Medlar 22

438 King's Road , London, SW10 0LJ

  • Medlar
  • Medlar

SquareMeal Review of Medlar

A lot of love goes into this charming neighbourhood restaurant: its elegant white and green decor still looks fresh, menus are updated regularly and service is always on point. That suggests dedication as well as strong heritage: the two chef/owners are graduates of Chez Bruce and have established a reputation for gutsy Euro-accented food built around an exceptionally well-priced set menu. To start, the signature crab raviolo is a fixture, although one reader highly recommends the duck-egg tart with sautéed duck hearts. Steaks are another mainstay, but much of the line-up changes seasonally: in autumn, you might begin with elaborate salad involving black figs, baby beetroot, Bayonne ham, goats’ curd, pickled onion and toasted hazelnuts, ahead of “delicious” rump of beef topped with snails or a richly flavoured pork fillet, served with pork cheek, boudin noir, wild mushrooms and pistou. Ask the enthusiastic sommelier for wine recommendations, and “request some Madeleines with your after-dinner coffee”. 


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8.9

Food & Drink: 8.8

Service: 8.9

Atmosphere: 8.5

Value: 8.6

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David H. platinum reviewer 10 October 2017

I think this is my third review of Medlar ( not all for this site) and that makes it unusual. Fact is though that it burst onto the scene with quite a bang a few years back , got a star-justifiably- and then seemed to deteriorate so lost it -again justifiably IMO. In more recent times its reviews have seemed to go quite well so we felt it was time for another try. There is much about this restaurant that I like. The people seem welcoming and friendly, and the style of the food suits us. Also the menu - fixed price with lots of choice for each course - means there's no thoughts in your mind about whether you'll be getting second tier food if you choose the set lunch- for its pretty much all a set lunch. Its a pattern seen at Trompette, Chez Bruce and Glasshouse, all of which I enjoy, and which are priced similarly to Medlar. So the menu had plenty to choose from, though my wife decided she'd prefer to settle for main & dessert rather than have a starter and then decide she couldn't eat pudding. All five courses were decent, but none shone. The food here continues to lack the flavours and intensity I'd hope for (expect?) and in more complex dishes the individual components seem to meld together and one can't quite make out the contribution each is making to the overall sensation. The food does not match that I'd expect at Trompette and siblings, and though they have stars they are priced very similarly to Medlar as I've said. The one thing I don't know is whether the food we had was prepared by the restaurants first team, or whether Saturday lunch -rather quiet- is a chefs day off. If that's the case , well maybe Medlar does often deliver better than we ate - but I'd then question whether its right to operate a two tier offering , and would probably suggest that I shouldn't be able to tell whether a dish was made by the chef or a deputy if the training's gone right. I've had cause to raise this same question about this restaurant in the past. Either way I can only judge on what I've been given to eat , and "decent, not outstanding" sums it up. Can't see us going back when I can get rather better cooking of a similar style at several places in west London.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Lloyd S. silver reviewer 09 July 2017

I have to say visiting this restaurant was a truly delightful experience with great food good wine and a very friendly atmosphere. Had heard about this place a couple of years ago decided to keep my eye on it and liked everything I was hearing so yesterday to the Kings Road Chelsea we went . The restaurant is situated about half way between Fulham Broadway & Sloane Square and has a real local feel. A nice friendly greeting on arrival then shown to our table to enjoy a lovely G&T to which they have a good selection while we looked at the menu.. A very appetising Lunch menu with a good choice of starters , mains and desserts . We decided to have the Mackerel Tartare & the Wood Pigeon Boudin & both were very delicious indeed then on to the mains which were the Suckling Pig Loinwith Glazed Cheek which was amazing & the Boudin of Corn Fed Chicken and also fantastic these courses were superbly matched with great wine chosen by the sommelier. So next we're the desserts a Strawberry & Prosecco Jelly a delightful light dessert & the Chocolate Tart with Salted Caramel which was heaven as was the Sweet Wine to match . To finish was some delightful Petit Fours to go with our nice selection of teas. So glad to have finally visited and will definitely return and would also highly recommend that if your in the area to pop you will not be disappointed

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

PK 22 September 2014

I had never heard of Medlar but chose it based on the excellent online reviews it receives. I took a friend there for lunch on a Saturday. It's a very unassuming restaurant on the outside, and has a simple and stylish decor inside. The seats are quite comfortable too, which is not always the case in good restaurants! The staff were very friendly and everyone seemed to have pride in working there, which I think makes a big difference. The menu was very interesting, with several options in each course that I wanted to try. It's all 'modern european' with a French leaning. I found the young sommelier very friendly and helpful, and he has put together quite an interesting wine list, including some options from rarer countries (eg. an interesting Chinese ice wine). The food was rather good overall! The crab raviolo with brown shrimp and bisque was a lovely starter, plenty of seafood flavour without being too rich. The guinea fowl main was tasty and well balanced. My friend had roasted grouse which was full of robust flavours that all married harmoniously for a real treat - you don't see grouse on many menus in London. The highlight dessert was my Cherry Financier with Milk Ice Cream - not baked to order but still very fresh and tasty in a classic French way. at £30 for 3 courses, it was excellent value. I thoroughly recommend Medlar, and I am looking forward to returning.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

PK 16 September 2014

I had never heard of Medlar but chose it based on the excellent online reviews it receives. I took a friend there for lunch on a Saturday. It's a very unassuming restaurant on the outside, and has a simple and stylish decor inside. The seats are quite comfortable too, which is not always the case in good restaurants! The staff were very friendly and everyone seemed to have pride in working there, which I think makes a big difference. The menu was very interesting, with several options in each course that I wanted to try. It's all 'modern european' with a French leaning. I found the young sommelier very friendly and helpful, and he has put together quite an interesting wine list, including some options from rarer countries (eg. an interesting Chinese ice wine). The food was rather good overall! The crab raviolo with brown shrimp and bisque was a lovely starter, plenty of seafood flavour without being too rich. The guinea fowl main was tasty and well balanced. My friend had roasted grouse which was full of robust flavours that all married harmoniously for a real treat - you don't see grouse on many menus in London. The highlight dessert was my Cherry Financier with Milk Ice Cream - not baked to order but still very fresh and tasty in a classic French way. at £30 for 3 courses, it was excellent value. I thoroughly recommend Medlar, and I am looking forward to returning.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Eve G. bronze reviewer 08 August 2014

Had a lovely lunch with friends yesterday at Medlar. First time there and enjoyed the ambiance, service and great food. We also enjoyed the refreshing non-alcoholic drinks they served which were perfect for a hot lunch-time

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Valerie C. 24 June 2014

Everything was perfect! I am French so I like my food!!! We will come back!

Food & Drink: 3.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

David H. platinum reviewer 21 June 2014

“What's a reputation worth” summed up my thoughts as I paid the bill for our third visit to Medlar- albeit the first since 2012. It must cost a lot in terms of both money, and physical and emotional effort to get a restaurant going, earn pretty positive reviews, a star within a couple of years of opening, and so on. So after having achieved all that ( and not without some justification if my earlier review on another website is anything to go by) why do things that put it at risk? We ordered six courses today between the two of us- comprising four different dishes. None of these met our recollections or our expectations. Now I should hasten to add that we're not talking inedible here- its just that none of our dishes displayed the intensity of flavours I expect from a starred restaurant. Our starters and mains were fairly complex dishes with lots of ingredients, but the individual flavours of those ingredients were not discernible and what we ate was a kind of jumble in which the specifics were smothered. The textures were good, nothing was under or overcooked; the food just didn't taste as it should. When paying the bill I asked our waiter (who'd asked whether I'd enjoyed the meal) whether this was the work of the head chef or a deputy, and I'm not surprised that he answered the deputy, for what we had today wouldn't have passed muster with a professional critic or inspector. All of which gets me thinking. Is it right to let people read about your great restaurant, and then serve them a meal that's been cooked or supervised by different people than those who built that reputation? Is it right to turn out food on a Saturday lunch that is likely to have been noticeably inferior to that emerging from the same kitchen on the previous night? Equally important from the restaurants perspective, is it right , ever, to risk your reputation by sending out food that isn't as good as your kitchen is capable of? Was that reputation not hard enough won to mean that you'd just not want to do that? Of course I do understand that restaurants often need a second chef. But the point is that for the specific dishes on offer, that second chef needs to be capable of turning out food of a quality that stops customers thinking about who has cooked it. And this didn't seem to be the case today. Medlar's premises are pleasant and comfortable; its in an area that is frankly a bit short of quality restaurants. Service was a bit slow today – they kept under the two hour mark through the expedient of serving coffee whilst we ate dessert- which isn't what we asked for. Everything Not just food) seemed to take a little longer than it might have done in a restaurant that was almost empty when we arrived and no more that half full when we left. So, will we go back? Medlar is decent value but I can eat better than this for what I paid. Right now I don't know. I'll keep an eye on the reviews.

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 4.0

Atmosphere: 4.0

Value: 4.0

Carolyn S. 23 May 2014

Arranged this meal as part of a BIG birthday surprise for my husband! Medlar was super…food ( I am GF/Dairy intolerant and the chef coped effortlessly for me! which was such a nice change from being always told..'not possible madam' !) My husband & son's meal was much appreciated too. With a surprise candle + Happy Birthday being sung with the dessert ! The service was discreet but attentive… Would definitely visit again for either lunch or dinner when in London again. Thank you Medlar!

Food & Drink: 5.0

Service: 5.0

Atmosphere: 5.0

Value: 5.0

Kate A. 20 May 2014

We went here for a birthday lunch and found impeccable service, an incredibly relaxed atmosphere and great value for food which was truly delicious. It's an unpretentious place for lunch (the waiters aren't in smart black and white as one reviewer found disappointing, but we really liked that) and we didn't feel like we were being rushed at all, in spite of the far reduced price compared to dinner. I can't vouch for evening atmosphere, but we loved the experience and will certainly return.

Food & Drink: 4.0

Service: 3.0

Atmosphere: 3.0

Value: 3.0

James R. 07 May 2014

When to Medlar after reading all the great reviews etc…and to be honest wasn't particularly impressed. While the food is good, its not particularly creative or different and the service is by no means Michelin Star. Went with friends and had a nice dinner but for the price paid and the hype around the place, it was a big let down. Maybe be just a day -off…

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