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Square Meal Review of Medlar ?

‘Absolutely incredible!’ is just one superlative verdict on this gently refined neighbourhood star. A ‘sharp’ interior of mirrors and green banquettes plays its part, likewise ‘polished’ service – both owners trained at Wandsworth’s Chez Bruce, so they know a thing or two about local values. However, it’s the stunningly creative cooking that really wows: thick-cut carpaccio of bream with seaweed purée and prawn tempura; cleverly dissected roast poussin with sautéed spätzle, caramelised shallot, pied bleu mushroom and cauliflower purée; crème chiboust with strawberries and honeycomb; and a superb whiffy cheeseboard. It’s all about delicacy, finesse and ‘poised harmonious flavours’. Prices tick the box, too, with one diner marvelling at a ‘world-class’ lunch for just £26. Throw in a much-lauded wine list with lots by the glass, and you have a near-perfect neighbourhood package.

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  1. Published : Monday, 5 August 2013

    inher30s :: A Medlar anniversary

    Medlar is located on the Kings Road – at the opposite end from the hubbub of Sloane’s Square & Peter Jones & surrounded by a number of establishments referring to themselves as the World’s End? Is the end of the Kings Road really the world’s end?

    Nevertheless, an unassuming exterior and in we go, We originally opted to sit outside, but a word of warning – watching traffic (Even if it is Chelsea traffic) gets boring very quickly and we cheekily asked to be shifted back indoors (Which they did very obligingly!)...
    More from inher30s »

  1. Published : Thursday, 17 April 2014

    londonfoodaholic :: REVIEW: Medlar, King

    Now if there was one thing i rarely do, it's make repeat visits to restaurants. Of course i fall in love with some, but the problem is i always feel like i'm missing out on the latest new opening, or one which the critics are going mad about. A late treat to my mother for Mothering Sunday (as i was abroad) is the only reason for my return. I remembered the last meal i had at Medlar was excellent and the added perk of it being only a few minutes from my flat sold it to me - especially for those of us who enjoy a drink, or two. Our love for wine definitely runs in the blood - and courses through mine.

    Anyway back to Medlar. Its pretty inconspicuous, and it's on the 'bad' part of the King's Road. It has a Michelin star (rightly so), offers polished, proper service and above everything else it's even better than i last remembered it last time. Bread was offered around the table to start and it was good - not outstanding but solid and well made. And then things started to get serious...
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  1. Medlar Restaurant is a rustic little number on Kings Road occupying the site that was once Vama Restaurant. It serves French ‘style’ food, but as the Medlar website states it also draws inspiration from “all over”. The restaurant was founded by a couple of experienced old hands of the restaurant trade. Head Chef and owner Joe Mercer Nairne honed his skills at Chez Bruce, The Savoy Grill and the big hitting Sydney restaurant Rockpool, and front of house is run by his business partner David O’Connor who was previously at The Square and The Ledbury.
    A reading of the Medlar menu suggests food that is warm and satisfying, and the simplicity of the soft greyish tones of the restaurant décor goes a long way in supporting an experience of comfort...
    More from A Girl Has to Eat - Restaurant Reviews & Food Guide »

  1. Published : Thursday, 22 August 2013

    Nomface :: Medlar, London

    We kicked things off during a recent trip to London with a visit to one Michelin star restaurant Medlar for Saturday lunch. A steal at 2 courses for £25 or 3 courses for £30. We noticed a good mix of meat and seafood dishes on the menu. Mr Nom found it quite hard to decide between the duck egg tart with red wine sauce, turnip puree, lardons and sautéed duck heart or the sea bream carpaccio with sauce vierge, tempura prawn, seaweed and cucumber...
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  1. Published : Saturday, 29 June 2013

    THIS LITTLE PIGGY LOVES FOOD! :: MEDLAR

    I recently went to Medlar with my fiancé Pascal. Several friends have been and really recommended it plus it has been on my restaurant list since it opened 2 years ago!! I was really excited and had been drooling over the menu for days beforehand and obviously the foodspotting photos too. Thankfully Medlar did not disappoint.Medlar is set up by two guys who used to work together at Chez Bruce and according to their website they aim to cook seasonal ingredients from the British Isles and Europe accurately and simply. The style is French based but takes inspiration from all over.It felt great to be going to a smart glamorous restaurant so I dressed up in my “finery” and did not feel out of place. The space is gorgeous – lots of mirrors, green banquettes, an alfresco dining area and we sat in the conservatory area, which was lovely and light due to a skylight.As soon as we sat down we were offered an aperitif and I went for my usual tipple – a g&t. Despite studying the menu all week I was still undecided on what to have and so mulled over the decision while munching on delicious homemade bread and salty butter.I decided to order the crab raviolo with samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce followed by under blade fillet with café de paris snails, salad, triple cooked chips and béarnaise.The starter was absolutely delicious – the raviolo was full of crab and cooked to perfection & the bisque sauce was so heavenly I had to restrain myself from dipping my bread and butter in (such a piglet)! All the flavours complimented each other perfectly and I can understand why this dish has been on the menu since the start.I then had the steak and snails, which was extremely tasty – it came with some watercress and fat chips. I am not the biggest fan of fat chips (I prefer fries especially covered in cheese) but the béarnaise sauce was so incredible I stole my fiance’s so I could eat mine with the steak and his with the chips!! I was so busy tucking in I forgot to take a picture!!For pudding I had cheese even though I was fit to burst. The cheese board was extremely impressive, there were so many to choose from and it was once again tough to make a decision. I went for a combination of blue, hard and soft cheese with yet more bread and butter. Unfortunately I cannot remember the exact names as I had had a few glasses of wine by now but it was all good!We were too stuffed to move so had a coffee and then the lovely staff then bought us a bowl of truffles and being the piglet I am I had to have one….well obviously I then had another and they were so yummy I ended up asking for a packet to take home!!!The entire meal and dining experience was excellent, the service was impeccable, it was not cheap but it was definitely worth the price. I will definitely be recommending this on to my friends and would love to try and go again and sit outside (if the sun ever shines)!Medlar Restaurant438 Kings RoadChelsea SW10 0LJ020 7349 1900
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  1. Published : Monday, 27 May 2013

    Sybaricious :: Medlar, Chelsea

    I love Medlar. Turn round and walk away now if you're expecting one of my occasional scathing, sharp tongued rants, this is going to be nothing but an homage to what has incredibly quickly become my favourite London restaurant. Since my first visit towards the end of 2012 I have already returned far more often than the waistband of my jeans would like but its formula of great, relaxed service, perfectly executed food and a delicious, varied wine list makes it irresistible. Medlar made an understated but immediately acclaimed entrance into the London food scene in April 2011.  Its more public prominence came about when it was awarded its first Michelin star in September 2012. If you were to summarise London food trends in one sentence, 2012 was the year of the super-trendy, starry, young chefs like Ollie Dabbous or Ben Spalding, it was also the year of the hyped up, queue-because-its-worth-it,  fast/finger food type restaurants. Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with this - on the right occasion I love all that stuff-  but how nice is it to have a straightforward, good, customer-focused, hype-free South West London restaurant? You know you're getting long in the tooth when all you want on a night out is to make a booking, know you will arrive at your destination, be seated straight away with a smile, be able to eat your food with a knife and fork and not have to shout at one another. Oh and not having to travel to the depths of east London/Dalston is a bonus.I like the décor very much, the main room has walls in a neutral greeny beige, funky wall lights, art I would stick on my own walls and an age spotted mirrored wall leading through to a light and airy room at the rear . No photo from me unfortunately, those that I took were so excrutiatingly awful I couldn't post them. I've taken the liberty of nicking one from Medlar's website - hope they don't mind!I have to admit to being potentially rather biased at this point. I have always been a big fan of both Chez Bruce and The Square however it was only after my first booking that I realised that Medlar is co-owned by David O'Connor (former manager at both CB and the Square) and chef Joe Mercer Nairne. Medlar quite clearly has drawn many inspirations from the Nigel Platts-Martin stable whether at Chez Bruce or the Square. Even the font in the wine list is the same as at Chez Bruce.  That said, this is far away from being a carbon copy.  Staff are not uniformed and are for the most part quite casual in jeans and pumps. The majority of staff are French despite the English chef/owner partnership and an absolute delight. The atmosphere is more laid back and the menu edgier. The egg tart with ducks hearts is anything but an obvious choice but has found a place on various "best dish in London" lists. The menu follows the Chez Bruce/La Trompette etc formula of a fixed price for 3 courses, something I don't object to in the slightest but could be annoying if you're a salad leaf muncher (then again probably not Medlar's target audience, despite it being Chelsea). Here's where the good bit comes though; the price. On a weekend lunchtime and Saturday nights it is a mere £30 for three courses. Michelin star food at high street prices. Even on a prime time Friday or Saturday night its a not unreasonable £42. What is especially impressive is that the same quality of ingredient and menu is offered on the cheaper days as on the usual ones. An even balance of meat, fish and veggie includes classic dishes with a twist and some more unusual options; both crab raviolo and calves brains appeal to different types of diner but have equal prominence on the menuFormer winner of "Young Sommelier of the Year', Clement Robert, is a massive asset to the restaurant and has put together one of the best wine lists I have seen in a long time.The list is comprehensive and broad in its appeal. The 'names' are well represented from all French regions but more unusual grapes and wine regions also make a welcome appearance.After merrily debating with us the merits of left bank Bordeaux versus right we opted for a 2008 Croix de Gay Pomerol. So good in fact that I’ve spent more time than appropriate searching for it on the internet (and bought a case of 2010 to keep- couldn't get any 2008 apparently Medlar buy from the same source as me and beat me to it!). On other occasions we have flirted with the Rhone, sampled Austrian white and even Chinese dessert wine (separate post to come on this).We started with a bottle of the house champagne, at £11 a glass or £49 a bottle buying by the glass is less economical so we forced ourselves- it was tough but we survived- to be as efficient as possible on the champagne drinking front and have the whole bottle. So onto the all important bit; the food! Crab raviolo is one of the starters for which Medlar has become known, a signature dish you might say. In fact, follow either the restaurant or David on Twitter and you will occasionally get a running commentary on how many crab raviolos have been served since they opened and we're into the tens of thousands. Consisting of one very well stuffed and well seasoned raviolo perched in a rich, creamy seafood bisque dotted with tiny curled up brown shrimps, it didn't fail to impress.  Samphire and tomato added an extra dimension and colour.The wild garlic soup with pheasant egg and morels consists of a startlingly bright emerald green soup which has a delicacy of flavour that you wouldn't expect from something as powerful sounding as a garlic soup. The vibrance of the herbs was balanced by the rich ooze of a soft boiled egg but the stand out ingredient balancing the dish to perfection were the morels, bursting with a gently salted butter gloriousness. Yes folks, it a vegetarian 100% meat free dish and I loved it. What is wrong with me?Talking of well stuffed, portions are a really decent size at Medlar.I don't generally order lamb, its not my favourite flavour of meat but took a shine to it having a bit of a beef overdose in the preceding week. But oh my days! The highlight beyond highlights of this dish was the humble fondant potato. A caramelised brown, buttery oval of the most meltingly soft potato you can imagine.That said, the under blade fillet of beef with cafe de Paris snails was also pretty amazing. Served with super crunchy, fluffy centred chunky chips and a truly excellent bearnaise sauce; its fine dining spin on the classic steak and chips and utterly delicious. The addition of the lightly curried flavour snails takes the dish from a well executed classic to something new and exciting. My favourite main course, however, (and- dare I say it- the best piggy dish I have ever had) is pork served five ways using Richard Vaughan's rare breed middle white pork from Huntsham Court Farm. Slices of very slightly pink, succulent pork were accompanied by a peppery, dense, meaty sausage and a chunk of sticky,sweet pork belly. Light, crunchy, puffed up crackling was saved until last in time honoured fashion and was worth the wait. The fifth porcine offering was perhaps my favourites: little deep fried croquettes of tender pulled pork that melted in the mouth. A light jus sauce, cocotte potatoes, runner beans and sweet carrot puree completed my perfect dish.  I am passionate about cheese. Ridiculously, inappropriately so. Other than a chunk of parmesan for cooking I don’t keep cheese at home, it’s just far too dangerous, I'd resemble the marshmallow man within weeks. I was therefore really happy with the cheese tray at Medlar. With in excess of twenty cheeses on offer, all tastes are catered for. To ensure the best possible range and quality Medlar source their cheeses from four different suppliers including one which was a new one on me (and the source of my favourite cheese of the evening St Felicien) Bielleville which is near Harrods in Knightsbridge. I also had a 3 year old very sweet, nutty Comte and some Epoisses so runny that it slid around the plate like primeval ooze (in a good way honest!). The creamiest of Brillat Savarin's you can find and mouth itchingly mature Montgomery contrast with a well balanced, award winning Barkham blue. Pyrenean Bleu des Causses, Livarot, Cropwell Bishop stilton (Paxton & Whitfield), the Who's Who of cheeses rumbles on.  All in all, fantastic cheese. If you're into goat its all there, just not my bag!I had been umming and ahhing between the chocolate tarte or rhubarb jelly for dessert but after the rich cholesterol cheese hit was relieved I’d gone for the jelly. Ginger granite started off with a lovely delicate flavour that spread into a buzzing warmth much more powerful than its appearance belied. Blood orange sorbet was rich in flavour but light in texture. The jelly itself packed a boozy punch. A really balanced and beautifully conceived dessert that I know I'm going to return to time and time again. I hear, however, that sometimes a tarte tatin makes an appearance on the dessert list. I'm hoping beyond hope that it will be on the menu when I visit one day as it has fans far and wide across London.  Pear and almond croustade consists of a wigwam shaped tent parcel of the thinnest filo pastry dusted in sugar that you crunch through to find soft pears and an almond puree. Cocoa nib ice cream balances the pears well, the nibs giving enough of a chocolatey hint without being overpowering.  Despite many jokes as to whether the camp ice cream that accompanies cannele comes with sparklers, a feather boa and a Liza Minnelli fanfare, it is delicious, not something I would have expected to enjoy but well matches the rich molten, Congolese chocolate. Every meal is rounded off with cocoa-dusted, soft chocolate truffles that you never think you have space for but somehow always manage it. I make no apologies if this write up borders on the sycophantic. Its hard to countenance using the word "perfect" in relation to any restaurant but there is truly nothing about a Medlar dining experience that I would change. There are rumours in the wind that the owners may be branching out in the future. If any new offering were just an ounce as good as Medlar then they are on to a winning formula. How often is a restaurant so good that you book your next visit before you leave? This one is. Despite the plethora of new places on my wish list in London at the moment I keep going back again and again.  See you soon Medlar!Medlar438 King's Road, London. SW10 0LJ0207 349 1900
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  1. Published : Wednesday, 5 December 2012

    Samphire and Salsify :: Medlar

    Medlar is a Michelin starred restaurant situated on the Kings Road in Chelsea. It’s owned by Joe Mercer Nairne (chef) and David O’Connor (front of house) who both have pretty impressive CV’s between them, having worked in many of the countries top restaurants.

    We didn’t find it the easiest of restaurants to get to as it’s a good 20 minute walk from Sloane Square tube station and we struggled to find pay and display parking close by but boy oh boy was it worth the struggle to get there...
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  1. Published : Friday, 30 August 2013

    Saying it straight :: Medlar. Not an open-ers in sight.

    It’s been hovering around on my list for some considerable time, mostly due to the fact that it’s at the open-arse end of the King’s Road, in Chelsea. Near the Harbour. Too far to take a cheap cab and no decent buses home. Obviously I’m not going to drive there. Not with that wine list.


    But now I’ve been, I realise that unlike other places, which have been raved about by others and found wanting, this place justifies the hype. I will be coming back often...
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  1. Published : Thursday, 30 May 2013

    vialaporte :: Medlar* // Chelsea // London

    Medlar is a neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea, cooking in a French classical style. Co-owned by Joe Mercer Nairne and David O’Connor (both of former Michelin fame), Medlar was awarded a single star in 2013. It has a contemporary décor with a cosy and semi casual feel...
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  1. Published : Friday, 24 May 2013

    My Friends Recommend :: Medlar

    What do you get if you cross a newly awarded Michelin-starred restaurant with rave reviews from the who’s who of restaurant critics, including the terrifyingly brutal Mr AA Gill himself? Answer: Medlar in Chelsea...
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