10 In six years in london

postcards from Wild Food Kitchen

Chef Jimmy and Canapé at the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

Singer & diners at the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

Staff at the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

Kitchen, Flags, Nettle gazpacho at the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

the Wild Food Kitchen pop-up restaurant in Hackney. Photos (c) Leonie Wise

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if there’s one thing i love about london it’s the pop-up restaurants and markets. the idea of a restaurant appearing out of thin air, in an interesting location, serving diners for three or four nights, then disappearing again has a frenzied and magical energy about it that regular restaurant dining simply cannot match.

this past friday evening was the fourth time we’ve dined at a pop-up – we’d previously eaten at the english launderette (in a back alley in shoreditch), the dishoom chowpatty beach bar (on the southbank) and michelin starred dining at the minotaur (in the old vic tunnels under waterloo station). this time it was the wild food kitchen, setup in an empty space in the arthaus, hackney.

i’m a big fan of foraged and home-made/grown food so this was a great way to try some new dishes.

we ate:

trio of canapé – i can’t remember exactly what was in them… but they were nice enough

me: wild nettle gazpacho with wild garlic and chorizo oil (i struggled with the cool soup. i think it was the texture more than anything that threw me, but it could have also done with some salt)
him: wild and foraged apple and walnut salad with orange and mint dressing (which didn’t appear to have actually been dressed)

me: wild mushroom brioche bread and butter pudding with whisky jus (delicious! i could have eaten a portion that was twice the size)
him: duo of wild rabbit – confit leg, stuffed loin wrapped in pancetta, served with apple mashed potato and cider gravy (he quite enjoyed it)

me: wild berry deconstructed eton mess – berry ripple meringues, strawberry cream, raspberry coulis
him: spiced wild pear with iced white chocolate parfait (‘effing delicious’ he says)

the final petit fours of hazelnut and honeycomb were to die for.

the staff were friendly and seemed to be enjoying themselves and the setting was great; however i was a little disappointed with the portion sizes based on other meals i’ve eaten for the same price.

the bottle of wine we shared was light and delicious, though the staff were not at all knowledgeable about the wine list when questioned.

of all the pop-up dining experiences we’ve had, i think we struck it most lucky with our dining companions this time around. three fabulously interesting women shared our table and we swapped travel tales and culinary adventures. thanks Anastasia, Karina & Annabelle, for making our evening so delightful.

 

  • pohanginapete
    23/05/2012 at 19:44

    Well, the food might have been a mixed bag — some sounded wonderful, some sounded ‘out there’, some sounded underwhelming — but the photographs are wonderful :^)

  • Ashley
    21/05/2012 at 22:03

    What a fantastic experience! I love the idea of pop-up shops, but I admit this is the first time I’ve heard of pop-up restaurants! I think it’s a great idea. Your photos from this night are incredible and really show the kind of warm and yet hurried atmosphere you describe.

  • alexandria
    21/05/2012 at 16:32

    This looks like a seriously great way to spend an evening.

    • leoniewise
      21/05/2012 at 18:15

      oh yes, it was!

  • Jo
    21/05/2012 at 08:35

    Oh Leoniewise! These are completely FABULOUS!

    • leoniewise
      21/05/2012 at 18:15

      thank you x

  • Emma Bradshaw
    20/05/2012 at 20:23

    sounds wonderful & your photographs are AMAZING!

    • leoniewise
      20/05/2012 at 22:13

      Thanks darlin’ – it was pretty fabulous.

  • kristen
    20/05/2012 at 15:27

    i love these photos leonie, so evocative. maybe we’ll find a pop-up in october, that would be fun! xoxo

    • leoniewise
      20/05/2012 at 22:13

      I would *love* to take you to a pop-up restaurant when you visit. I’ll keep an eye out…