Native restaurant launches in Covent Garden: game, wild food and rare breedsCultureFood & DrinksNews & features
Launching at Neal’s Yard in Covent Garden last month, Native is a new restaurant specialised in game, wild food and rare breeds. Focusing on the robust and distinctive flavours found when raiding Britain’s wild larder, Native showcases some of the most underappreciated and overlooked – but absolutely delicious – autochthonous meats vegetables and fish.
Co-founders Imogen Davis and Chef-Patron Ivan Tisdall-Downes met at university and ran supper clubs before launching Native. Through an inquisitive childhood spent in rural Northamptonshire, Davis developed a fascination for and an adeptness in the arts of skinning, plucking and foraging wild food. Business graduate Tisdall-Downes, a self-taught chef, developed a passion for wild produce channeling the duo’s principles of sustainability into Native’s gastronomic ethos before honing his skills at Jascots Wine Merchants and River Cottage HQ.
Hugely passionate about nose-to-tail and stem to root eating, the Native aim is to change the public’s perception of game meat, using innovative techniques, bold flavours and taking inspiration from street food. Native makes game, rare-breed meats and wild food more accessible in both approach and price.
The lunch and dinner menus will constantly change with seasonal demand and will feature twists on familiar dishes, such as their signature Wood Pigeon Kebab and Southern Fried Rabbit, alongside full-flavoured foraged and vegetarian dishes. With starters and desserts from £5 and mains from £11, examples from the menu include Braised Chicory, Walnut, Buttermilk, Raw Sussex Venison, Treacle Cured Pheasant Egg, Hayonnaise and Pigeon, Liquorice Ash, Artichoke Puree, Pickled Turnips.
The drinks menu will highlight British wines, beers and ciders as well as a regularly changing seasonal cocktail. Examples from the menu include Nyetimber’s Classic Cuvee, Bolney’s pinot noir and Wild Beer Co’s Ninkesi.
With a capacity of 30, Native’s style is simple and clean cut. The rustic and raw décor is set over two floors, with the ground floor featuring counter seating surrounding an open plan kitchen, where guests can interact with chefs as well as window high-tables looking out onto bustling Neal’s Yard. A dining area in the basement will host handcrafted wooden tables that will compliment the beautiful driftwood paneling.
Located in the heart of one of the capital’s most iconic destinations, Native will allow Londoners to be able to experience the wonder of wild food, rare breeds and game meat presented in a wholly unique way and at a reasonable price.
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Photos: Filippo L’Astorina
To book a table at Native, 3 Neal’s Yard Covent Garden WC2H 9DP, call 020 3638 8215 or visit here.