This long-established restaurant has had a makeover. The front terrace with fold-back doors and grey awning remains, but the restaurant itself is bigger – it has expanded next door, creating a private dining room. The new look of muted colours, gold banquettes, dark wood floors and discreet lighting provides an air of understated glamour, though some of the previous intimacy has been lost.
There’s also been a change in the kitchen – Rob Weston, head chef at the Square for 15 years, took over in early 2013. Otherwise, tables are still decked with starched white tablecloths and gleaming glassware; service throughout, from the maître d’ to the sommelier (the wine list is one of the best in London), remains impeccable; and diners tend to be plummy-voiced locals with cash to splash. Heritage tomato, aubergine and goat’s curd salad was a refreshing (if slightly watery) starter; Dorset lamb (glazed shoulder and roasted rump) was supremely succulent; pearly fat flakes of cod matched perfectly with fresh almond pesto – our dinner was beautifully cooked and presented, but lacked the kind of culinary fireworks we’ve experienced here in the past.
Apricot soufflé was the most dramatic dish: a scoop of almond and bay leaf ice-cream was dropped through the crust, followed by apricot sauce, but the flavours were too faint – though we’d have happily guzzled more of the ice-cream.
For more classy cooking in the south-west suburbs, try sister restaurants Chez Bruce in Wandsworth (French) and the Glasshouse (Modern European) in Kew.