Medlar is a neighbourhood restaurant in Chelsea, cooking in a French classical style. Co-owned by Joe Mercer Nairne and David O’Connor (both of former Michelin fame), Medlar was awarded a single star in 2013. It has a contemporary décor with a cosy and semi casual feel, and unlike most restaurants, you’ll only be offered a prix-fixe menu – but one with a good number of choices.
The fish offering is excellent at Medlar; the char-grilled red mullet with tomato is not short on quality, with its seasoning spot-on. The smoked mackerel and aubergine caviar delivers great layers of flavours and textures, with a lovely earthy taste. The salmoriglio completes the dish with more robust Mediterranean flavours without knocking-out the delicate essence of the red mullet.
Though, the under blade fillet with snails, salad, triple-cooked chips and Béarnaise is a bit of a questionable dish. While all the elements are nicely cooked, you’ll find it’s more of a brasserie offering than a fine-dining main course.
The crème chiboust with strawberries and honeycomb is a refreshing dessert with nice crisp and clean flavours coming from the fresh strawberries. The pastry is well-made and not too heavy with the honeycomb adding a hint of sweetness. This is a well-constructed classic dessert and truly a delight on a hot summer’s day.
Both the kitchen and service have a few issues that need to be addressed. Finger marks weren’t properly wiped-off plates and the waiter who served the cheese didn’t clean the knife before cutting the next cheese, which result in cross contamination. The cooking is of a good standard considering the price. However, it’s just not quite at the *1 star level it managed to gain. Classical cooking shouldn’t warrant any mistakes and should be close to perfection. Medlar just isn’t quite at that level yet.