medlar has been open since april and has consistently had good reviews from bloggers and critics alike. we went for lunch last week, with friends, and i need to add my voice to those singing medlar’s praises – we had a fabulous meal, were looked after incredibly well and i hope to be back soon. even if it is a bit of a faff to get to - wear comfy shoes if you’re walking from a nearby station or research bus options, to prevent getting sore feet!
i started with deep fried calf’s brains with sauce gribiche and red wine jus. gribiche is an interesting sauce – it’s made with chopped boiled eggs and reminds me of tartare sauce; there are often capers and/or gherkins mixed in as well mustard and lots of herbs. it was a good accompaniment to the very tender and delicately flavoured nuggets of deep fried calf’s brain – i loved the contrast between the crispy breadcrumb shell and the soft and creamy brain.
david’s starter of duck egg tart (i don’t know why i was expecting duck eggs to be small, but obviously they are not) with red wine sauce, turnip puree, lardons, girelles and sautéed duck heart was a less challenging dish but had a more complex set of flavours – i particularly enjoyed the slightly sharp turnip contrasting with the rest of the dish’s richness. the other starter we had (we double-ordered one dish in every course so, despite there being four of us we only tried three dishes each time, which was a bit of a missed opportunity) was an incredibly fresh and bright chilled broad bean and pea soup which was topped with a crouton sprinkled with a young goats cheese and an abundance of summer truffle – summer on a plate.
my main course was the lightest option – perfectly cooked red mullet with baby squid, ratatouille (wonderfully fresh, clean vegetable flavours), tapenade and salted almonds. it was the contrast between the crunchy almonds and the rest of the dish which really bought everything together. david had a perfect lamb dish – a trio of perfectly pink rack, meltingly tender confit shoulder and punchy sweetbreads. the final main, which i wished i’d ordered once i tried it, was rabbit assiette (stuffed with a chicken and tarragon mousse, i think but can’t quite remember) with pomme anna, carrot puree, red onion marmalade and lovage.
for pudding i had a buttermilk pannacotta with strawberries, pistachio and a financier. this wasn’t a good choice for me - a bit too rich and creamy but i did love the slightly chewy financier and it reminded me i should make a batch. david’s cherry and frangipane croustade was a light pyramid-shaped pudding served with griottines (morello cherries in kirsch) and milk ice cream. our final pudding of apricot and cardamom ice-cream with (extra) baklava was also delicious – i particularly liked the delicately-flavoured ice cream.
for lunch these three course combinations will set you back £25 which is fantastic value. i really enjoyed this meal, much preferring it to the 6 course menu i had at roganic a couple of weeks ago, which i’d had high hopes for, having read so many great things about l’enclume over the years, but which failed to shine. medlar, on the other hand, was superb and i recommend it unreservedly.
438 kings road, chelsea, sw10 0lj
020 7349 1900