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.
This small and cosy restaurant owned by two ex-protegés of Chez Bruce, serves wonderful French-based food and represents ridiculously good value for money. Which in Chelsea is practically unheard of. While many restaurants in this neighbourhood charge exorbitant prices for pretty average food, Medlar is a breath of fresh air. Food is definitely top of the list of the owners’ priorities, who have created a menu unanimously agreed as worthy of that shiny 2013 star. Imaginative, and slightly out of the ordinary ingredients may mean you don’t know what everything is on the menu (salmoriglio, spatzle and cannelé to name a few), but the friendly staff are more than happy to elaborate.
Unusually, you order off the same three course set menu for lunch or dinner, which costs £26 (£30 at weekends) and £42 respectively – and there are seven dishes in each course to choose from. In the starters the crab raviolo with samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce is highly recommended and while this dish may not appeal to everyone, the duck egg tart with red wine sauce, turnip purée, lardons and sautéed duck heart has received critical acclaim. From the main courses the under blade fillet with café de paris snails, salad, triple cooked chips and béarnaise is not your average steak and chips but if you can’t bring yourself to order that in a fine dining establishment, try the roast poussin. The aforementioned cannelé as well was given the accolade of “best dessert ever” by our reviewer.
Décor is at first glance minimalist and subtle, painted in greys and whites but then with not-so-subtle flashes of mint green - in the sofas, light fittings and pictures of medlars painted on the walls. NB a medlar is “a tree from the rose family that bears small, brown, apple-like fruit” (for those without access to Wikipedia). Even the white tiles in the bathrooms have green grouting.
After a very welcome plate of complimentary truffles if you can squeeze them in, the bill doesn’t come as a nasty surprise, so the only thing you will find to complain about is that your meal is over!
438 Kings Road
Chelsea Sw10 0LJ
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7349 1900