99b Church Street, Malvern
Tel: 01684 569909

I HAVE a feeling that this cosy restaurant tucked away in a courtyard off Church Street is one that Malvern folk would rather like to keep to themselves.

With its cuisine bringing a warm glow of the Mediterranean to the hillside town it is, frankly, seriously good.

The owners have been there for about three years and everything, from the warm welcome to the excellent food and the fig tree in the centre of the courtyard, speaks of a professional and caring operation.

Very often Mediterranean cuisine means Italian food. The Fig Tree certainly has that in abundance but also offers dishes from other parts of the region – moules marinieres from France, lamb souvlaki from Greece and a Spanish/Italian favourite of chargrilled squid with chorizo.

In relaxed Mediterranean restaurants the patron makes time to chat to his guests and it was pleasing that the lady partner at the Fig Tree was quite happy to talk to us; a nice change from the feed-them-and-get-themout attitude prevalent in some establishments.

Food at the Fig Tree is not cheap but neither is it overly expensive. We ran up a bill of £95, largely because we were treating it as a bon voyage treat for a daughter setting off to explore the world.

The restaurant, which opens from Tuesday to Saturday and on bank holiday Mondays, has a lunch menu, another for dinner and, being only a two-minute walk from Malvern Theatres, a special pre-performance menu.

Most ingredients are sourced locally – including fig ice cream on the dessert menu.

Our three starters were faultless. My deep fried calamari was tender and served with lemon and salad leaves, my wife’s dolcelatte and walnut tortellini came with a really light pasta and my daughter’s moules marinieres had a tasty creamy sauce.

My pan-fried chicken breast stuffed with marscarpone, tarragon and pancetta came with rosemary potatoes and rocket and a sauce which was rich but avoided the pitfall of being sickly.

The chicken was tender and overall it was a delicious dish.

My wife and daughter’s mains of chargrilled sea bass and duck confit tortellini respectively, were equally well received, especially the fish which came with a red pepper sauce, spinach and rosemary potatoes.

For my dessert I tried a Tuscan speciality, dipping the inevitable almond biscuit in a glass of strong, sweet wine, while my wife settled for almond and lemon polenta, adding fig ice-cream for good measure, and junior enjoyed a rich chocolate offering.

An excellent bottle of unoaked dry pino grigio and coffees all round took care of the liquid side of what proved to be a thoroughly enjoyable evening.

It will certainly not be the last time that we pay a visit to the Fig Tree.


Food: 5
Service: 5
Ambience: 5
Value for money: 5