This Mayfair stalwart reopened in November 2017 after a major refurbishment of its dining room and kitchen, with a new chef as well as a new look. The Square was purchased by the Marlon Abela Restaurant Corporation in March 2016 from Philip Howard, who ran operations for almost 20 years.
Harden's survey result
For 25 years we've been curating reviews of the UK's most notable restaurant. This year diners have submitted over 60,000 reviews to create the most authoritative restaurant guide in the UK.
“New owners and chef have a lot to do to reclaim the plaudits of old!” at this “grown up” foodie temple in Mayfair, where owner Marlon Abela took over a year ago from Phil Howard and Nigel Platts Martin: post-sale sceptics felt you “paid two star prices for nothingy food that wasn’t star quality”, and felt the switch had done nothing for the “sterile” ambience (never exactly a riot here). It seems that Abela has ‘smelt the coffee’ because replacement chef Yu Sigimoto left in August 2017 as the restaurant closed for a total revamp to re-open in October 2017 with ‘a new concept [that] will reflect an energetic, urban and contemporary attitude underpinned by elegant and luxurious style’. [Did he really write that? Ed]
This “classy” gastronomic temple in Mayfair was sold by its creators Phil Howard and Nigel Platts-Martin in Spring 2016 (just before this year’s survey). With its “very formal” (“dull”), style – underpinned by a “bible of a wine list” – it’s a shoe-in for the portfolio of new owner, Marlon Abela, who seems sure to maintain its business-friendly appeal. Whether the cuisine will hold up is less certain – hence we’ve left it un-rated – but one early report says it’s “still Fabulous with a capital F”. STOP PRESS – in September 2016 Yu Sugimoto was named the new executive chef.
With its “polished” style, “well-spaced tables” and “one of the Capital’s finest wine lists”, this Mayfair luminary would be a natural for besuited expense-accounters even without Phil Howard’s “complex and highly innovative” cuisine; however, critics of its slightly “sterile” setting and “exorbitant” prices were again more vocal this year.
“Discreet, quiet and well-spaced”, this Mayfair landmark has long been a top expense-account choice, thanks to Phil Howard’s “brilliantly focussed” cuisine, and the “phenomenal” wine list; the experience can seem “a bit soulless”, though, and it is of course “astronomically expensive”.
The Square Restaurant Diner Reviews
"Probably the most disappointing meal this year and hugely expensive at £95 for 4 courses you expect it to be top notch Incredible wine list BUT incredible prices and the water oh yes keep pouring £4.50 a bottle +12.5%! The ambience is superb the service excellent but the food sorry but they could do with a certain Phillip to teach then not only basic standards but also how to get food from pass to table whist still passable The sweetbread was the only dish of a standard I'd expect at this level and even that needed to come from stove to plate quicker."
6-10 Bruton St, London, W1J 6PU
Last orders: 10.15 pm, Fri & Sat 10.45 pm