Medlar, Chelsea

Medlar is found tucked away on the King’s Road in Chelsea, a popular haunt for the local A-listers and Sloanies. We spotted some of the Made in Chelsea cast sashaying down the street outside the restaurant, marking their territory as we settled into a lovely window-facing table. Inside, the clientèle were obvious foodies relishing the thoughtful dishes and superior wine list. The simple décor is modest and unpretentious with striking artwork adding colour to the walls, plain wooden floor and white clothed tables all creating a calm ambience letting the culinary aspect steal the limelight.

The lunch menu is detailed and lengthy with, if anything, too much choice. Two courses cost £30 or it is £35 for three. Unrecognisably exotic ingredients pop up all over the place adding a touch of excitement to classic dishes. Fish features heavily (not ideal for a non-seafood eater like myself) and seasonal specialities appear showcasing the finest and freshest ingredients.

There were many memorable highlights of our meal. Delicately flavoured crab ravioli with an eclectic combination of ingredients (samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce) was a hit. I thought the artistically presented English asparagus with tomatoes, ravigote, st maure frais mousse, rapeseeds and tapenade was perhaps the best vegetarian dish I have ever tasted; vibrant and delicious. For main course the duck breast was immaculately cooked, surrounded by puy lentils with a light salad, but the true star of the show was the rump of lamb with crisp croquettes which melted in the mouth – it was intensely flavoured and brilliantly paired with sweet carrot puree.

Even desserts here excel, the innovative list is appealing from top to bottom. I chose the intriguing lemon curd beignet with lemon sorbet and Chantilly cream which was a treat, a summery reminder of churros on the beach teamed with a citrus kick from the sorbet and curd. Chocolate tart with salted caramel and praline parfait was imaginatively served, rich dense cake with super sweet sauce and creamy nutty ice-cream, definitely a good choice for the men at the table.

With ex Chez Bruce chef Joe Mercer Nairne in the kitchen and ex Ledbury front of house manager David O’Connor taking charge of the restaurant floor, it is no wonder that I enjoyed every aspect of Medlar so much. Their expertise and creativity shines through in this perfectly balanced restaurant offering beautiful and tasty food.

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