Now that A has had his say on getting to spend an evening with the team behind Mac & Wild, and in keeping in the “wild” spirit; I was lucky enough to score a seat at the dinner and had a chance to meet the team while seeing what they, as competition (!), had to offer up at their popup...
There was ALOT of running around involved with last Friday, mostly due to A requiring some assistance upon discovering that his wardrobe did not have the white shirt and grey apron required by the hip young team behind Mac & Wild. After delivering the uniform to A at the site of that night's dinner I rushed home and then back, breaking all sorts of records for timing in the process, especially as it was rush hour in and around the Workshop Coffee Co. in Clerkenwell, home of the night's festivities.
Following a brief introduction to the team, we got seated and jumped into the night's tasting menu, with a whole host of wine parings to accompany each course. Delving straight into the food, after much hype from A about what to expect from Mikky & Jon's food, I could see that there would be no magic tricks to come as part of a menu that said “this is just well-cooked, tasty food” (as a side-note, this is how cooking should be....no thrills or spills are need, just cook food f***ing well and love what you're doing!).
Snacks arrived promptly, with a selection of 3 different light bites to kick off the meal. Puffed fish-skin (a more “Scandinavian” take on a Pork Scratching), breakfast radishes with a parsley emulsion garnished with crispy chicken skin and a whole load of buttermilk whipped butter served with sourdough kicked everything off. As far as a snack selection goes, this hit the spot in all the right ways, and my wife (a late-arriving guest for the evening) is probably the biggest whipped butter fan in the world nowadays!
A flurry of wine and starters came our way next as we made our way through venison tartare, cured mackerel and then venison strip loin with mash, turnips & bone marrow. As A mentioned in his previous post, one of the great luxuries of this concept is the chance to be able to serve venison as shot on owner's family estate. The venison tartare was well dressed and seasoned (by the very able Chef A of course!) with croutons for texture and slow-dried tomatoes adding punches of freshness. Cured mackerel.....now if you're not a mackerel lover then you should definitely try curing it slightly (I'm not exactly sure what method they used) because this technique, in the same way is as it would do for sashimi, firms up the flesh of the meat while bringing out it's natural umami...nice one guys! Strip loin of venison and mash was killer (as to be expected at this point).
Cod with cauliflower puree and chard rounded up the savoury-offering. I know Jon was in the kitchen having what can only be described as an “interesting” experience with his equipment, but, nonetheless presided over some of the best cooked cod I've had in a LONG time.
Desserts came through next with a chocolate and tea theme it seemed! A chocolate ganache set over a moist biscuit was topped with earl grey (definitely one for all you chocoholics out there) but for me the winner was definitely the teacake. With a marshmallow piped and set over a dark chocolate sable (I believe that's what you called it right guys?!!) and then coated with a thin layer of chocolate, these were a great couple of sweet bites to round off the meal.
You guys are cooking some awesome food and thanks a lot for having us in, especially at the expense of A's hard night's work! This really does make me think back to my post about the “kitchen family” concept and how you stay connected with people who you have worked with through the ages. We now need to have them to join us for dinner once we kick of our Summer Residency in just over 2 weeks time (the Easter Eggs just keep on coming!!). In the meantime, keep an eye out for Mac & Wild....maybe we'll have to do a “Smoke & Salt meet Mac & Wild” night sometime soon!? R.
Mini-Gallery of Mac & Wild's Popup