One of the reasons I love the food industry so much, is the recent explosion of new and exciting food ventures. Like pop-up restaurants using new spaces, new chefs trying their hands at secret suppers and new producers selling at their local markets have all created new experiences for the customer. Personally, this is a huge draw for me is, as I am also looking for my niche in the food industry. So when I got asked to review the part-time seafood and game restaurant Bonnie and Wild, I jumped at the chance.
Danny and Alex from Bonnie Gull, paired up with Ru and Andy from Wild Game Co to start Bonnie and Wild 5 months ago. They recruited chef Iain Sim who is also head chef at Edinburgh’s award-winning Mussel Inn (What a great name eh!). After a long search for a location they realised that one of them was living above a 100-year-old pie and mash shop which closed at 4pm every day. M. Manse’s pie and mash shop proved to be the perfect venue (if a little noisy!) The floor to ceiling tiles and wooden benches give this restaurant great historic character. The owner of the pie and mash shop seemed happy to get the extra business as he claimed that “hipsters don’t eat pies” – must be why they’re all so skinny!
The menu changes each week and offers a game, a fish and a vegetarian option for each course. We decided to try the fish and game choices from each course. The perfect start to a meal for me is great bread, just making that little extra effort sets a good mood for the meal. The bread provided was a wonderful seeded batch loaf, which put a smile on my face. Even if I am on a juice diet!
Smoked Salmon Appetisers
We were given some smoked salmon appetisers on some currant/raisin bread – The salmon was lovely, but the mix with currants was not to my taste, it was like eating Hot Cross Salmon!
Pan-Fried Pigeon Breast – with haggis, leek and whisky cream
The Pigeon was soft and succulent with that fresh gamey taste. The heavily peppered, soft and juicy haggis combined with the leek and the whiskey cream to make a cracking starter – It made me hungry and wanting more!
Parmesan & Parsley Breaded Queen Scallops – with homemade tartare sauce
The scallops were warm and comforting, without knowing how expensive good quality scallops can be, I would have suggested that four is a bit shy, but after tasting them I realised the dish was in the quality and not the quantity! The tartare sauce met the parmesan and parsley on my taste buds matching the scallops perfectly. I was tempted to start licking the plate! (Not in public Tom!)
Bbq’d Venison Haunch Fillet – with parsnip puree & cranberry Jus
The venison was tender and juicy, with a mild gamey flavour. The cranberry and parsnip combined well to enhance the flavour of the meat.
Pan-fried Coley Fillet – with mussels in a chorizo, tomato and basil sauce
The Coley was moist and fluffy with a strong garlic tang. The crispy skin added a great texture to the dish. The sweet, fresh mussels fell apart on the tongue. The chorizo, and basil flavours complimented the delicate fish, creating a near perfect dish.
Citrus Tart – with creme fraiche & berry coulis
Selection of British Cheeses
This was a good solid tart and a great selection of classic British cheese. Good dishes, but nothing outstanding, anyway, the desserts are not the reason you go to a seafood and game restaurant!
You may even be lucky enough to see some live music – We heard some great tunes from Double Bass Dan and his band.
Overall we had a cracking meal! The seafood was fantastic and the game was tasty. The chef seems to specialise in fish so that would be my choice n the future. It’s BYO and we went crazy with a mini bottle of Cava Prestige!
So if you brave Chapel Market, you will find this wonder of a part-time restaurant! Make sure you book as it was full by 9pm when we went!
The meal for my girlfriend and I was complementary from Bonnie and Wild. The cost for the dinner is £29 for three courses. Bonnie and Wild is located at 74 Chapel Market, N1 9ER. Open Friday and Saturday nights – click HERE or email firstname.lastname@example.org to book a table.