This was my second visit to Mac & Wilds. The first, we had already eaten and were looking for somewhere that looked cool and relaxed to drink. As we entered and were greeted by the concierge we quickly found out that there was a basement stocked with bespoke whiskies which really suited the mood. The lighting was perfect, it was cosy and the decor suited the city vibe.
But let's take this back slightly... Because as we were filtered down to the basement on this Friday evening, we passed a loud room which you could tell the atmosphere was nothing less than 'vibrant'. In fact, the atmosphere was so good, you couldn't help but look over your shoulder on the way past and down the stairs thinking that you were passing a really cool party that you were not invited to.
Immediately we agreed that we need to come back and try the dining experience. So we did! Were we let down? Read on to find out...
This time we passed through a lot earlier so the atmosphere was different, it was more relaxed and intimate however that changed throughout the evening as more of the 'city boys' were leaving the office.
Our waitress was personal, sat down beside us and helped us through the menu as admittedly it was intimidating. I say this because I often read the word haggis. Not the most glamourous of sounding delicacies which worries me as we don't really know what's in it or what it's about. Yet our waitress explained it well enough to make it appetising. So we added it to our vast order which consisted of haggis mac 'n' cheese, a venison scotch egg, fish bites, dirty buttery mash with gravy and some winter slaw... Did I mention these were just our sides? Because we also got the venison steak which came with chips and as the menu boasted that the 'Veni - Moo' was "Voted London's Best Burger 2016", which consists of a beef patty, venison patty, cheese, béarnaise & caramelised onions - served on a brioche bun... And we added the bacon!!
A feast for some... Or just a typical Thursday evening for my eating buddy and I.
For me, the stand out was the venison scotch egg. Something I would come back for. The mash and gravy was great, it certainly stood out as a wonderful winter dish. The haggis mac 'n' cheese was unique. You could taste the haggis for sure which added a dynamic which worked well if I am honest and certainly a positive surprise. The venison steak disappointed me personally however as a steak lover, the texture and feel didn't quite sit well with me.
Now on to the burger... 'Voted London's Best Burger' it wasn't for me which made me wonder what it was up against. Did the burger taste good? Of course, it was a burger! Not only was it a burger; but it consisted of two patties, one beef, the other venison. An adventurous combination that really worked. Oh... And we added bacon which can only help the dynamic. The burger was really tasty however I really do need to try the rest of the burgers on the 'short list'.
I can honestly say, that the dining experience was unique. It felt like a hearty, British meal which if I'm honest, is hard to come by nowadays in London. Not only that, this is executed with class. imagine knowing exactly where your food was sourced from and how humanely it was killed. Unless you're a vegetarian it actually brings a calm to your meal which usually it's a subject that I personally never consider or think of while dining.
Overall, the experience was relaxed, fun and tasty. Would I go back? Probably not. Why? Becuase it's an experience and I have done exactly that, experienced it. Would I recommend it? Certainly! Enjoy the evening, enjoy the service and have a great night with a great atmosphere and great service. Then finish the evening off at the bar with a fantastic choice of drinks because the atmosphere really does entice you to stay and relax.