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|Address:||40 Exmouth Market, London EC1R 4QE|
|Tel:||020 3641 8333|
|Price: £40.00||Wine: £16.75||Champagne: £46.25|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sun 12N-3pm (Sat-Sun -3.30pm) Mon-Sat 6-10pm (Thurs-Fri -10.30pm)|
1 of 1 people found this review helpful.
Medcalf, always rammed, became a favourite local with the demise of the Quality Chop House. Occupying a former butcher's shop – long and thin with décor of the shabby-chic variety – it sits halfway along Exmouth Market's much-appreciated restaurant strip, and just a door away from Moro.
The focus is on British cuisine – locally sourced – and it never disappoints. Service is casual but attentive (though a restaurant that advertises a decent aperitif of Carpano bitters, yet CAN'T be bothered to make a Negroni, earns a black-mark in my book).
Starters always include a decent smoked salmon with toasted bread, an excellent terrine and Welsh rarebit. Last time I opted for a brandade of smoked haddock which was a flavoursome opener.
Mains wave the banner of tradition – a perfectly-cooked rolled piece of belly pork with champ and cabbage, a superb bavette (very bloody – fine by me – though no request for cooking was given) with a horseradish cream that delivered a veritable upper-cut, a nice piece of sea-bream done with mussels, or a salad involving British crab. Something for everyone, in short, and offered in decent portions. (A pork chop a few weeks back was the most perfectly cooked example I've ever tasted!)
The wine list is nicely balanced with many decent bottles in the sub-£30 bracket and there's a wide range of beers and ciders too.
In decent weather (though Exmouth Market diners tend to flood outside in all but hurricane conditions) you can eat outside (and there's a tiny walled area at the back). Inside, the atmosphere is friendly and the clientele youngish and fashion-concious.
Prices tend to be £5-7 for starters, mains around £16 and puds about £6 (I long to be still hungry enough to tackle a greengage millefeuille – it sounds divine). If you live in EC1, this is a useful place for all occasions – but don't expect to walk in and get a table every time…