''An unexpected hidden gem right in the heart of the city''
★★★★☆If I was to ask you where some of your favorite restaurants in Bristol were, I imagine you wouldn't start reeling off too many that are situated within hotels. There seems to be some sort of stigma surrounding these venues; that perhaps only paying guests can enjoy the hospitality or that the experience might be tied in with some pretentious, stuffy vibe. I'm here to tell you that this is not the case, certainly not when it comes to The Square Kitchen, and bust those myths wide open.
We turned up on a chilly Monday evening, to receive a warm and friendly welcome. The Square Kitchen sits at the top of Park Street, tucked away in leafy Berkeley Square. We were invited to get comfortable in the bar area and enjoy a pre-dinner drink. The bar was eclectic and funky, with different patterned furniture clashing together, lots of colour and some quirky ornaments. We ordered two drinks from their fantastic selection of cocktails and different gins. I felt like I was part of the Made In Chelsea set, without the enormous price tag.
The restaurant itself was very inviting and romantic looking; think large mirrors on the walls, and candles flickering against the dim lighting. There were some couples out to dinner, and also some big groups - this made for a very relaxed and casual atmosphere, with lots of conversation filling the space.
The menu consisted of lots of mouth-watering dishes. Starters included duck liver parfait, cured salmon, and an intriguing savory green bean pannacotta. Mains had vegetarian options, such as a roasted cauliflower risotto, and there were also dishes such as maple roast duck and a selection of steaks. We opted for the salmon, pannacotta, roast duck and 30-day dry-aged steak. With all of the trimming, of course, triple cooked chips and truffle greens. I mean, anything with truffle is always a must-order, right? Our starters arrived and were presented beautifully. The plates were a feast for the eyes and the portions were generous in size. A glistening slab of salmon was accompanied by beetroot, cucumber, and horseradish creme fraiche, whilst the green bean pannacotta sat perfectly formed, almost too perfect to spoil. The pannacotta tasted wonderful paired with the creamy goat's cheese, with the walnuts adding enough texture to cut through the dish. Again, when our mains were produced, we marveled at the presentation of the dishes. Two perfectly pink duck breasts sat atop a sumptuous pomme ana potato, with black garlic and broccoli. The steak was impressive, a lovely cut cooked just as requested.
Our server, Josh, could not do enough for us throughout our meal. He explained to the local producers that The Square Kitchen works with, such as Bristol-based Ruby and White who supply all of their meat. He also guided us through different wines that may accompany our meal, whilst also being mindful of our tastes and what we had described we liked to him. He was attentive, knowledgeable and very helpful in explaining the dishes to us. The Square Kitchen blew us away with a memorable meal. The prices were not any higher than your average casual restaurant in Bristol, and the quality of the food was fantastic for the value for money. I would recommend trying it, and not write it off as another hotel restaurant within the city - as this deserves to be a dining destination for any discerning foodie.
About Author: Bristol foodie, burger queen and independent business enthusiast! Follow us on (@nataliebrereton).