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chefmatt

Medlar, King's Road

26 posts in this topic

Medlar is the new restaurant from ex Square/Chez Bruce/Ledbury manager David O'Connor and ex Chez Bruce chef Joe Mercer Nairn. I am surprised it hasn't popped up on here already as it has been open a few weeks now and I have heard nothing but good things so far.


Matt Christmas.

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Robin hermanos has been too and liked it, quite a rarity of late.


you don't win friends with salad

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small review by marina in metro today, also concurring grown up sensible restaurant.


you don't win friends with salad

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Successful restaurants are not only about the quality of food which comes out of the kitchen. The feel of a place is just as important, and front of house can often make or break that "feel"

David O Connor has an impressive pedigree, this softly spoken Wirral born boy, worked at his parents restaurant, then Orrery, before working and managing front of house at Chez Bruce, The Square and The Ledbury. Twelve years with the group is some hell of an experience and boy does it show.

Posh chef (Eton and Oxford) Joe Mercer Nairne, would perhaps be more suited to University Challenge. "Mercer Nairn, studying archaeology and anthropology" than the uber hot, energy sapping basement kitchen. His chosen profession has taken him to The Savoy Grill under hard taskmaster Marcus Wareing. Out to Oz for a spell at Rockpool, and back home to work alongside Bruce Poole at Chez Bruce. So not to be sniffed at eh.

Some good reviews have come through since opening, and I wondered if this place was a notch above just a very good neighbourhood restaurant.

Don't change a winning formula, and you can see that in the menu, its very Chez Bruce in style, with perhaps a dish or two less on starters and mains. Seven starters, six mains, seven desserts, plus a cheese course is enough choice. We dined at lunch which is extremely good value.

Hand on heart there was not one dish that I would not have happily ordered.So I left it up to David to put together a tasting menu of as many dishes as he liked, with the caveat, we eat most things, we are fairly hearty eaters, and have no allergies.

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Focaccia and a sourdough made with spelt flour are made on the premises, both good, the better being the latter.

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Summer on a plate. Lavishly smothered in summer truffle, the Chilled Broad bean and pea soup got us off to a good start. Hiding under the foliage is little blobs of goats cheese, to add just a little distracting note now and again.

A signiture dish next, and on seeing it and eating it, you can understand why.

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Crab raviolo, with brown shrimps and bisque sauce.. Bang, big seafood hit, crunchy salty samphire, packed to the brim raviolo bursting with briney crab. Same with the shrimp, all held together with the creamy sauce. A joy to eat. Perfect pasta, the whole dish leaving you panting for more.

Halibut with petit pois a la Francaise, Lardo di Colonatta, radish, baby gem and jersey royals

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I was informed after the meal that the Halibut was a half portion, which surprised me somewhat as in a lot of other restaurants this would be normal plating size for a main. Just shows how generous and hearty the mains are. Remember of course we had tasting courses.

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Intricate and exciting the Assiette of Rabbit had us flitting across the plate to sample the pate, red onion marmalade and garlic scapes. Back to the moist and flavourful rabbit with some sweet carrot puree, then a mouthful of the delicious pomme anna. A very good dish this.

Another good dish Lamb rack and confit shoulder took us off to the South of France, with its nicoise jus, balsamic peppers and sweetbreads, and some unannounced sun drenched black olives. Sadly though it was tipping it down outside on the Kings Road which was a bit of a reality check for us.

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A very special treat next. Very special indeed, some aged twenty four month Comte from Bernard Anthony. David bought this in especially for a birthday party for Bruce Poole (Chez Bruce) but it only arrived the day after his party. Sad to say for him, but good to say for us.

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Fantastic, served with what I thought may have been a medlar jelly, but turned out to be a more than appropriate quince jelly.

A trio of desserts next, and Joe Mercer Nairne has done his time on pastry, which very few chefs have the will to do.

Chocolate and almond torte with honeycomb ice cream and caramel sauce.

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Buttermilk pannacotta with English strawberries, pistachios and financier.

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Apricot and cardamon ice cream with baklava.

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Lots and lots of oohs and ahhs from both of us, plenty of interesting flavours and combinations. Pretty plates of food which we just about struggled to finish, but managed it in the end.

Well, we really did enjoy our visit here, great service, fabulous food and enough very tempting options on the menu to encourage a very prompt return. In fact if we lived in London we would have already made another booking by now, I like it that much. Interestingly enough I was as impressed here as I was on our first visit to Phil Howards (The Square) Kitchin W8 and tipped that for a star, which it gained at first pitch. As is inevitable in top end dining circles, Michelin have already taken note and made two visits already. We can most certainly understand why. The critics and the locals all love it.

Trade in the evenings is brisk and sometimes frantic, whilst lunchtimes are steady, as is mostly the norm. I expect this place to carry on doing what it does best and continue to gain more and more followers going from strength to strength. As has already been touched on portion size and price point is excellent, especially if you can make it at lunchtime, where you can take one course for £14.50, two for £19.50 or three for £25. We went the whole hog so to speak, for that you will pay a little more. With an entry level bottle of wine, service, three hearty courses, tap water, expect to pay about forty pounds each, at dinner it will be about fifty five, and its worth every penny and more.

A really strong recommend.

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Our two new best friends, and the most likeable guys that we have met in recent years. Your in for a treat.

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In those photos the dishes look so enticing that I needed just a gentle push to be convinced they also tasted great - well your narrative has more than done the job!

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In those photos the dishes look so enticing that I needed just a gentle push to be convinced they also tasted great - well your narrative has more than done the job!

Thanks for those kind words.

Taste is all with me, as you know. Even though I'm seduced initially by a pretty plate.

Good review and a heady four stars from sometimes difficult to please Fay Maschler

A whopping five out of five from Time Out's Guy Dimond.

Time will tell what Michelin think.

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Should be a very solid star if you ask me. Had three meals there now and all of them were spot-on. Service, food and the whole atmosphere just work. It's just the right place at the right time, although this kind of place would probably be right at pretty much anytime. Can only second all of the very positive comments from above!

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Dinner here yesterday. Had most of Mr Goodfellow's dishes (crab raviolo, rabbit, honeycomb etc) - all delicious and reasonable (Chelsea) value at £38 for 3 courses. For me the stand-out was the rabbit. Not sure where they get the meat from, but it is very tasty and sweet; much more flavour than I would expect from farmed rabbit. Would have liked to have tried the cheese board, but was too full of apricot icecream.

What really stood out, and will bring us back, was the friendliness of the staff. I congratulated Clement (the sommelier) on his write-up in the FT - he said he was bowled over by having Lander and Robinson in the restaurant, as she is his hero and he's read all her books.

http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/4423d59e-a1f5-11e0-b485-00144feabdc0.html

Very pleased to have this just 20 minutes walk away.

(edited to add specific link)


Edited by battleofthebulge (log)

Sarah

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What a pleasant little place!

The crab raviolo was very good, but surprisingly also the weakest, in our opinion, of the whole lunch (this may say more about the excellence of the lunch than on the dish), the so-called bisque too creamy and lacking depth. It tasted absolutely pleasant, but a little more monodimensional than we'd expected.

On the other hand the duck egg tart with duck hearts was a symphony of textures and flavours. The tart, light and crispy (puff-pastry), the mushrooms, intense, the egg, runny and luscious, the heart, soft and cooked just so, all played together to great effect. Thanks also to the nice wine sauce and the powerful lardons (we could not fail to compare the effective use made of them here to the ineffective use made of pancetta by Locatelli the day before), this was at one stroke rustic and accomplished, assertive and mellow.

Mains (partridge and daube de boeuf) and desserts (prune and Armagnac ice cream, and a pear and frangipane tart) were also impressive.

The service was very, very good.

Medlar seems to have attained perfection in its genre.

(Will write a full review at our place when we get some time.)

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The Duck Egg Tart was one of the most outstanding dishes I had last year.

It is a great example of taking a homestyle dish (I guess we start with oeuf meurette), putting it on steroids and turning it into real haute cuisine. The kind of thing I would expect to be done at Le Gavroche or at a Ducasse joint.

J


More Cookbooks than Sense - my new Cookbook blog!

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The Duck Egg Tart was one of the most outstanding dishes I had last year.

It is a great example of taking a homestyle dish (I guess we start with oeuf meurette), putting it on steroids and turning it into real haute cuisine. The kind of thing I would expect to be done at Le Gavroche or at a Ducasse joint.

J

By the way Jon, forgot to say that we liked your description above so much that we have stolen it for our report (providing credit and link, of course!)

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I'm really excited.

I read through this thread again and realised what a fantastic time that we had here. Loved the place, loved the service and of course loved the food, so much so that we have booked in again.

Cor, something to really look forward to.

Anyone been recently?

Would love to read your review

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I was there in November for lunch, that's as recent as I can give you.

It was arguably the best meal I ate in 2011. Cannot absolutely recall specific courses, sorry... if I can look at a menu later I can probably update and told you what I ate, but it was all awesome. Not a foot put wrong anywhere. Even the coffee is superb, which is a rare thing in London anywhere.

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Fantastic meal here yesterday. Everything is just so right about this place, it puts some Michelin starred restaurants to shame.

It just must get a star this year Michelin.

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One year old this month,(happy birthday boys), they have expanded upstairs to add extra covers and a private dining area (see above).

Will post a full review when I have a bit more time.

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Booked again for June when some friends are in town... can't wait! :cool:

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It has just been announced that Joe Mercer Nairne has won Tatler's restaurant awards best young chef, cementing what others and ourselves have said for ages about the cooking here.

So, ten months down the line, and we make a return visit, and boy were we looking forward to it.

As we sat by the window during our meal I wondered just how many people had pondered coming through the door only to change their mind at the last minute. We saw a number of people browse the menu and I was tempted to knock on the window to beckon them in, knowing just what a treat they were missing. Thats the thing. If you don't know an area or a particular restaurant, its easy to miss a gem and end up eating somewhere mediocre.

This is a gem.

The menu had a few of the non removeable signiture dishes on it, namely the Duck egg tart and the Crab raviolo. We were tempted again by them, but resisted as there was so much else on offer to tuck into.

Bread as before was good, and replenished if and when required.

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I asked David O Connor if he would do a tasting menu for us as we were a little spoilt for choice, obligingly he said yes.

I will let the pictures tell the story, as they can do a better job than I.

What followed was a joyous afternoon of plate after plate of excellent food.

Wild garlic and Jersey royal soup with sautéed snails.

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Cheese gougeres

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Crispy Lamb's fries with sauce ravigote, tardivo, Jersey royals.

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Asparagus with ricotta, pea mousse, pheasant egg, pickled shimeji mushrooms, black olive.

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Home smoked mackerel and oyster (in dashi jelly) salad, mooli, horseradish cream. Nasturium.

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Sea bream with purple sprouting brocolli, gnocchi, razor clams gordal olives.

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Wood pigeon, roast foie gras, morels, crepé parmentier, shallot purée, kale.

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Now I have to say, that at this stage we had to stop for a breather, portion size is generous indeed.

Joe M - N did say to me that one thing that Bruce Poole (Chez Bruce) taught him was that no one should ever leave the restaurant feeling hungry.

You will never ever do that here.

The last time we ate here we were very fortunate to try some Bernard Anthony cheese, an aged compté no less. It was gobsmackingly good too.

On the menu this time was another aged (two year old) Bernard Anthony cheese, some Gruyere du Garde. We had to try this out.

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Well, we were stunned by the quality ( and quantity ). We kept looking at each other, then back at the cheese. It was an immense portion after such a lot of eating already, but we could not stop eating it, it was that good.

Whatever you do, if you go, and you must. Try this cheese if its still on the menu. Its awesome.

Desserts were really a bridge too far in a way as we were well and truly sated. Still David would not let us through the door without at least a taste of a few of them.

Chocolate delice, milk ice cream, griottine cherries, pistachios.

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Individual parkin, walnuts, stem ginger, roast pinapple, creme fraiche.

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Vanilla cheesecake, poached rhubarb, hazelnut crumble.

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Well, I hope the photos convey just what you can expect from one of our favourite restaurants. It would be on our weekly rota if we lived anywhere near.

Special mention must go for the service from all of the staff. Thanks to Sommelier Clement who looked after our wine choice and for patiently explaining to us his choices. Then of course David O Connor who's depth of skill front of house is immense.

Joe and his team are cooking their socks off, and every dish was big on flavour. Thats something which you do not get everywhere.

We had a marvelous afternoon at Medlar, easily equaling, if not surpassing some higher rated Michelin starred places. And value? Well, the lunchtime pricing is just unbelievable for the quality, and it is the same menu as in the evening.

Ahhh, deep joy.

Do give it a go.

Why?

Because your worth it :wink:

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I hate to be the one to tell you this but it's Comte not Compte. If you ever find yourself In Alsace, Bernard Antony should be a "must do" a non descript village with very little other than His shop. Having said that there have been rumblings that the quality has been falling , I believe a couple of places have stopped using him. I suspect this may be to do with the increased abailability, he used to be very particular about who he sent his cheese to. The 4 year old Comte was very special, I haven't had it in a while but I would hazard a guess that with it available so many places that it is probably a younger cheese, still good but not his very best.


"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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I hate to be the one to tell you this but it's Comte not Compte. If you ever find yourself In Alsace, Bernard Antony should be a "must do" a non descript village with very little other than His shop. Having said that there have been rumblings that the quality has been falling , I believe a couple of places have stopped using him. I suspect this may be to do with the increased abailability, he used to be very particular about who he sent his cheese to. The 4 year old Comte was very special, I haven't had it in a while but I would hazard a guess that with it available so many places that it is probably a younger cheese, still good but not his very best.

I hate to be the one to tell you this but its availability not abailability :wink::biggrin:

If ever I'm in Alsace I will most certainly give it a visit.

The two year old that we ate was tremendous. Although I admit to not being an expert on cheese or anything else come to that.

I may someday be lucky enough to eat the four year old.

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Lunched at Medlar on Saturday. It was good. For those that don't know it is about fifteen minutes walk from South Kensington or Gloucester Rd tube.

We ate

Crab raviolo with samphire, brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and bisque sauce. It was good, good pasta, plenty of crab, well flavoured sauce. It reminded me a little of the crab lasagne the Square does.

Duck egg tart with red wine sauce, turnip purée, lardons and sautéed duck heart was equally well done. It was quite a big portion, rich and tasty.

For mains we opted for veal rump with crisp brain and globe artichokes. I tried only a little of this. The crisp, creamy brain was good as was the garlicky artichoke. The veal rump was done nicely too.

Cornish brill with jerusalem artichoke purée, braised chicken wings, crisp pancetta and salsify was my choice. Brill is up there with John Dory and Turbot in terms of my favourite fish. I can't say I am as big a fan of puréed artichoke though, it was fine if you like it, I am not fussed (although I ate the lot!). So, meaty, sticky chicken wings and a shard of crisp pancetta and some wild mushrooms and a couple of pieces of good fish was happily demolished.

We shared a generous cheese board with a particularly enjoyable vacherin (but all good) then shared a crime brûlée.

This is good eating food. It looks good on the plate and the menu is full of appealing items. The portions are generous too; not too dainty or fiddled with.

Wines were selected for us and were very enjoyable. I don't have notes of exactly what they all were but the burgundy with mains was very enjoyable, sherry with the cheese was an interesting change and the Croatian sweet wine with the brûlée went down well too.

As suggested above, it's well worth a visit.


Martin

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then shared a crime brûlée.

In the spirit of posts 20 & 21, let me just say that I have often eaten brulees that are crimes against good food. :laugh:

Thanks for the report, Martin


Edited by Harters (log)

John Hartley

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I did notice my creme crime after posting but couldnt be arsed changing it...

Did you decide on venues for your London trip John?


Martin

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Had dinner there on Wednesday. Excellent meal, and the sommelier in particular had interesting recommendations.

My dining partner had the crab raviolo, which I tasted and was quite good, but I started with the venison tartare which was stunning. Middlewhite pork three ways (including black sausage), and then the tarte tatin for two which blew away all other tartes tatins I've ever had (to be fair, this one was quite a bit closer to treacle tart). It comes with crème fraîche ice cream and is highly recommended - and I don't even like dessert particularly.

After a bourbon on the rocks the sommelier recommended a glass of a fabulous Savennières to go with the venison - I wanted a white that would stand up to it, and this silky, stone-fruit Loire matched it beautifully.

With the mains we drank this:

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Quite a splurge, but really lovely.

We had a nice quiet table right at the front. I'd return anytime.

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