"Enjoy nose to tail and stem to root eating"Review Rating: Reviewed by KimT
Last week I popped along to the opening of Native which is tucked away in a corner of Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden. It specialises in flavours from Britain’s wild larder including game meats, rare breeds but also serves fish and vegetables.
It’s relatively small – seating only 30. On the ground floor is an open kitchen where you can watch the chefs do their magic or you can venture down a tiny wrought-iron spiral staircase to the dining room below. When I was there the waitresses wore garlands of flowers in their hair which made it feel a bit like being in a magic wood with fairies.
Downstairs the décor is modern and simple but it somehow retains a wow factor – plain white walls and beautifully crafted wooden tables and chairs. There are wreaths of pheasant feathers and feathery fern fronds for adornment. Tiny flower arrangements on the tables have bright yellow tulips nestling in ferns and the water is served in milk bottles. One table is set within a white brick alcove and there are branches arranged attractively on the walls.
I sipped on a cocktail which contained sloe gin and Prosecco. But they specialise in British wines, beers and ciders. Amongst the canapes being served were the most wonderful chargrilled carrots with a fresh herby dressing. There were slivers of raw venison, braised chicory and trout confit. The menu (which the owners call nose to tail and stem to root eating) has been designed to be reasonably priced with starters and desserts from £5 and mains from £11.
One of the young founders talked about his passion for locally-sourced food and the journey to establish Native. They had to postpone the opening as last year they just missed the game season.
Having been foraging (see my blog here
), I’m aware of the riches and delights of this source of eating and I have seen its appeal to others. I suspect that Native – like the nearby Wild Food Café - will fare well.
KimT reviewed Native on Fri 19 Feb 2016