RESTAURANT REVIEW | Bistrot on the Square @ Eccleston Square Hotel14th January 2015
Bistrot on the Square @ Eccleston Square Hotel
Just a brief walk from the chaos of Victoria Station lies the calm, stylish, uber-cool and uber-tech hotel within Eccleston Square. I am not a natural-born Londoner and can sometimes find the “buzz” a bit overwhelming. Eccleston Square manages to create an ambience to instantly chill and transports you to a peaceful place.
Ambient music played throughout even fed through to their guest toilet decked with L’occitane products (as are there hotel rooms), and fresh hand towels. It’s simple luxuries like this that take the experience to another level.
From the moment you walk through the door, it’s clear that presentation and design is key and comes easily to the Eccleston Square Hotel. It was lovely to see this being held consistently and conveyed through their food with each course being presented to perfection in the Bistrot.
To start we had spiced squid & prawn fritters with sweet chilli sauce. Brilliantly bestowed on top of a newspaper cutting of an article about the Eccleston Square Hotel. It felt like we had constant smiles on our faces as the Bistrot laid on a dining experience to remember.
Also to start, a salad of burrata (made from mozzarella & cream), parma ham, and walnut balsamic dressing. Burrata. Where have you been all my life? I often find mozzarella out of place in salads or anything where it’s not molten and hot essentially. But burrata solves that by giving the creamy-ness of mozzarella but being silky and smooth, and melts in the mouth- a perfect partner for the parma ham.
Next, the traditional fish (3 different types) and spinach Xacuti Indian curry. Spicy, warming and as vibrant in it’s flavour as it is colour. Served along side steamed cumin rice and fantastic shards of poppadum. A lovely dish.
Also we had the Moroccan spiced lamb and apricot tagine. The lamb was amazing. Trouble with tagines’ can be that they are overly fruity, or too much spice added- but the chef, clearly is very good with spices as it was a perfect marriage of fruity and spicy along-side luxuriously tender lamb. With the lamb you have a refreshing raw slaw of tomato, cucumber, and pomegranate in a mint dressing, which was so lovely and in-line with the chef’s nutritious, vitamin-rich approach to food, adding some needed crunch against tender lamb and warm fluffy lemon couscous. My only criticism would be that the tomato was slightly watery so took away from the crisp crunch.
To finish, I had the Madagascan vanilla crème brulee. It was literally the best brulee I have ever had. It was fresh and spiked with vanilla pod throughout it’s set, warm custard. I don’t know how many brulees are spoilt by the custard being cold so that it conjours images of brulee en masse sat in a fridge waiting for a customer to order them and be blow-torched. Not this one. Simple, but beautiful when done right, as they have done here. The Valhrona fondant is one to order too with an intense chocolate hit bound to surpass the requirements of any chocolate lover.
Post dinner coffees are served with home-made biscuits which was a lovely little touch and executed well. The service throughout was impeccable and friendly with our waiter engaging in polite conversation, asking what we had done in the day etc. he also ensured our courses came within our time-frame due to travel commitments.
I have given the Bistrot on the Square five stars as they demonstrated being experts in my two favourite loves; design and food. And being able to do so with such grace and good taste is hard to find.
Reviewed by: Jordan Lohan
ADDRESS: 37 Eccleston Square Hotel, London, SW1V 1PB
VENUE PHONE: 020 3489 1000
TIPPING POLICY: Discretionary service charge of 12.5% added to bill