Scotland is one of the most stereotyped nations on the planet, abundant with national symbols rarely confused with any other.

From bagpipes, kilts and tartan to the misguided assumption that everyone has red hair, Scotland is associated with an extensive list.

So it comes as little surprise that Scotland's food, too, is stereotyped to exhaustion.

Haggis, Aberdeen Angus burgers and battered mars bars from kebab shops are frequently the first items associated with Scotland by people south of the border.

Which is a great shame, and ignorant too, given that the menu at Mac & Wild offers a fantastic reminder that Scottish food is so much more comprehensive than the above.

All meat is sourced from the family of owner, Alex Waugh, who are based in Ardgay, Inverness, and combine their own hunting with gathering from neighbouring hunters too.

Mr Waugh moved from Scotland to London in 2009 and, after spells selling raw meat and street food at Whitecross Street Market, he opened Mac & Wild in August last year.


Walking into Mac & Wild, in Great Titchfield Street, its atmosphere is upbeat and chirpy, complimented by thoughtful interior featuring black and white photos of the Highlands.

The Fitzrovia restaurant is, however, small and congested so expect to have to dodge past tables, while making your way to the toilet would give gym classes in flexibility a run for their money.

It's also loud, so be prepared to speak up.


My starter, the mackerel

Much like the restaurant itself the starter menu is small, offering only three starters and four "wee plates".

But the quality of the starters my friend Connie and I chose were so good you won't be left pondering an unselected choice.

I had mackerel, cultivating parsley emulsion, cucumber, and cider celery, which was tender, delicious and beautifully presented.

Meanwhile Connie chose the Tartare, featuring venison tartare, tomato and beetroot glaze - again charmingly presented and flavoursome.

Mains and desert

The exceptional venison to share

We decided to share a Venison steak, since you have choice of smaller portions or larger ones more appropriate for two.

Soft and blushing perfectly in the middle, the venison is outstanding and given that it's sourced from the hunting skills of Mr Waugh's family, effort has certainly not gone amiss into making this as flavoursome as possible.

Normally I like to taste venison on its own, but on a visit here I'd recommend taking full advantage of a rare Bone Marrow sauce, a real gem.

And the Dirty Buttery Mash too, contrary to its name, is packed full of zest.

The desert menu changes frequently and on this particular week the chocolate brownie with ice cream was a little disappointing, but making up for this was a delicious toffee pudding I had gone for.

The verdict

Mac & Wild is a charming, though congested, restaurant to be in and it deserves top marks for being authentically Scottish without trying too hard to remind you of it roots.

The meat here is outstanding and Mr Waugh's transition from street food to restaurant should be seen as a welcome one for any fan of game food in London.

getwestlondon gives Mac & Wild four stars out of five.