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Thursday, 26 December 2013

Square One Wye Road - A Little Birdie Told Me

Twitter is easily the leading source of restaurant tidbits: menu updates, renovations and, of course, openings. Being, in the virtual sense, in the right place at the right time - by chance or coincidence, depending on the philosophy to which one subscribes - can thus precipitate dining experiences most unexpected.


Indeed, no more than one week ago, a chance tweet proclaimed the existence of Square One Wye Road. A quick jaunt down the eponymous road leads to a dark, sleek and decidedly unstuffy space where "Star Wars: Return of the Jedi" plays upon a suspended screen and cocktails are deftly assembled with a careful hand. The whisper-light "Amelia Earhart" features Aviator Gin, naturally.


Square One's menu skiffs across a number of continents and favours creations inspired by locales both Asia and Latin American. Tuna Aguachiles is minced to just the right consistency: small enough to be scooped onto house-made chips a la salsa, but large enough that the noble fish is not reduced to mush. To clarify: aguachile refers to fish that takes a swim through chili-water, but not to the extent that it becomes ceviche.Lime and avocado add acidic green and unctuous bursts, respectively.


Butter Chicken Wings are sizzling with memories of the Subcontinent. Though the naan are a bit anorexic, the wings themselves are vivaciously plump and are topped with a tangle of arugula. What a welcome break from the sad carrot and celery sticks that typically play straight man to the wings' comedian.


Plaza Machado Tostadas are commendably fiery. Crispy pork belly embodies gustatory hand grenades that are scarcely tamed by creme fraiche and cilantro. Although the entire assemblage appears initially precarious, the tostada retains structural integrity with each successive bite.


House-made ice cream is velvet-smooth and twice as luxurious. Goat's Milk Vanilla bears none of the muskiness traditionally associated with this ungulate's milk, while Chai Vermouth is a gentle paradox of florals and spices. Hazelnut is neither cloying nor phony, as are many ice creams that dare to flaunt that well-loved nut. Coffee, finally, breathes the java-fueled sighs of a sunrise in Naples. Well done, Square One. The little bird, aka Twitter, speaks the truth.


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