Mac and Wild Thing, Our Tastebuds Are Singing, Fitzrovia

12 Aug 2016

A Scottish restaurant in the heart of Fitzrovia without a deep-fried Mars Bar or Tam O'Shanter in sight. So what's on the menu?  Vegetarians look away now.

I had no intention of sharing my Haggis Pops, not a euphemism or sheep innards on a stick. What these are, are a game-changer. Deep-fried balls of haggis, rolled, deep-fried in panko crumbs and served with a whisky sauce. As soon as I had eaten the bowl, I wanted another. The Venison Scotch Egg had a generous meat-to-egg ratio, a decent spice to it and a crisp shell which when broken revealed a leaking yolk.

Mac and Wild is a Scottish game restaurant in Fitzrovia where provenance is crucial. Here you’ll eat hand-dived scallops from the west coast or game from the co-owner’s family butcher in the Highlands. If you love whisky, this place has some crackers. If you fancy a foray into the dark arts of whisky tasting, they’ve paired drams with each meal, and it’s a list that won’t put the curious and uninitiated off.

This seventy cover restaurant has a basement and first floor with a rural feel.  Bare brick walls, chunky wood seating, a couple of deer skins and a display wall which feature an animal’s journey from plot to plate.

Maybe I should have let my stomach do the ordering, but my eyes took over, this was breakfast and lunch after all and I have to admit to ordering too much. There were plenty of lighter breakfast options including Pine-cured salmon, pepper dulse, scrambled eggs on sourdough. A full Scottish Breakfast (£12) and the Scooby-Snack, a floury bap stuffed with black pudding, bacon, fried egg, caramelised onions a tatty scone and Lorne sausage (£8).

They make award-winning burgers here so there’s no surprise there are three on the menu.  I couldn’t resist a pair of venison and beef patties, stuffed into a brioche bun, topped with cheese and candied bacon, caramelised onions, razor-thin pickles, lettuce and béarnaise sauce.  The Veni-Moo had the potential to induce meat-sweats and was a towering inferno of taste.  The Big Mac and Wild had two beef patties, their signature sauce, pickles, onions and iceberg lettuce, stuffed in a seeded brioche bun.  No condiments offered or needed.

A side of Haggis Mac and Cheese (£6.50) worked well with the charred meat.  Peppered haggis, soft penne pasta, and a hint of truffle oil were a good fries alternative.  Their hand cut, skin on fries are from Scottish potatoes (£3).

Free water washed this down, but there are five brunch cocktails, including a Bloody Mary made with Bruichladdich single malt, the hair of the dog indeed.  They’ve also an excellent selection of Scottish beers and spirits.

Stuffed we couldn’t manage any of the handful of desserts, even the Irn Bru ice lolly (£3).

We ended on Workshop filter coffee (£3) which came with a cheeky shard of their homemade tablet.

The Wild Brunch Club takes place each weekend between 11am and 4pm and if you’re after a relaxed meal, played out to a soundtrack of blues and soul, with easy-going staff who know a thing or two about service, then this is it.

Bex

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