The Square: Your month's quota of butter, sorted.
Bearing two Michelin stars and having been around for 25 years, The Square is a London star in its own right. It's busy when we arrive for lunch, I'm surprised for the first Saturday of the year; everyone's usually still out of town. That said, there are quite a few out-of-towners here, too. A few glasses of Chartogne-Taillet make for a beautiful start. I've never tried this Champagne from Merfy in NW Reims, and it's a winner, not to mention, surprisingly good value.
It's a tasting menu sort of day, just the post-Christmas indulgence necessity. 'Snacks' are mainly of the cracker variety, with seeds, dusts and gels galore, and all of which are wonderfully gluten free.
Whilst pleasant, a 'sun choke' salad with Iberico is forgettable, except for its fresh popping colours on the plate. Smoked Lincolnshire eel is rather stunning, and light too. 'Light' is a rarity at this lunch.
Now we're entering the truffle zone, and there's no turning back. If Darty brought me a Bantam egg with sweet squash, salty Iberico, crunchy nuts and truffle for breakfast, I would marry him tomorrow. He confirms that Crab lasagne with shellfish and Champagne foam is as luxurious as it sounds. Apparently, it's a bit of a signature dish for the Square, and I can see why.
A generous slab of foie gras delights, but a mouthful would've done me just fine. Despite the heady truffle, a meaty langoustine blini type thing with shallot rings lightens the moment, so much so that it's my favourite dish of the day. This is short-lived, as milk fed Pyrenean lamb trots into town with a buttery Périgord Truffle mash. My word, this is intense. Before I can say 'truffle shuffle', a chunk of Brie de Meaux arrives with a thick layer of truffle sandwiched in the middle. Dammit, I forgot about the cheese course! I dig deep and manage some of this, all of the truffle, natch.
We're onto the final furlong now, meaning it's a melange of mango parfait with coconut. Earl Grey souffle with bergamot hangs me out to dry whilst Darty endures a messy showdown with the Square's take on Tiramisu.
Starting 2016 with lunch at The Square is a punchy interpretation of the start-as-you-mean-to-go-on approach. Indeed, the butter may have been in abundance, but it was good butter, and who goes lunches on a detox anyway?
Five Very Kerri things about The Square
- A new Champagne to try
- Uncomplicated brave flavours
- Unabashed use of truffle
- The plating
- The Manager