438 Kings Road, London, England, SW10 0LJ, United Kingdom

Back to search results

Medlar, run by chef Joe Mercer Nairne and manager David O’Connor, opened in 2011 It had a Michelin star from 2013 until 2015, though no one can really explain why the star disappeared (same cooks, same food) except Michelin, who aren’t telling. Chef Joe has an unusual background as a chef, having studied Archaeology and Anthropology at Oxford before switching to Leith’s School of Food and Wine in 2001. He has worked at The Savoy Grill and Chez Bruce, as well as Rockpool.

The three-course lunch was just £45, which seems like quite a bargain these days in London, where that sum will barely buy you a main course at plenty of restaurants whose kitchens are less capable than here. At dinner the menu is priced at £70. We did corkage today (at just £15) rather than indulging from the excellent and fairly priced wine list.

After a little nibble of comforting cheese gougeres I started my meal with a terrine of smoked ham hock and foie gras served with celeriac remoulade, walnuts and brioche as well as a caper and raisin puree. The terrine had plenty of depth of flavour, with the earthy celeriac nicely contrasting with the richness of the liver (15/20).

Crab raviolo with samphire came with brown shrimps, fondue of leeks and a bisque sauce. This dish has become a signature of the restaurant and deservedly so, the sweetness of the crab nicely offset by the leeks, the pasta having good texture (15/20). 

Wild sea bass from Cornwall was served with seasonal green asparagus, girolles and cucumber with a sauce vierge, a Mediterranean sauce involving olive oil, chopped tomatoes, basil and lemon, which gave a pleasing freshness to the dish, allowing the carefully cooked sea bass and tender asparagus to shine (15/20).

The cheese board had a good selection including Sainte-Maure de Touraine, aged Comte and bleu de Corse, all in good condition. For dessert I tried lemon sorbet with lemon crisps and freshly baked madeleines. The latter in particular were lovely, the little scallop shell shaped pastries being light and fluffy (15/20). Coffee was from Union, a decent if unexceptional supplier. 

Service was lovely. The bill came to £87 per person, but that was with an extra course, cheese and wine via corkage. If you stuck to the three-course menu and shared a modest bottle of wine then a typical cost per person might be around £75 or so, maybe £100 in the evening. Medlar is a charming restaurant that has an attractive menu of classic dishes that are well made, along with a very good wine list and charming service, all at a fair price, especially at lunch.   

Further reviews: 30th Jan 2023 | 19th Jun 2021 | 22nd Dec 2019 | 05th Feb 2015 | 22nd May 2012

Add a comment


User comments


    Went for lunch last month thanks to your recommendation during a flying visit to Germany from Australia for a series of Mosel master classes Stellar food service and wine Some dishes woke my jaded palate Perhaps the Michelin circus has started to slowly reach its inevitable conclusion as post-pandemic common sense sets in