A new culinary player has entered the stage of the Schouwburgplein. The square used to be a residential area, but after the war nothing was left of it and it was given a new zoning plan. It has existed in its current form since 1947. Let that have been the source of inspiration for the name of this restaurant: Square ’47.
However, when you look at the menu, this could also refer to the number of dishes served here. The restaurant is at home in many markets and maintains a shared dining concept. I'm always very curious how this works out in practice.
A chef who cooks from such a diverse spectrum sounds like the sheep with five legs. After all, you couldn't be good at everything at school back in the day, right? To get a good idea, we try some of each category of the menu.
Before our dish appears on the table, we marvel at the stylish interior. The combination of the many wooden elements with the warm light creates a feeling of intimacy. The tables are a bit close together, but this is not disturbing. On a Thursday evening it is pleasantly busy, but certainly not too noisy. The various benches on the edge are also ideally suited for a pleasant evening with a group.
We kick off with a well-known Italian classic: bruschetta, topped with plum tomato and avocado. With such classics, the concept always seems simple and the focus is therefore slightly more on the implementation. This one is just right, the bun is perfectly crispy on the outside, but soft on the inside, the oil is well dosed and the exotic avocado is a pleasant addition to the Mediterranean base.
This is another classic from the Italian cuisine. This time it's a carpaccio with pecorino and truffle mayonnaise. The meat is wafer-thin and wonderfully tender, the right basis for a good carpaccio. The amount of truffle mayonnaise is also in proportion, only the pecorino could have been spicier as far as I'm concerned.
After these Italian snacks, we look closer to home and take a dip in the North Sea. The Dutch shrimp soup in combination with a shrimp croquette served on a cute mini brooch sandwich are very popular. The soup is richly filled with shrimp and intense in taste, but somewhat on the salty side. The shrimp croquette, on the other hand, is a delicious fried snack and only makes us curious for more.
Then the absolute highlight of the evening, the brioche McFoie. What a formidable invention this is! Contrary to the name that sounds like fast food and is reminiscent of the restaurant with the big yellow arches, this is a wonderfully refined taste explosion. The combination of the delicate steak tartare and fried goose liver on a wonderfully airy, lightly baked brioche bun is definitely worth trying. How I would love to see this in quarter pounder format. At times like this I secretly regret that we do shared dining here.
However, it does not stop there. Afterwards we get a look at the sushi assortment. We received the maki roll with shrimp and the wagyu nigiri. What immediately stands out is the airy rice that accompanies the sushi. You know that attention is paid here to the seemingly simple process of rolling. It is therefore true that the kitchen of Square '47 is equipped with a real sushi chef. Young Sergei rules the roost here. He learned the trade in Encore in Scheveningen, where they know how to handle fish and everything else from the sea.
The wagyu nigiri in combination with (again) goose liver is also a fantastic combination from his hand. These nigiri tickle your full palate and the combination of the fatty liver with the pure beef leaves you almost dazed. My earlier prejudice about the size of the menu has been unfounded. Here is a culinary brigade at work that knows very well what they are doing.
To conclude, there is a spectacular dessert starring Ferrero Rocher, supplemented with bourbon vanilla ice cream and a few bonbons filled with a particularly tasty citrus filling. Again with a beautiful and colourful layout.
Square '47 has completely proven itself as a newcomer and the good news is that we can enjoy its performances on the stage of Schouwburgplein for a long time to come. Whether you drop in for a drink with a snack in between, or are looking for a full evening programme, Square ’47 knows how to take care of it all down to the last detail.