The Square, Phil Howards “Tasting Menu” – London

The Square - phil howardPhil Howard bounced through those kitchen doors just as if he was leaping out of the starting gate on one of his marathons ,  flashing the biggest smile and radiating the energy of a child in a playground…..what a happy guy .Handshakes , welcomes , a quick conversation and off over he went  to another couple of tables before darting back downstairs just as quickly as he had appeared. It really was a nice start to the meal meeting the main man at The Square, these little things always `float my boat` and give me the feel good factor .They set me immediately at ease as though ive just been welcomed in as part of the family. Simple gestures that make me want to return again and again.
I`ve somehow managed to keep The Square off my radar for a number of years and have always ended up deviating to other places during my short trips to London. The last time i dined there was 1992 when we were taken there for dinner during the filming of Masterchef….jeez , that`s 20 years…..Not good , i was a daft 30 year old back then….and now 20 years on i`m probably getting nuttier as i get older….enough said. So another birthday meal lined up for the weekend , Phillip Howards Tasting menu at his 2 star Michelin restaurant        “The Square”.

                               So to start us off we had a few little treats -

A Tasting of Cornish Mackerel with Oysters and Caviar -  Phil created this starter for the 2012 Great British Menu programme , It scored 9 /10 with the judges and it was a ” Must have ” for our meal at the Square….OMG , what a taste experience.It was one of those dishes that it would be worth going back to have again and again. ….Magical.

The Square - phil howard

A salad of Globe Artichokes , Fresh Cobnuts , Grilled Cauliflower and cured White Park Beef with Summer Truffle and Mimolette. – This dish was just an explosion of flavours , everything cooked to perfection and highlighted with a perfectly balanced  and very delicate background aroma of fresh summer truffle.

Saute of Scottish Langoustine Tails with Parmesan Gnocchi and an emulsion of Potato and Truffle….One simply wasn`t enough…..i ate it very slowly.

Roast Cod with Cauliflower Puree , Grilled Potatoes , Fresh cobnuts and Summer Truffle Pesto. – This one was a ver ysimple dish , very basic  ingredients cooked extremely well. Natural flavours and freshness done all the talking.

Breast of Grouse with Turnip and Celeriac and a Croustillant of the leg with Onion and Pancetta -  Generous portions here with the Grouse dish , we got 2 breasts each as well as the leg meat croustillant.

Being extremely rich we both hit our “sticking point” almost at the same time. It was our own fault for doing the Gauthier lunch so by the time the Grouse arrived it must have been our 20th course of the day ( and wine )..There was more food to come and it wasn`t  the time for girly behaviour…we both took 10 minutes `time out` and then straight on to the puddings.

Brillat – Savarin Cheesecake with Currants-  A well made and simple Cheesecake , i would have been happy eating this forever , rich and creamy with a Redcurrant glaze.

Apricot and Vanilla Souffle with Camomile ice cream.It`s the 2nd time in my life that i`ve eaten Souffle, i`m simply not a Souffle person . I enjoyed it for what it was and basically it was cooked exactly as it should be…and Ahhhhhh , another reminder of just how old i was.

Milk Chocolate bar with Salted Peanuts, Praline and Banana. – Gorgeous i needed more of this one , I`ve such a sweet tooth i could do a Tasting menu of desserts alone.

Petits fours ….How good do they look ?

And a little treat to take away…. Handmade Truffles in their own ” Square ” Box.

To view all of the photos from Phils Tasting menu then please CLICK HERE.

Our wines from The Square  -  There were a couple more “taster”  wines thrown in for us to try but this is what we had to match the food. Our Sommelier was an absolute gem, well educated in the trade , entertaining and revelled in the challenge of pairing us up with some wonderful matches for the food.
( Mackerel )  – Crozes – Hermitage Blanc , 2010 , Champ Morel , Rhone , France
( Salad )  – Oberhauser BruckeReisling Spatlese , 2007 , Hermann Donnhoff , Nahe ,Germany
( Langoustine ) – Vouvray , Silex Noir,Francios Pinon , 2010 , Loire , France
( Cod ) – Mersault , Domaine Henri Germain, 2009 , Burgundy , France.
( Grouse ) – Gevrey- Chambertain , DomaineDrouhin – Laroze , 2002 , Burgundy , France
( Cheesecake )  – Castelnau deSuduiraut , 2nd wine of Chateau Suduiraut , Sauternes , France.
( Souffle ) – Roussilliere Doux , YvesCuilleron , Vin de France.

And my trusty bodyguard and top dining buddy ” The Laird ” was sooooo stuffed he had to get his bike out and work that food off……and the 20 glasses of vino.

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