Myrtle is the first solo restaurant from Irish chef Anna Haugh, who has made a name for herself by heading up some of the kitchens of the big names in London restaurants (London House, Bob Bob Ricard) without fully stepping into the limelight.
Myrtle, at the World’s End end of King’s Road, is very much her chance to shine, and if the narrow proportions of the two-floor restaurant speak of the constraints of a chef funding her own restaurant, details like the Galway crystal used for the Baron Albert house Champagne, the green marble bar and butter dishes, and pewter water goblets that wouldn’t look out of place in Game of Thrones speak of an attachment to Haugh’s home country that feels heartfelt rather than corny.
Haugh’s cooking likewise takes Ireland as inspiration but filters ingredients such as Burren Smokehouse salmon and Crozier blue cheese through a modern Irish sensibility. So while potato comes with black pudding, it is delivered as an elegant cylinder of Clonakilty black pudding tied up in a thin twine of fried potato strings.
Roasted beef fillet with boxty, meanwhile, is presented as an elegant fan of sliced meat cooked medium-rare and spooned with a glossy tarragon and confit shallot jus; there’s more beef inside the boxty, a quivering dome of potato pancake that eats like a sublime savoury dumpling.
If there are faults, it’s that the cooking displays a little too much of the intricacy learnt at the Michelin-starred likes of Pied à Terre and The Square, and while the pricing is reasonable by Chelsea standards, portion sizes seem too skimpy to encourage the sort of loyal repeat visits that the nearby likes of Medlar prove exist at this tubeless end of SW10; our most filling dish was the knockout veggie option of celeriac pithivier.
That said, there’s generosity aplenty in the repeated offers of the homemade soda bread (made with treacle for a spoonful of sweetness), the friendly staff deliver warm, personal service while a bottle of Provencal rosé from the well-assembled wine list was perfect for a warm summer evening when the full-length windows were open on to the street.