What's the draw?
The new Eccleston Yard-based restaurant from Lucy Carr-Ellison and Jemima Jones of Tart London is a whole hubbub of activity; 9,000 square foot of it, to be precise. First up, there's the deli serving daily-changing salads, smoothies and (who'd have thought it) tarts for hungry office workers; then, there's the interiors treasure trove, selling their own range of homeware, starry wine tumblers and silk napkins, plus an assortment of trinkets from their favourite designers and artisans. And that's before you even reach the restaurant, where rows of dining tables huddle together and plants hang from the ceiling to give the space a 'been-here-for-years' vibe, despite opening in the former power station and coal store mere weeks ago. Not bad.
What to drink?
There's a concise but promising bar menu offering wines, locally brewed beers and classic cocktails, plus homemade juices for those who don't drink. The 2017 MAAL Rebelión Malbec, is, as the menu promises, very mellow. Produced by young winemaker Alfredo Merlo in the Mendoza region (MAAL literally stands for 'Malbec As Alfredo Likes'), it's a medium bodied sip with blackcurrant and black cherry notes, and very little overpowering tannins to note, making for a delightful drink to pair with your meal.
It's nourishing, wholesome fare that champions bold and traditional flavour combinations
What to eat?
It's hard to find fault in the steady stream of small plates coming from the open kitchen at the heart of the restaurant. Much of the meat and veg comes from Jemima's family farm in Northumberland, as does the honey. We feast on nourishing, wholesome fare championing a mish-mash of bold and traditional flavour combinations, seasonally sourced grub, and local and independent suppliers, the homemade sourdough holey-as-you-like and, slathered in Marmite butter, about as spectacular as good bread gets. Then, a fat slab of grilled halloumi, sourced locally, oozes with honey, lime, chilli and coriander. The roast pumpkin piled high on caramelised oak aged feta is game-changing, transforming a humble root vegetable into a rock star on a bed of wilted kale, chopped roasted hazelnuts and parsley gremolata, and the trout crudo swimming in a milky swamp of green tiger's milk, jalapeño salsa and crisped corn, is sharp and sweet. You can really tell the calibre of a restaurant by the sides. At Wild, you could eat these plates alone and leave happy. Favourites include the smashed crispy potatoes, slathered in salt, garlic toum and crispy rosemary, so reminiscent of Sundays at home we scoff almost all of them before everything else arrives; and smokey, devilish, herby beans, slow-roasted with a punchy smoked tomato and tarragon oil so good you'll need more sourdough to mop it up. Book now, make space in your diaries and then prepare to book again. It's good food done really, really well.
Snacks from £4, mains from £8, wine from £5; 4 Eccleston Yards, SW1W 9AZ; wildbytart.com.