A few years ago I had the pleasure of interviewing Andy Waugh, co-owner of Mac & Wild. He was entertaining, informative and endearing in equal measure. You can read that interview HERE.
I have always enjoyed Mac & Wild, famed for their delicious and perfectly cooked cuts of meat and their dedication to providing and celebrating the best of Scottish produce. You can imagine my shock then, when I realised I was still, a few years on, yet to try their renowned Venimoo burger.
It was a terrible oversight, which I have rectified this week. The Venimoo (£12.5) complete with a beef patty, venison patty, cheese, pickles, béarnaise & caramelised onions and served in a seeded brioche bun is a mouthful of burger luxury. It’s basically everything you might ever want in a burger, substantial and full flavoured. The extra venison patty adds a richness to the meat, while the creamy béarnaise perfectly offsets the crisp pickle.
We ordered sides of chips (£4) – a dream of ‘fluffy on the inside, crunchy on the outside’, and the truffled mushroom mac and cheese (£6) which was undoubted the the most deliciously boujie and flavourful mac and cheese I have ever eaten, They had me at ‘truffle’.
From the ‘Wee Plates’ section of the menu – Fish bites (£7.25) with homemade tartare sauce & dill which crumbled slightly in the hand and then melted in the mouth, and Mac & Wild Haggis pops (£7.25) Deep-fried, crispy nuggets of haggis made with wild venison, lamb and beef suet, coated in breadcrumbs – served with Red Jon sauce. They were delicious, very flavoursome, had a satisfying crunch and were definitely not offal (they actually were offal, that joke was also offal… sigh… moving on…).
When I was a kid growing up in Sydney, we used to eat deep fried mars bars cooked at ‘The Fishie’ (the fish and chip shop). They were a childhood treat highlight, so imagine my delight to see deep fried mars bar bites with vanilla ice-cream & whisky toffee sauce (£7.25) on the dessert menu. Mac & Wild’s version is definitely more luxe and distinctly less tasting of fish (a definite improvement). The vanilla ice cream also had salted caramel chunks in it which was a nice surprise and the whisky sauce gave it an edge while not being overpowering. After out burgers and sides, one dessert shared between four was enough for us, but let your stomach decide.
Lastly, I must commend Mac & Wild for their tartan face masks. If you have to wear them, then make it fit the theme and make it fashion. Certainly the loveliness of the waitstaff was not lost behind them either. It’s the small details that elevate this restaurant from good, to great.
Mac & Wild – 9A Devonshire Square, London, EC2M 4YN
You can find more info on their other restaurant, butcher and ethos HERE