Kris and I were both really looking forward to our brunch at Mac & Wild. For various personal reasons, we had previously moved our reservation three times, so when the day finally came, we were ready for it!
On a sleepy Saturday, we made our way to Devonshire Square. Being a City location, it was dead on the weekend and the rain added a gloomy note. In complete contrast, the restaurant was warmly lit and inviting, offering refuge from the wet and cold weather outside.
The interiors were very masculine, reminiscent of a hunting lodge. There were swathes of textured surfaces – exposed brick, distressed wood, red leatherette banquettes and exposed wood beams oozing feelings of the rugged and the wilderness.
They have an option for Bottomless Brunch for £18, which seemed popular judging by the tables around us. We however, decided not to get plastered and instead sample their extensive organic beer collection, all brewed in Scotland. Upon recommendation, I tried the Black Isle Yellowhammer. It was quite a light and refreshing beer, perfect for day time drinking.
From the ‘Wee Plates’ section, our eyes were immediately drawn to the Haggis Pops, Red Jon (£5.5). The ‘pops’ turned out to be little mouth watering bites, groaning with rich, gamey, satisfyingly tasty meat, encased in crispy and flaky coating (highly recommended)! The Red Jon sauce was a revelation – a homemade sauce made of redcurrant jelly infused with Dijon mustard, which added a bit of tartness and spice to the whole lot.
The Venison Scotch Egg (£7) was brilliant. As the knife ploughed through the venison, black pudding and haggis casing, it revealed a perfectly oozy soft boiled egg inside. The dinky blob of mustard on the side was seriously potent to cut through all the heaviness. The whole thing was pretty darn good!
For our mains, I opted for the Eggs Ruaridh (£9.95) – Poached Eggs, Black Pudding, Hollandaise on toasted muffins. Kris went for the Dirty Scottish Breakfast Bap (£8) – Black Pudding, Bacon, Fried Hen’s egg, Caramelised onions, Tattie Scone, Sausage in a floury bun. We also ordered some naughty sides – Dirty Buttery Mash (£4.5) and Haggis Mac & Cheese (£5.5).
We were off to a strong start with the starters. Unfortunately, it went a bit downhill after that. There was a mix up with the orders and my Eggs Ruaridh arrived first with the side of mash. My eggs looked like it had been under a heat lamp a bit too long, as it felt dry and stale. The mash, although soft, creamy and delicious, was cold. We did mention this to the staff, who rightfully took it off the bill.
Kris had better luck with his main of the Scottish Bap – a gloriously messy affair with juicy flavoursome patty, orange egg yolk and all the trimmings, carefully sandwiched between two warm, squishy buns.
But his side of Haggis Mac & Cheese went AWOL. Upon enquiry, one staff member said the order had not been placed. But mysteriously, within the next two minutes an overflowing and piping hot bowl of Haggis Mac & Cheese appeared at our table. Clearly, there was confusion behind the scenes.
The Mac & Cheese delivered on its promise of gooey, bubbling and golden-brown perfection. But by that time, we were too downcast with the ongoing niggles to completely enjoy our food.
In the end, a rather underwhelming meal for which we had such high hopes for. One of the bright spots was our server – Daniel. He was absolutely pleasant, friendly, chatty and perhaps one of the reasons I am not marking our meal further down.
I will give Mac & Wild another go, as my gut feel says they are better than this. But for now, I am not rushing to get back anytime soon.
Location: 9A, Devonshire Square, EC2M 4YN
More information can be found here.