Medlar

Following my recent spate of bad luck on Sunday lunches, I’ve almost become a bit nervous venturing out into the world on a Sunday. Even more so if it’s a bright and warm one. Add to this the point that my cheffie friend, MS and I had decided to brave the Sunday lunch together and our last one together was at Corrigan’s Mayfair.

Surely going to a restaurant named after a fruit best eaten when practically rotten was a bad idea right from the very start no? Fair enough, it’s another matter that I have worked with the team behind it at one of London’s favourite and best eateries, Chez Bruce. Head chef and co-owner Joe Mercer Nairne and his partner and general manager, David O’Connor opened Medlar in April this year, after having worked together at Chez Bruce, along with sous chefs Andrew Kyriakides and Iain Smart, and assistant managers Voula and Matt. I think you can safely say it’s a class of 2006 alumni reunion. I have to admit, when I did find this piece of information out, I couldn’t stop laughing – it’s one restaurant I could walk into and feel right at home on my first visit and it is quite a substantial core of people to be starting a business with. Medlar is handsomely situated on Kings Road in Chelsea, previously having housed the Indian restaurant, Vama. The decor is light, refreshing and tasteful.

Crab raviolo, shellfish bisque, samphire, brown shrimp, leeks: I was told by MS that  this was everything he had hoped it would be – perfect. The only thing he said against it is that because the bisque was so bloody good, it didn’t really need any extra shellfish by way of brown shrimp! I did see him later quietly mopping up the bisque with some of Medlar’s beautiful homemade foccacia.

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 Rare grilled salmon, sauce vierge, crispy oyster, herb mayo. At last. Someone who can cook salmon properly and a fair sized portion too. What I quite liked about it was that instead of a neat square cut size, this was a piece ‘torn’ from a larger bit of salmon and gave it a great rustic feel. Some poor chef had to pick up the job of peeling all the cherry tomatoes that went into making a delicious sauce vierge, the oyster not really needing any mayo as the sauce vierge got scooped up, dipped into and licked off!

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 A lovely middle course of Plaice, clams, beurre blanc, mash and girolles for MS had him in fish heaven again! Only critique he said was that another grain of salt would have made it too much, but it was a great little piece of cooking.

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 And for me it was Miiddle white pork chop, celeriac puree, crackling, sage. The middle white pig is the porcine equivalent of a porche. It totally kicks ass. Classic combinations here, simple flavours, beautiful ingredients, happy me! Something acidic and fruity would have really given the dish a bit of va-va-voom, but maybe it does come with that when it’s served as a main course.

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 Assiette of rabbit, carrot puree, pommes anna, lovage, onion marmalade. I’m always dubious of dishes like this because more often than not, it’s a disaster and maybe that’s why I ordered it – out of curiosity. Apart from being bright enough to make the rain seem insignificant, this was spot on. Stuffed saddle, roast leg and mini rillettes on toast make for a bunny that died not in vain. I raise my glass to long eared hoppers everywhere. May they all await a similar fate. And as we both had the rabbit, there was double affirmation.

 Macaroom with fresh raspberries, lemon curd, raspberry sorbet A tower of song! Look at that beauty. Thank you Medlar, for giving a macaroon its due respect. Oh yes, JUMBO raspberries, I love you. Just a little bit too lemony for me, but that’s a personal preference  of not loving sour flavours too much, but this did rock.

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. Cherry and almond croustade, milk ice cream A Chez Bruce classic done perfectly. 

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 Vanilla pot, blackcurrant compote, langue de chat And just in case we were still a bit hungry, this came along. A hefty pot of creme brulee minus the caramel and with berries and dipping-scopping biscuits. Every bit of artery blocking goodness it was intended to be.

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All throughout, the head sommelier, Clement, matched some beautiful wines to every course. I need to get the list from him.

Medlar’s definitely getting their formulas right. Having worked alongside Joe and Andrew for almost 2 years, my views are rooted more in experience than friendship. The food and service are going to make a lot of people very happy!

Overall Experience: 9
Recommend you to go? 9
Food: 9
Wine:9
Website

Medlar on Urbanspoon
Square Meal

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