our table at our own leisure (the service was the laidback cool kind). Our large round table, complete with starched white napkins, a wine glass for each course and chilled water, provided a refreshing level of sophistication, without the stuffiness of some up-market dining rooms.
The menu for the Chef’s Choice night is a surprise, and we had no clue what we were about to receive until it was under our noses. The chef kicked off with a square of moist but crisp pork belly, served with clams in a crisp batter, with a chorizo and bacon foam – foodie heaven! The rich foam complemented the crisp saltiness of the clams and pork belly perfectly, and the wine served alongside was refreshing enough to provide balance.
Next up was a goats cheese concoction of miniature, perfectly round sandwiches, coupled with micro leaves and balsamic dressing – delicious. My personal favourite was the third course, individual smoked haddock soufflés, which were light, fluffy and cheesy, served with a jug of parsley butter sauce on the side.
The main looked like something you would see served in a Michelin starred restaurant and was a beefy concoction including beautifully cooked fillet steak and a ravioli stuffed with tender shin of beef, on the side, succulent snails – the gravy was a bit rich for my taste, but the whole plate was a delight.
By the time pudding came around, we were all absolutely stuffed, so I wasn’t hugely disappointed when I discovered I am not a fan of parsnip ice cream – as inventive as it sounds, I just couldn’t cope with the idea of salt and sweet (fellow party members disagreed). The beetroot macaroon didn’t really do it for me either, but the chocolate component more than made up for it!
Coffees were served with homemade miniature cinnamon donuts, which almost tipped me over the edge, and we all left entirely satisfied, if not slightly squiffy considering each course came with its own well matched wine.
Verdict: Square is not somewhere I had visited before, but is definitely somewhere I will be visiting again. We can’t wait to try out their roast dinners, which at under £10 seem too good to be true and the terrace looks the perfect location to wile away sunny Saturday afternoons.