Husband & I have devised a bit of a quirky system for celebrating our wedding anniversary. An August wedding (for the most part) secures you nice weather, but it also guarantees extortionate weekend away/holiday prices. Therefore we’ve been awarding ourselves Michelin Star dining per year. Year 1 we visited the Fat Duck (3 Michelin *), Year 2 was Hibiscus (2*) and this year, Year 3, we went for Medlar, an exquisite 1* in Chelsea.
Now that we’ve run out of stars, Husband is threatening Pizza Express for Year 4…
Medlar is located on the Kings Road – at the opposite end from the hubbub of Sloane’s Square & Peter Jones & surrounded by a number of establishments referring to themselves as the World’s End? Is the end of the Kings Road really the world’s end?
Nevertheless, an unassuming exterior and in we go, We originally opted to sit outside, but a word of warning – watching traffic (Even if it is Chelsea traffic) gets boring very quickly and we cheekily asked to be shifted back indoors (Which they did very obligingly!)
The interior is not trying too hard, grey walls, green banquettes, splashes of paintings and green lamps lend themselves to a pleasing ambiance. Servers wear smart jeans which lends the place a casual air and met with Husband’s hearty approval – nothing worse (it seems) than waiters who are dressed better than you are.
The menu is a Prix Fixe – 3 courses for £45.
For starters, I opt for Ajo Blanco, which I’d never heard of before, but the waitress described it as a chilled white garlic/almond soup. This was the best starter I’ve come across in a long time! The garlic flavour was sweet and not at all overpowering and the almonds added a texture and taste of their own that was sublime. Garnished with a breadstick, cucumber, grapes and scallops, I was in love. So much so, I could have happily even omitted the scallops!
Husband opted for the crab raviolo, which looking around appeared to the starter of choice, but he had nothing negative to say – meaty crab. Tick. Delicious bisque. Tick, What else can one ask for?
Onto Mains – Husband opted for the Rabbit & I, the Red Mullet. Now I would class Rabbit as a heavy sort of gamey choice, suitable for red wine pairings, cold winter nights and times when you want some stodge. Oh so wrong was I.
This rabbit was soft, tender and garnished with chard and a side of potato terrine, it swept aside my misconceptions on the choice of Rabbit on a summers’ eve.
My fish was flaky and had a hint of a crab meat sort of texture to it, which made it light and airy (And given what was to follow, a great choice). The accompanying smoked mackerel was melt-in-mouth, the tomato tart sweet sweet & punchy. The aubergine caviar was a little too plentiful & i was envisioning a baba ghanoush type flavour, but nothing of the sort, this was much lighter & sweeter although albeit a little excessive in volume.
Time for dessert. I opted for a Creme chiboust (Vanilla parfait in the common tongue) with strawberries & a bit of honeycomb. The strawberry sorbet melted fast so this had to be devoured pretty quick smart. The honeycomb was unnoticeable but the strawberries & vanilla cream made this perfect English fare.
Husband opted for the Chocolate Pave, which in the few bites I had, contributed much of my Chocolate intake for the remainder of the year. So so rich you need to be a chocoholic to get through this bad boy. Husband, it seems, has more of a sweet tooth than I thought.
And surprise, since it was our anniversary, they brought us a bonus dessert. Pine Kernel & Cherry Tart. I loved that it was so different to both our offerings & despite 2 very rich desserts on the table, we still managed all of the 3rd.
Goodness knows what other restaurant goers thought of our 3-dessert ending?
Finally, Petit Fours – Passionfruit Marshmallow & Boozy Chocolate Truffles. I had a nibble at a truffle but couldn’t face any more chocolate & even Husband was defeated by the Chocolate he’d had so far but we did gamely manage a marshmallow each! If only supermarket marshmallows tasted like this, I’d imagine the humble ‘mallow would take on cult status.
Jay Rayner said that Medlar is ‘As good as it gets‘ and I, merely a humble aspiring food blogger, do not disagree.