When I first heard about Scottish game restaurant Mac & Wild, I initially dismissed the cuisine as not for me. As a pescatarian, the likes of haggis and venison are off-limits to me. However, after hearing good buzz about it and realising they have menu options for me, I decided to give it a try. A freezing night in February seemed the perfect time for some Scottish fare, with my carnivore boyfriend on hand to sample the meatier options.
Mac & Wild initially started out as a street food stall, bringing Scottish culinary exports to Londoners, before opening a pop-up, and today has two permanent restaurants in the West End and City. The menu prides itself on offering seasonal Scottish produce sourced from hand-picked suppliers in the Highlands. If you’re expecting a Scottish theme restaurant, you’ll be disappointed as there are no ginger wigs or tartan costumes in sight. The Fitzrovia branch has gone for a modern, rustic-inspired look with handmade tables made from old trees, brown leather cushions and black and white landscape photographs of the Highlands. As we sat down to our table, my immediate thought was how cosy and warm it was. A posey of Scottish thistles in an Iru Bru can masquerading as a vase was a quirky touch which made us chuckle.
Having noticed the iconic orange can on our table, I knew I had to try to the Irn Bru Daiquiri as my apéritif when I saw the cocktail menu. Admittedly I had forgotten what Irn Bru tasted like as it had been decades since I last drank it. While I approached the drink with scepticism, I was pleasantly surprised and it went down a treat. Served in a martini glass, it consisted of Ron Matuselum Platino Rum, Irn Bru reduction, Angostora Bitters and Lime – a sweet concoction. Meanwhile, my companion opted for The Forager, billed as a Wild Old Fashioned, made with Glenkinchie 12yo, foraged pine needle tincture, double infused heather honey and finished with barrel-aged bitters, which he said was an interesting twist on his favourite cocktail.
When it came to starters, we both chose fishy ones. As I was anticipating a three-course meal, I decided on a lighter starter – Inverawe Smoked Salmon served with sourdough, whipped butter and lemon. The salmon was so fresh and rich in flavour and served with the bread, it didn’t linger long on my plate. Meanwhile, my boyfriend had my second choice, the brilliantly named Cullen Skink. To the uninitiated, it’s a classic Scottish soup made with smoked haddock, potato, onion, chives and dill. He praised the flavour and it’s suitability for a cold winter night. I tried a sip and thought it was delicious – definitely one to order on a return visit. Read the rest of this entry
On an average gloomy winter’s night in London, you’re a world away from the fresh air and atmosphere of bonnie Scotland. However, this month, Mac & Wild are offering Londoners the opportunity to take a trip to the Highlands without leaving the capital. Throughout February, the Scottish restaurant are giving customers the chance for a Free Taster Experience.
Taking place at their City outpost’s Hunting Lodge in Devonshire Square, diners can choose to take part in a range of interactive and immersive taster masterclasses, involving Haggis-making, venison butchery, gin and whisky. Mac & Wild’s founder Andy Waugh will be hosting Haggis Making Masterclasses and Butchery sessions so you can learn how to pluck and prepare a pheasant or haunch of venison. Or if you fancy a tipple, you can sign up to a gin or whisky taster masterclass, or even a virtual reality whisky experience to the remote Scottish village of Jura. Guests can sample three different names of gin or whisky, while the latter masterclass, drinkers will have the chance to don virtual reality headsets.
The experiences include;
- Haggis-Making Taster Masterclass – Tuesdays @ 6pm and 8pm
- Butchery Taster Experience – Wednesdays @ 6pm and 8pm
- Gin Taster Masterclass – Thursdays @ 6pm and 8pm, Saturdays @ 1pm
- Virtual Reality Jura Whisky Experience – Fridays @ 6pm and 8pm, Saturday @ 3pm
All of the Mac & Wild Taster Experiences are available to dining customers. You must book a table at the restaurant to reserve a free space on the experiences. Each experience lasts one hour.
- Mac & Wild City, 9A Devonshire Square, City of London, EC2M 4YN. Nearest station: Liverpool Street. For booking and more information, visit the Mac & Wild website.
For a guide to what else is on in February, click here.