Medlar is located in World’s End, right at the very end of the King’s Road in Chelsea. Owned by Joe Mercer Nairne and David O’Connor, who have both honed their skills in some of London’s top restaurants – some of which I’ve had my best meals at (The Square and The Ledbury). I added Medlar to my bucket list as soon as it opened but for one reason or another though I have only just managed to tick this one off. I was really looking forward to our lunch here…
Arriving before The Better Half (TBH), I was seated and given a magazine while I waited for him to arrive. I thought that was a lovely touch, there’s nothing worse than sitting at a table on your own and not knowing what to do with yourself. Glass of champers ordered, I settled in for what I was expecting to be a long wait. It was raining outside and traffic on the King’s Road was at a standstill, but I was made to feel pretty comfortable so wasn’t overly concerned. He arrived not too long after though and was starving, so we got on with the serious business of deciding what to eat. The restaurant offers a three course lunch for £30 and as I had already had a chance to look over the menu, I already knew what we both would be having. (We’ve been together for 22 years, I generally know what he’d like to eat before he does!)
I started with the Roast Orkney scallop with boneless chicken wings, Jerusalem artichoke purée and crisp pancetta. Initially a little perplexed by the oblong shape of the scallops, they still tasted exactly as they should have done and were cooked to perfection. Their sweetness was complimented beautifully by the earthy purée and salty pancetta. I love chicken wings and am awe-struck at how the kitchen can remove the bone and make them far less finicky to eat. Why can’t they all come like that?
TBH initially wanted what I had to start, but his daft rule that we can’t order the same dish put paid to that and he ordered the celeriac soup with oxtail and chestnut ragout, cépes and gougéres. He loves soup and really enjoyed the creaminess of the soup and the rich, meaty ragout was a great contrast. I had a small taste and all I could taste was celery, which I really can’t stand! Fortunately it wasn’t my starter though and he really enjoyed it. Gougéres seem to be on most menus of the restaurants we’ve visited recently and they’ve all been different. These were dense but extremely cheesy, which we both really enjoyed.
Middle white pork chop and cheek with salsa verde, cobnuts, cauliflower purée and crackling is what I chose for my main course. I enjoy eating pork but don’t cook it very much at home, I think it’s probably because I don’t have a massive repertoire of pork recipes and how much can you do with a pork chop anyway? Well this dish was a celebration of all that is good about it. Perfectly succulent, perfectly crisp crackling, crunchy cobnuts, creamy cauliflower purée and sharp salsa verde all came together to make an extremely flavoursome dish. I used some of the very good foccacia to make sure I got every last bit of sauce, it was that tasty.
TBH was suffering with a little bit of a hangover, so really wanted something comforting and what could be more comforting than steak and chips? Obviously this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill steak and chips, this was a rump of belted Galloway with shin and pickled walnut croquettes, triple cooked chips and béarnaise sauce. Divine. This would be my death row meal (minus the béarnaise sauce) if I was ever to choose my final meal, but as I knew how rough he was feeling – he probably needed this dish more than I did. I did steal a few of the triple cooked chips though and they were yum! I’m pretty sure he enjoyed it too because he didn’t make much of a sound and proceeded to polish off everything on the plate.
I’ve heard great things about the cheeseboard at Medlar and for a £5 supplement, I decided that I would have this as my dessert. I was absolutely blown away and declared on Twitter that this was the best cheeseboard I have had to date! I’m not sure if the server saw the excitement on my face and decided to indulge me or if this is the standard cheeseboard they serve, but I was given a selection of 11 cheeses! Yep, 11 cheeses! I can’t remember what they all were, but my favourite was the Epoisse – poor TBH crinkled his nose every time I took a bit of this cheese because it was that smelly, but I loved it. I couldn’t finish the whole platter though, but I gave it a damn good crack.
To end things off, TBH had the chocolate tart with honeycomb ice cream and salted caramel. Again, I didn’t try any but I am assured it was delicious and a great way to end his meal.
All in all we had an extremely enjoyable lunch, we felt comfortable and relaxed so I think Joe and David have succeeded in what they set out to do when opening Medlar. Our total bill came to £127.13 including service.
Until we eat again!