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If you’re looking for somewhere inviting and relaxing for an evening meal in Bristol, you can’t beat a visit to The Square Club.
Situated in my favourite part of Bristol – the upmarket Clifton, The Square Club is a bar, lounge and restaurant with a modern vibe. It’s actually a private members club; a gathering place for the city’s artists and media professionals, but non-members are also welcome to come in for a bite to eat or a drink.
Introducing The Square Kitchen
I actually first discovered The Square Kitchen (the restaurant part of the club) through Groupon. Its three-course meal deal (with a glass of Prosecco) was impossible to pass on, and what I discovered was a peaceful venue in the heart of the city, offering fresh food that is locally sourced.
Seasonal, local and organic food
Joined by some of my fellow South West bloggers, I returned to The Square to sample its newly launched spring menu. Changing throughout the year, Chef Kyle Jordaan always likes to focus, wherever possible, on seasonal, local and organic ingredients. For example, all fish served at the Square Kitchen is line caught by local day boats and sourced from Brixham and St. Ives fish markets.
After a welcome drink down in the funky basement bar, we headed back up the spiral staircase to the open plan restaurant, with its colourful artwork (all for sale), its bare brick walls and its long tables.
A relaxing oasis in the city
I love the layout and décor here – the large windows and mirrors always make it feel bright and airy. In Spring and Summer, when the British weather allows, those large sash windows are opened up and you can hear the gentle rustle of the square’s trees and are gently tickled by a light breeze as you eat. There’s just something essentially relaxing about the place, making it a great spot to unwind over good food after a long day at work.
A surprise amuse-bouche greeted us when we sat down, it was a delicious miniature ham hock. I enjoyed this so much I actually wished it was also a starter option. However, I decided to be daring and for my starter chose the seared scallops (I’m not usually one to go with a seafood option). These came with Serrano ham chips, a clam salad with chilli, lime and coriander and a little sprinkle of caviar, beautifully displayed in razor clam shells.
A great spot for steak
When it came to the main I was quite torn. I’ve always loved the steak here (until I discovered Miller and Carter it was my no 1 spot for Steak in Bristol, sorry guys, you’ve been bumped to no 2!) but the assiette of lamb sounded so good. In the end I succumbed to the tried and tested and went for the Devon Red 8oz rib-eye steak, mainly because I also adore The Square’s triple cooked chips.
The food was served quickly and the steak came perfectly cooked, for me (medium rare of course). Tender, red but not bloody, my knife slid through the meat easily and the flavour was rich and full. I enjoyed it as much as ever, but it didn’t last very long as I gobbled the whole lot down quick sharp.
As I’m currently trying to be good and stick to my low fodmap diet in order to better manage my IBS, I had to steer clear of many of the dessert options. This gave me big time food envy, especially when the chocolate bombs were brought to the table. An Instagram Boomerang-lover’s dream dessert, these were peanut butter parfait and banana mousses encased in chocolate shells. The waiter arrives with your miniature jug of hot salted caramel sauce, pouring it over, and melting, the shell.
Even so I wasn’t disappointed by my choice of the homemade ice cream. Freshly made on-site, you’re invited to choose from a variety of both classic and quirky flavours. I ended up going for vanilla, chocolate and maple, which went together very well. In my opinion you can’t beat fresh vanilla ice cream; where you can see the specks of vanilla throughout, but for me the surprising highlight was the maple. I expected this to be sweet to the point of sickly, but it was actually spot on and contrasted perfectly with the other flavours.
As ever, The Square did not disappoint and continues to be one of my favourite restaurants in Bristol. An oasis of calm in the bustling city, it’s a great place for fresh, locally sourced food. Whether you’re visiting the city, or a local, do find the time to visit, as you won’t be disappointed.
The Square Kitchen is open for dinner Monday-Sat from 6-9pm. Look out for mid-week deals including 50 per cent off main courses, a £12 steak dinner and buy one main and get another dish for £1.
My meal at The Square Kitchen was complimentary for the purposes of review. However, as always, all views are my own.