Mac & Wild

Restaurants, British Fitzrovia
4 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(18user reviews)
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Veniphobia. It’s not an official phobia, like arachnophobia, agoraphobia or my personal favourite, omphalophobia (the fear of belly buttons). But it should be. We all know someone who suffers from it: an irrational fear of venison.
 
Mac & Wild is the cure. A cosy Fitzrovia newcomer with a Scottish heart, it specialises in wild deer that has none of the off-putting ‘gaminess’ people associate with venison -- it also happens to be mind-bogglingly tender. Most of the meat comes from co-owner Andy Waugh’s father’s estate, the rest from other trusted highland hunters, all of whom use state-of-the-art refrigeration techniques. On our visit we watched a waiter convince a table of fashionistas to go for venison, rather than beef chateaubriand: ‘if you don’t like it, I’ll take it off the bill.’ They devoured every morsel. 
 
Mac & Wild’s origins date back to 2010, when Waugh drove down to Borough Market with a van-load of raw deer meat. This led to him selling venison-based street food (as ‘The Wild Game Co’) at markets and pub residencies, before finally opening a 2014 pop-up. It was so popular that within weeks Waugh and his team were looking for a permanent site. 
 
The result: Mac & Wild, a stylish place filled with rough-hewn wood tables, bare bricks, and modish lighting. The Scandi-leaning Scottish food it serves (the chef is Danish) is mostly sensational. In addition to terrific venison ‘steak frites’ (£11) and order-by-weight chateaubriand, there are beefy alternatives and other wild things: a giant pine mushroom, cleaved in two; a grilled mackerel, served cold with a sticky soy sauce and parsley ash-coated cucumber balls. Best of the all was the ‘venimoo’ (£10): a double patty (one venison and one beef, as the game on its own would be too lean), melted cheese and pickles in a sesame bun. 
 
Only our desserts – an under-boozed cranachan, and three cloying chocolate teacakes – disappointed. But service was exceptional and the ambiance lively. Grab your nearest veniphobe and get them into rehab.


By: Tania Ballantine

Posted:

Venue name: Mac & Wild
Contact:
Address: 65 Great Titchfield Street
London
W1W 7PS
Opening hours: Mon-Fri noon-3.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm, Sat 11am-4pm, 6.30pm-11pm, Sun 11am-4pm.
Transport: Tube: Oxford Circus
Price: Meal for two with drinks and service: around £70.
Do you own this business?
Static map showing venue location

Average User Rating

3.9 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:9
  • 3 star:2
  • 2 star:2
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|18
1 person listening
tastemaker

I know this is a bold statement, but the Veni-Moo was probably one of the best burgers I’ve ever had. Everything about it was perfect - the way the burgers were cooked, the flavours, the sauce, the cheese. My only criticism would be that it wasn’t big enough! (although maybe I’m just being gluttonous). The staff were great and accommodating, and the overall vibe and decor was brilliant. Only a few little niggles - the Mac and cheese wasn’t cheesy enough, and the chips were over salted. 100% going back to have the Veni-Moo again! Just look at it!

tastemaker

Looking for a cosy meat filled evening close to Regents Park? I’d say you’d be hard pressed to find anywhere nicer than Mac and Wild. A Scottish superstar in the heart of Fitzrovia, I’m very impressed with this place and their menu. I went for the venison burger which was perfectly sloppy just the way I like it, while the steaks looked good too. Gutted I didn’t have time to try the battered mars bar sundae...We went the weekend of the royal wedding and were given a welcome markle sparkle cocktail which consisted of strong Scottish whiskey!

Small but mighty, I like this place and will be back for another great affordable meal.

tastemaker

I'll start by saying yes yes do book!

I loved it

I am a big burger/steak fan and I love Mac &a cheese so what more could I want?

I opted for a beef steak with a side of haggis mc & cheese and then we shared a deep fried mars bar sundae. All the dishes are Scottish inspired and a lovely cocktail menu to match

I'll let the pictures do the rest of the talking.

tastemaker

Really cool interiors, nice but not particularly engaging staff and a really promising menu that very slightly under delivers. The food is good quality and tasty but is slightly lacking in that amazing punch of flavour you imagine you'll get when you order 'haggis mac and cheese'. Worth a visit, I would certainly go again and order something different to see if I get that WOW factor the second time round. 


High and Lows.

We arrived 1hr early for our table as we fancied a drink in the pub opposite before whilst we waited for ourfriends to arrive. As we had booked our reservation on line a good few weeks before we thought it best to pop our heads in to check that our table was still available. The gentleman waiter was polite and funny and he confirmed our reservation and we told him we'd be back at our time. 1hr later we were disappointed to hear that our table had been given away. Odd. We were then accused of missing our time and that was why it was given away which of course would have been fair had we actually missed our table. Had the restaurant not sent so many reminder emails we may have questioned our memory but out came out email proof and true as we said the table was booked at the time we had said. Even with email proof we were made to feel like it was our fault some how. Anyway they found us a table which I'm not sure would have been available had we been 10mins late for our actual reservation as it was so busy. We were all very excited about the deal. A Burger, chips and either a glass prosecco or a beer. Staff were friendly thought our meal but we're very poorly attentive. I don't mean they didn't come and pull my chair out or poorbwater every 5 minutes I'm talking about poor service. We asked for a soft drink on 4 occasions which eventually turned up and asked for our sauces twice. The food was excellent hence the 3 stars rather than 2 and it was made incredibly fast which was impressive. Following our burger we had been given the dessert menu but again we were disappointed as 15minutes past by and no-one came to take our order. So we decided to settle our bill for a single soft drink and leave. When we finally got the waiters attention we asked for the bill. On his first attempt he had forgotten to adjust the bill to take account of the voucher which was an easy mistake to make. When we got our bill it was again incorrect and we had been charged for 2 cocktails we had not ordered. We could not wait any longer so we got up and settle the bill with the waiter at the bar and left to have our desserts at another restaurant.

I highly recommend the burgers they were excellent, the restaurant style and decor was lovely but the staff were beyond and the poor service frustrated us diminishing our enjoyment.

tastemaker

Mac and Wild is a great addition to the City’s restaurant scene in the lovely Devonshire Square. It specialises in wild game and seafood from Scotland with a huge selection of Whiskey. Given the good weather, we sat on the terrace area named Murray Mound whilst Wimbledon is on! We had a couple of delicious cocktails – the BONNIE BRAE {Spritz style} Haig Club, rowan berries & lime, rosato vermouth, rhubarb & Peychauds , finished with a touch of agave & soda and TAM’S TEARS Tanqueray No.10, lemon verbena, wild nettle, peach liqueur & fino sherry – topped with Prosecco.


When we moved on to the starters, I couldn’t resist trying the haggis pops with red jon and oh my, I was not disappointed! These were absolutely gorgeous and the sauce was amazing! We also had the venison tartare with pickled mushrooms, egg yolk puree, mustard and sourdough croutons, which was beautifully presented and rather delicious.


Moving on to the mains, I had my heart set on the Veni-moo – winner of London’s best burger award in 2016 – a beef patty, venison patty, caramelised onions, cheese and bearnaise sauce. It was tasty and really filling – a solid choice. Accompanying that we had the haggis Mac and cheese which was great – I do love haggis!!


tastemaker

I should probably preface this review with the revelation that I am not, in fact, a meat eater. However I accompanied a group of meat lovers to mac and wilde and still managed to have an excellent time. We went for Sunday Lunch and whilst my carnivorous pals enjoyed a sharing platter of roast (which even as a vegetarian I had to admit looked pretty tasty and beautifully presented) I enjoyed the one vegetarian dish on the menu which was a sort of bubble and squeak twist with lots of roasted leeks. It was absolutely delicious. I'm not sure if they have more veggie options when its not the sunday lunch menu but let's be fair, it's a meat restaurant and I knew that when i opted to go. So I was pretty impressed not to just be stuck with some roast potatoes or chips. 


The drinks were great and our service was fab. We were treated to some free whiskey cocktails at the end of what was, admittedly, a very long and boozy lunch. 


I'd definitely recommend to any meat lovers out there. 

tastemaker

The home of the famous Venimoo burger - voted London's best burger 2016, and with good reason. A glistening, oozing stack of beef, venison, bacon, cheese, Bearnaise sauce and caramelised onions sandwiched in a brioche bun which ended all too quickly. As I write this I'm contemplating getting a tube to Fitzrovia for another...

Tastemaker

It pains me a bit to roll out a two star for Mac & Wild because I was so excited to go and I have heard great things about it from colleagues and friends.  I went on a Saturday for brunch with my girlfriends.


Unfortunately, nothing went right. First of all, it doesn't open until 11am. If you turn up a few minutes early, expect to be turned away. Fair enough, it doesn't open until 11, we geddit. Once inside, we were seated at a nice table and I had a chance to breathe in the atmosphere of the place. It's cool, there is no denying that. Whilst the giant slaughterhouse photographs lining the walls aren't to my taste (I eat my brunch facing a giant cow being skinned), I did like the strong wooden furniture and general feel of the place. Things were looking up. 


Oh no, back track, actually they weren't. The service here was dire - no one came to our table for 20 minutes even to offer us a drink (at this point the restaurant was empty). When we finally caught someone's attention to take our order, it was rushed and questions were answered reluctantly. Our drinks took a further 15 minutes to arrive and they were under average (note to M&W - elderflower cordial usually needs water added). 


Oh well, screw it, I say, if the food is good then I'll deal with bad drinks and service! Alas, the food wasn't great either. It wasn't horrendous and it was perfectly edible, but nothing stood out. The smoked salmon and scrambled eggs were loaded with cream and the avocado on toast wasn't revolutionary. The Scottish breakfast bap could have been amazing but it arrived luke warm and the whole thing felt almost microwaved in texture although I expect it wasn't. 


During our food, no one checked the order, offered us salt or pepper (there wasn't any on the table), nor were we offered more drinks. When we were done, god forbid I should try and get someone to give us the bill. It took a while but in the end we managed to get someone to bring it. It had a service charge of 12.5% on it and I was loathe to pay it but being English we did.  No one asked at the bill point whether we had a good meal and the only friendly staff interaction we received was when the lady at the front cheerily waved us out. Unfortunately, the lady was a bit too late with the cheer and I don't expect I'll rush back to Mac & Wild. 


Went here with 2 friends all of us agreed, we were not too impressed by the burgers they were all overcooked leaving not much taste to them, I had the Veni-Moo. The chips were nothing special considering the high priced. Although I did like the decor.

Tastemaker

This place is absolutely worth it, especially during the chilly months. If you were able to get up to their pop up on top of John Lewis this Christmas-- you know what I am talking about. Immense flavours in every bite of your burger will lead you slowly but surely into food coma bliss. Veni moo is definitely one of my fave burgers (a combo of venison and beef) and paired with crisps and a helping of their deep fried black pudding? Don't even start. Is it healthy? No. Does it taste fantastic--- Hell yeah. Give in to sin every once in a while. Your body will thank you as it puts up with blah salads every other day thanks to your New Years resolution. 


Obviously this place has a very respectable whisky selection, so connoisseurs delight, just careful with the prices. I am still not a huge fine of the tipple but they have a killer Old Fashioned so let's just say it's growing on me :)

Tastemaker

With the exception of the odd heatwave of late, the Autumn weather brings with it a nightly pang for some real, hearty British cuisine. Who better to satisfy these cravings than Mac and Wild in Fitzrovia, with their warming whisky-based cocktails and tasty selection of home-grown dishes, that are like delectably dressed hugs in a bowl. The evening setting is an intimate, candle-lit affair with all the trademarks of its slogan, ‘from gun to plate’: furs draped over bannisters and beams, earthy woody panelling, Irn Bru and enthusiastic Scottish table service.

For starters we were recommended the Haggis Bites. I must admit to not having been a fan of Haggis in the past, despite having freshly returned from 3 weeks in Edinburgh, however I can attest that you absolutely cannot go wrong with these little balls of spiced ecstasy, dipped in Whisky Jon sauce and washed down with a perfectly crafted alcoholic accompaniment. We also sampled the fresh homemade bread, dipped in a cup of 72hr bone broth to wet our palates.

Hungry for more we ventured onto a platter of Venison Chateaubriand with Red Jon sauce, a side of Haggis mac and cheese, hand-cut chips and a little salad (buttered broad beans with black pudding pieces) for good measure. The stock of venison and therefore the menu, is dependent on seasonal numbers, as all meat and game are hunted from their family in Ardgay, as well as a handful of friends, neighbouring estates and farms in the northern mountains. The tender cuts of meat simply melted in your mouth like butter and I love that the produce is freshly sourced – the difference that this makes is clearly evident in the result! A list of the producers is available on the menu and website.

On the Mac and Wild blog you’ll find an array of ethical and nutritional reasons to tuck into venison, a standard 120g steak contains a meaty amount of tryptophan – an amino acid thats crucial for the production of the mood-boosting chemical serotonin. Compared with beef you’ll also save 12g of fat and 5g of sat fat per serving.

It goes without saying that the dessert is a must and I highly recommend the sticky chocolate mousse with salted caramel ice cream and honey comb. If you haven’t left room for all of that but are still craving a little something sweet, then the tea and coffee arrives with the perfect quantity of buttery biscuit and fudge.

A whole host of incredible food, a cosy and jovial ambience, fabulous service, family-run and locally sourced produced – it’s no wonder that despite stiff competition in a thriving area of london, everyone is raving about this popular new opening. I cannot wait to return and the Whisky sessions and Brunch menu shall be next on my hit list!


Delicious food at reasonable prices. Great drink selection. The atmosphere here is lovely and cosy with very good service. Venimoo burger recommended

Tastemaker

Cosy intimate Scottish restaurant but the burger was not the best I've had. The Venimoo (double patty of beef and venison combined along with, béarnaise sauce, cheese, caramelised onions in a brioche bun) did have a discernible not-exclusively-beef taste to it but it wasn't to my liking. The mashed potato was lovely though! Had expected to spend a long leisurely time there but it was pretty quickly in and out. Wonderful wood cabin/trendy Scandi influenced decor though, but not the one for me



I was excited to try Mac & Wild but I must admit to being a little cautious about the venison dominated menu (they also do beef, but I didn't want to be boring) - I needn't have been, turns out I do like venison after all. I went for the steak frites and it was delicious. The meat was excellent quality (very, very tasty but not overly rich or gamey as I had feared) and cooked to perfection, as were the frites. The haggis pops and fish bites were also popular around our table. I couldn't quite manage dessert though the sticky toffee pudding tried very hard to tempt me. I opted to round the meal off with a scotch coffee instead, which I can recommend - warming and sweet, with a punch. Nice cosy atmosphere too with great service. 

Staff Writer

A beautifully kitted out space with stunning photos on the walls - particularly friendly and helpful staff, with a good understanding of the food  - and of the customers, it seems. We went for the Veni Moo.... deliciously tender and perfectly balanced, with no ingredients too dominating. If there is any complaint, then the structure of the bun itself is maybe too dependent on making it look spectacular, rather than easy to handle.... but that may be partly down to my own messiness.

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