Review: Wild Food Cafe Islington London
16:09 January 16, 2019
8:14 PM October 15, 2020
The Wild Food Café in Covent Garden has been a staple of London’s vegan food scene for several years now. It has been serving plant-based and raw food dishes – as well as fodder ingredients – since long before the explosion of vegan cuisine that has taken hold in the capital of late.
Without a doubt with this growing appetite in mind, the owners have decided that the time has come to launch a second restaurant, which has just opened on Upper Street, and will be warmly welcomed by all who know the long lines of expectation of the original; a relatively narrow space at the top of a narrow staircase in Neal’s Yard.
The new branch is much more spacious, and with its dark pink velvet cushions, white marble, and plenty of potted plants (the perfect backdrop for any Instagram post), manages to be hip without getting cold or overdone.
We went for dinner on a Tuesday night; my dining partner is a full time vegan while I am happy to be part time. We were both excited about the menu and decided to start with a ‘shot’ (all £ 3). Until now, January has been so dry, as these are blends of fresh juices, spices, herbs, and essential oils blended together to seemingly give a health boost. There is also an excellent selection of alcoholic cocktails and wines, as well as ‘quadruple filtered’ tap water which honestly seemed to taste much better than the average glass.
Browsing through the menu, we nibbled on teriyaki almonds (£ 4). Usually, a bar snack as modest as a bowl of nuts doesn’t invite much excitement. However, these were not regular almonds – we were told that they had been “activated” (soaked overnight in water) and dehydrated. Either way, they tasted amazing and my partner said he was already knocked down.
The starters were superb. The Sea Aubergine (£ 7) was a delight; the crunch of cucumber and daikon with a sweet eggplant was amazing in their bright and flavorful sea of savory sauce and seaweed. Meanwhile, the Hassleback Butternut Squash (£ 8) was warm, spicy, and creamy with savory, barbecue-flavored jackfruit chunks.
For the main course, we enjoyed the creamy wild mushroom ‘high’ pizza (£ 14.50) with ‘raw’ toppings (not heated above 42 degrees) including macadamia ricotta and mushrooms on the side. a tasty and satisfying gluten-free wood-fired base. Vegan pizza is notoriously difficult to make – trust me, I’ve suffered more than my fair share – but they seem to have cracked it.
For dessert, and after much thought, I chose the Raw Rainbow Cheesecake (£ 8). It looked fantastic and tasted just as good, incredibly sweet and tangy. The Double Choc cake and my partner’s vanilla ice cream (£ 7) were also delicious, but I felt like the cat who had the cream (cashew activated).
Wild Food Cafe Islington, 269-270 Upper Street, N1 2UQ. For more details and to book, click here.