Scottish restaurants don’t tend to get as much attention as some of the more celebrated European cuisines in London. Sophisticated that those restaurants ostensibly appear, I am a firm believer that food from this little island we call Britain can rival any cuisine in the world and so, I was excited at finally experiencing some Scottish hospitality for the first time right here in Fitzrovia.
In their own words, Mac and Wild specialise in “some of the wildest, most delicious meat in the world, along with a carefully selected variety of seasonal Scottish produce from handpicked suppliers and producers from the Highlands.” Sounds good so far but will I be coming back for more?
Turning into the relative calm of Great Titchfield Street, a world away from the hustle-and-bustle of Oxford Circus, its modest exterior means it’s easy to miss the restaurant and I walked right past it before realising and doubling back.
It felt homely like I’d just walked into someone’s dining room up in the Highlands.
Walking though, I was impressed by the interiors: brick-a-brick walls timbered floors and faux fur hanging above me. It felt like I’d just walked into someone’s dining room up in Highlands. With my partner in crime, we arrived at 19:00 just as service was starting to pick up for dinner (thank goodness we had a table booked) and dinner tables were alive with relaxed and talkative diners. It’s also a lot bigger than meets the eye with an intimate basement dining area that can accommodate larger groups.
Burgers are on the menu, but steak is king here and so I duly ordered the seductive-sounding (at least to my ears) 420g beef chateaubriand to share and the tempting wilderness chips because no steak night is complete without chips, right? Scottish delicacies may not appeal to many, but my curiosity got the better of me and since I’ve never tried haggis before, I agreed to the haggis mac and cheese. If this was my first experience in a Scottish restaurant, I was determined to do this properly.
It’s everything that a premium cut of beef should be
Without a doubt, the steak was one of the best slabs of meat I’ve ever had the pleasure of devouring. It’s everything that a premium cut of beef should be – juicy, tender, melt-in-the-mouth hunks of joy. My expectations were further exceeded with the wilderness chips which were one of the best sides I’ve ever had. The sticky sweet black isle lager & whisky sauce, crispy shallots & candied bacon dripped to the bottom, smothering every bit of chip in the delicious sauce. Then came the haggis mac and cheese, and to my surprise, I converted. They subtly give another dimension to the mac and cheese and there were none of the strange after-tastes that I despise in offals. The crispy layer of crumbs added a slight crunch in texture against the creamy mac and cheese underneath.
Like the haggis mac and cheese, I couldn’t leave without sampling another Scottish dessert delicacy: a deep-fried Mars bar ice cream sundae with candied bacon. But unlike the haggis mac and cheese, my tastebuds couldn’t work it out. There were a lot of flavours that I wasn’t sure should be together: the deep-fried batter encasing chocolate bar and backed up by bacon. It’s not bad, just not everyone. I still finished it, staying true to my personal ‘no food wastage’ policy.
The service was patient, friendly and chatty. We took our time deciding what to eat and we never felt rushed. Still unfamiliar with ordering meat by the gram, our waiters patiently talked us through what was on offer, and how much should be ordered per person. They looked genuinely happy that we were going out all to try the best Mac and Wild had to offer.
Yes, a million times
So, would I go back? Yes, a million times. Can the food rival any of those fancy restaurants with their haute cuisines? Absolutely. I’d come back with a friend or with a group any day of the week so we can tuck into that incredible steak and chips again. I’d recommend that you try it out too.
✨ DECOR AMBIENCE: 4/5.
🤵🏻 SERVICE: 4/5
🍸 FOOD: 5/5
🌟 OVERALL: 4.5/5