Medlar Restaurant | Chelsea

I’ve been hearing about Michelin starred Medlar for ages.
It’s tucked away down King’s Road and I must’ve unknowingly passed it a thousand times. It’s the kind of place I casually put on my bucket list somewhere near the bottom with no real sense of urgency, but enough enticement to feel the need to get around to it.
Ya know whadda mean? 

Well, I finally decided to take a date to lunch, a very reasonably priced set menu of 3 courses for £27.
We arrived to a partially full dining room, which grew into a buzzing atmosphere throughout the afternoon.
The interior is elegant without being fussy. The grey walls are decorated by eccentrically busy artwork and obscure light fixtures. The banquettes are a vibrant green with artfully distressed mirrors overhead. Although we were sat in the front dining room, a trip to the bathroom meant passing through the restaurant. There’s a middle section of intimate booths filled with businessmen conducting deals and a naturally lit back room from the skylight overhead decorated by walls painted with the restaurant’s namesake. 

Medlar Considering the menu aims to serve seasonal ingredients from the British Aisles and Europe, we were not short for choice. I battled back and forth between the dishes, ensuring there was no overlap in ordering so I’d get a taste of whatever my date decided on.

We placed our order and a bread basket arrived with the choice of sourdough and brown bread. This disappeared far too quickly for me to get a snap, but there’s plenty of other food porn for you to feast your eyes upon.
Having finished round two of the bread basket, I was pleased when our starters arrived.
I cannot say no to bread. 

Medlar

He ordered the beetroot soup with smoked eel, crème fraîche, croutons, orange zest and cornered garlic flowers. Rich, comforting and delicious. The kind of dish you want to spoon into your mouth whilst curled up on a leather chair by the fireplace. Medlar MedlarI went for the thinly sliced veal with tonnato dressing, green beans, pickled shimeji and salted almonds. Inventive flavour combinations with the pickled shimeji mushrooms adding an incredibly balanced, sweet tang to the dish.

MedlarFor our main course, he ordered rump of lamb with crisp croquettes, asparagus, pied bleu, carrot purée and pommel fondant. This was a lot of food. It was all well cooked, but had more than the necessary amount of ingredients on the plate.

MedlarI ordered the gilt-head bream with palourde clams, speck, jersey royals, fresh peas and a nettle and parsley sauce. The dish was beautifully cooked and had great ingredients, but unfortunately, the sauce only tasted of butter. I would’ve loved a citrusy kick rather than a pool of butter. C’est la vie.
MedlarFor dessert, we shared poached rhubarb with Prosecco and Kaffir lime jelly, mandarin sorbet and pistachios. This one makes your eyes squint and lips purse, in a good way.
I bet your mouth just watered thinking about it.

MedlarThe cocoa nib panna cotta with Pedro Ximénez, honeycomb and stem ginger biscotti was a tiny bit of a let down, only because I am obsessed with panna cotta. You may have seen my panna cotta recipe here, of which I devoured all by myself. The flavours of Medlar’s panna cotta were good, but the springy, jelly texture that I so enjoy with a panna cotta was instead more of a creamy mousse. There are worse mixups in the dessert world, and it was still very tasty, but I wanted the spring in my step mouth.

I think I’ve told you before, but I’ll tell you again.
I love a petit four.

MedlarWe nibbled away on lime marshmallows and rich chocolate truffles with Pedro Ximénez as we planned adventures for the rest of our day. 

MedlarA new Whole Foods has recently opened in Fulham and seeing as I frequent the store as a home sickness cure, I had to check it out.
The store is lovely, filled with friendly staff and my favourite, samples!

Oh and look what I found!
Isn’t romanesco the coolest looking thing you’ve ever seen?

Whole Foods We then popped into my new favourite store, Nisbets. Have you been here? It’s like kitchen heaven. I skipped down the aisles finding miniature copper pots, darling serving dishes, dream knives and this bad boy. NisbetsI reckon I could whisk you off your feet with this one!

This was a day of foodie adventure.
5 House Points to anyone that can tell me what a medlar is?
Oh, you’re looking it up on Google…
I guess I’ll give you a couple points for being resourceful. Whilst you’re there, check out Medlar and their well-priced lunch menu, which is available Monday – Friday. Or if you’re in the mood for a more intimate affair, they serve 3 courses for dinner, as well.

Have you had any foodie finds lately? Leave a comment or tweet me here. I’d love to hear about your adventures!

Kurobuta Pop Up

Kurobuta has popped up in Chelsea.
The Japanese-Asian Pop Up is the baby of ex-Nobu head chef Scott Hallsworth and is making some serious waves on King’s Road.

Currently nesting in a little, intimate space, Kurobuta’s big bright plans are soon coming to fruition with a permanent location near Marble Arch.

But for now, dinner.

www.alessandrabrian.comWe were seated in the lower level of the restaurant, tucked behind the bar, me with the perfect view of the kitchen buzzing behind my date. This obviously left me a little distracted, but was very kindly put up with as I rattled on about what was happening out of sight.

www.alessandrabrian.comThe first of our order arrived, a plate of sweet potato and Soba-Ko fries with kimchee mayo & jalapeño sauce. The fries were a little lacking in sweet potato flavour, but had a lovely crunch to them. Both sauces were phenomenal and we kept these on the table throughout the night to dip (drown) other things in.

Sushi purists look away now.
www.alessandrabrian.comMy sushi obsession was happily satisfied by the arrival of soft shell crab tempura maki with kimchee mayo. The crunchy, sweet bite of fried crab was full of flavour and paired well with my naughty addition of wasabi and jalapeño sauce.
All sushi is healthy, right? Good, just checking. 
www.alessandrabrian.comThis was followed by one of the specials, foie gras & eel maki. Another sweet and successful, if not unexpected, flavour combination. www.alessandrabrian.com
Having watched Chef Hallsworth blow torch countless buns, giving them a smoky, chargrilled flavour and texture, I couldn’t wait for our next dish.
www.alessandrabrian.comBBQ pork belly in steamed buns arrived with with a spicy peanut soy sauce, which I generously slathered on each bite.

www.alessandrabrian.com These were by far my favourite dish of evening and we even considered a second order. But, there was still another dish to come, so we held off.  www.alessandrabrian.comThis proved to be a good decision as the special of Hamachi collar was great as well. Tender chunks of fresh fish with a nice citrus kick left us feeling full, satisfied…

www.alessandrabrian.comand ready for dessert. www.alessandrabrian.comYou didn’t think I’d leave without dessert, did you?
There were a select few to choose from the handwritten board. I don’t remember the other options, but one of them had chocolate so, easy decision.

A beautiful creation of pistachio, dark chocolate mousse, pistachio cake, pecans, and blackcurrant jellies arrived spread out across the plate. Another well paired dish with deep, sweet bites of chocolate and pistachio accompanied by a burst of sour flavour from the fresh berries and black current jellies.

I could’ve used twice the amount on the plate, but that’s because I’m a glutton.
www.alessandrabrian.comIf you don’t make it to Kurobuta’s current location, be sure to visit them in their new, permanent home near Marble Arch soon for a feast of Japanese junk food.