The Square, 4/F, Two Exchange Square, 8 Connaught Place, Central, Hong Kong, Hong Kong S.A.R., China
Nearest Train:Hong Kong
Opening Hours:daily 7-11pm, 2-7am
Price Range:$$ - $$$
Maxim’s Group is a mighty empire—so mighty that most people have a hard time keeping track of its myriad operations, The Square being one of them. Serving dim sum during the day and a selection of Guangdong-style dishes (with a bit of western influence, we note) at night, The Square is the group’s proud one-Michelin-starred venture—although we’re a bit puzzled as to why.
Not that the food isn’t good (some dishes are downright fantastic) but there are also a few misses in the mix, and ironically, those dishes are the very ones recommended by the Michelin guide. It’s not the restaurant’s fault, of course, that the Michelin inspectors so adore the golden crispy prawns with tangerine sauce—it’s just that batter-covered meats with sweet-and-sour sauce seem to be more popular with the western palates than the more subtle Cantonese dishes that locals truly love.
And no, we weren’t fans of those prawns; it was like eating “chop suey” dough balls with bitter jam on top. It was creative at best, but a total waste of the succulent creatures. We couldn’t get enough of the casserole rice in a stone pot though—the fully marinated grains were more gentle than fried rice, not as sticky as glutinous rice, and belonged in a category all their own.
Other hits included the curry beef (although it wasn’t very Cantonese) and the vegetable beancurd sheet rolls. There was a steak dish that came with onion rings on top—downright blasphemy, and one of the reasons we’re giving the resto three instead of four stars.
There are great dishes to be had here—but we’d like to see a menu that’s bit less bastardized. The restaurant should stick to its roots instead of trying to please less-acquainted patrons.