Wild Food Café Islington restaurant review
Ethical eating is becoming big business in London, with the number of restaurants and cafés offering elements of organic, raw, sustainable or vegan cuisine growing all the time. We sent Bethan Kapur to one of the newest, Wild Food Café in Islington, to try its vegan winter menu.
With its attractive, modern decor and leaves growing up the walls, Wild Food Café proudly boasts a variety of organic, vegan dishes – a large proportion of your meal here will be raw.
With titles on the menu such as Pepperoni Pizza, or ‘Turkey’ and Trimmings however, it seems that they want you to forget you’re in a vegan restaurant. Dehydrated mushrooms and seaweed are popular ingredients on the winter menu. As a starter, we tried the oyster mushrooms (£9) that, in spite of being dehydrated, somehow glistened. Upturned on the plate, I sliced open their fat stems and happily swirled each in its seaweed tartare sauce. They were delicious, as was our steamed aubergine (£7), the juicy slices doused in a subtle sauce of pickled mooli, wakame and thinly sliced cucumber.
Fresh, nutritious ingredients are disguised as something naughty – each plate is a Trojan horse for healthiness. If you prepared these dishes for picky kids, they’d finish their vegetables at every mealtime.
If an ingredient here isn’t raw, it’s still handled in an interesting way. For example, the Wild Green Burger (£14.50) has green buns because the dough contains spinach. When I was told the burger would be served at room temperature I was apprehensive, but the moist patty somehow worked. If you don’t fancy a burger, I recommend the Creamy Wild Mushroom pizza (£14.50) topped with red cabbage, ‘ricotta’ cheese made from macadamia nuts and truffle oil. It’s perfect with a glass of red wine – the Chateau Cambon (£8) was my favourite.
All the desserts avoid using refined sugars and the kitchen fine-tunes every raw treat with ingredients such as avocado, turmeric and spirulina. After eating the best part of two desserts, I would normally need a long walk and a nap to recover. But at Wild Food Café, I managed most of the chocolate tart with date caramel (£7.50) and a rainbow lemon cheesecake (£8), without experiencing any sleepy consequences.
Prices and times correct at time of publishing
If you’re looking for somewhere more central to eat and you’re mad about avocados, read our review of Avobar restaurant in Covent Garden
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