Nestled away from the busy and popular areas of the Kings Road, Medlar Restaurant is located on the outskirts of the Chelsea postcode. I wouldn’t go as far to say it’s a destination restaurant but I would put on a slightly comfier pair of shoes to do the walk from Sloane Square, Fulham or Gloucester Road.
Restaurants today are trying to find a way to differentiate themselves from the every increasingly busy restaurant scene that sometimes you feel they’ve got so carried away with decor, serving style and coming up with a theme that they’ve forgotten that really simple is best and let the food do the talking.
In my opinion, Medlar has just got it right.
The decor has lovely grey tones with olive green banquettes and crisp white table cloths adorn the dark wood tables so that you are immediately feel confident you’re in the sort of surroundings that is going to produce a great evening.
The service is attentive without feeling like you’re about to be interrupted in the middle of a story just to find out if everything is ok. Although, maybe they don’t need to keep asking when there are constant noises of delight and smiles on faces as plates of beautiful looking food are put in front of customers.
Whilst the decor is divinely simple, the menu is anything but straightforward, but the price tag (for once) doesn’t give you a heart attack when you realise it’s only £42 for three courses.
The thinly sliced confit lamb with salsa verde, artichokes, green beans and frisee was delightful with every flavour shining through. The lamb was so thinly sliced and light that you had to delicately place each forkful in your mouth to make sure you didn’t miss out on any.
The crab ravioli with samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce was a bowl of creamy heaven. Luckily the waiter brought some beautiful focaccia bread which came in useful to dab up any of the remaining sauce (yes, even in a posh restaurant, dabbing can take place). The ravioli was as thin as the confit of lamb and just glided down.
If the starter were a work of art, the main courses were a masterpiece.
The roast poussin with sautéed spatzle, caramelised shallot, St George mushrooms and cauliflower puree was a visual overload. The roast poussin sat up proud, glistening on the plate against the sweet caramelised shallots. The only time I was disappointed was when I realised I had finished it all.
The 55 day aged middle white pork with wild garlic, cocotte potatoes, carrot puree and runner beans was like a sunflower on a plate with the carrot puree dotted between the deep green runner beans. There was much anticipation with the crackling taking centre stage on the plate. Knives and forks were discarded and instead we opted for the use of fingers when going to pick up the crackling and the loud crunch only confirmed the anticipation had been lived up to.
I wasn’t sure if after two fabulous courses, the desserts could match up, but I was wrong to ever doubt.
The Canele with Camp ice cream and molten Congloese chocolate was a chocolate volcano image on a plate. The chocolate sauce was provided to ooze over the light sponge mixing with smooth ice cream as it flowed down it really was a sweet lava illustration.
The crème chiboust with strawberries and honeycomb was vibrant with the white cream and strawberries contrasting beautifully and the honeycomb was sliced so thinly, it was like shard of glass piercing the creamy layer.
We were also spoilt as we had said it was on our anniversary when we made the booking and they presented us with a third dessert to try which was the walnut tartlet, crème fraiche sorbet and freshly grated coconut. I couldn’t have been happier! The pastry was crumbly and thin, the caramel was beautifully sweet with the walnut providing the crunch. I was obviously meant to share but I must admit to devouring at least three quarters of it.
The price for all this? The bill came to £180 which included two glasses of champagne, three courses, a bottle of wine, two glasses of sweet wine and service.
I won’t go into saying how great value this is but be safe in the knowledge that with a recent Michelin Star having been awarded, this really is dining at its best where the food speaks crystal clear without ever needing to raise its voice.
Medlar Restaurant, 438 Kings Road, Chelsea SW10 oLJ