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Wild Meat Revolution/ The Best Places to Eat British Game

Publisher - Great British Food Awards
published by

NatashaLS

Nov 27, 2019
13 minutes to read
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To celebrate British game season we’ve uncovered the finest spots across the UK to enjoy venison, pheasant, partridge and more! Words Heather Taylor

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TRÄKOL, GATESHEAD

This Scandi-inspired spot overlooking the river Tyne is a hipster favourite where all of 2019’s restaurant buzzwords – open-fire cookery; nose-to-tail eating and in-house meat ageing – are namechecked on the menu. The dishes are bursting with smackyou- round-the-chops flavours, and speak of a deep respect for ingredients – locally sourced game from Northumberland is a highlight. Try the smoky, intensely-flavoured asado duck with charcoal-kissed roasted root veg and a sharp, sweet elderberry dressing, or the venison tartare, with sticky shallots and wood sorrel. The sister microbrewery next door, By the River Brew Co, will encourage you to to linger after lunch and watch the sun setting behind the Tyne Bridge with a craft IPA. bytheriverbrew.co/trako

BENARES, LONDON

The finest British ingredients are combined with bold Indian spices at this smart Mayfair restaurant. Modern dishes, such as golden-crumbed barbary duck breast croquette with mustard leaves, or blushing pink New Forest venison with braised cabbage purée, masala jus and spiced biryani, combine classic European cookery skills with a masterful use of heady Indian flavours. Wash it all down with a coriander and gingerspiked green spice martini. benaresrestaurant.com

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NATIVE, LONDON

Marvel at the inventive ways in which founder and chef Ivan Tisdall Downes can use local game at this trendy London Bridge restaurant, from buttermilk fried grouse to pigeon tacos. The daily-changing kitchen ‘wasting snacks’ – delicious morsels made with otherwise-surplus ingredients – are a fun way to start your dinner, too. eatnative.co.uk

GARDENER’S COTTAGE, EDINBURGH

This intimate Edinburgh restaurant, with its communal tables strewn with mismatched wild flowers, has a set menu that’s scrawled on a blackboard propped outside the door each day. Come the autumn, some of Scotland’s finest game is a regular fixture. It’s paired with simple ingredients, often foraged or grown locally, in interesting flavour combinations – think seared pigeon with celeriac, apple and peanut milk; grouse with plums and girolles; or mallard with chanterelles and sweet shimonita onions. thegardenerscottage.co

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MAC & WILD, SCOTLAND & LONDON

Whether you’re venturing up to Scotland or visiting one of their two central London restaurant sites, you’re guaranteed the very best seasonal Scottish game at Mac and Wild – after all, the restaurant’s founder Andy Waugh sources most of the meat from his family game butchery business, Ardgay Game. What started out as a street food truck has grown to restaurants and pop-ups, private dining rooms (including a Landrover Gun Bus, stationed outside the restaurant, where groups of ten can dine) and a beautiful café, restaurant and events space in the Scottish highlands, which holds monthly game supper clubs. On the regular menu, Andy’s top-quality Scottish game is put to delicious use in bar snacks such as venison scotch eggs and ‘venimoo’ burgers, as well as traditional fare, like seasonal game bird with redcurrant gravy. macandwild.com

BBQ DREAMZ, VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Game isn’t just about the prime cuts, so if you fancy giving offal a go, try the legendary duck heart skewers at this popular Filippino street food truck, which shot to fame after winning investment on BBC Two’s My Million Pound Menu. Smoky from the flames, they’re served in a moreish satay sauce with lime and spring onions – game like you’ve never tasted it. bbqdreamz.co.uk

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THE GAME BIRD AT THE STAFFORD, LONDON

Chef Ben Tish – former chef director of The Salt Yard group – recently joined The Stafford Collection as culinary director earlier this year, overseeing the fancy St James hotel’s food offering. The oak-panelled dining room is the perfect place in which to hide away from the late-autumn cold with some elevated British comfort food. The menu always includes a roast game bird from which the restaurant takes its name, served with turnip pureé, roasted baby turnips and cherries. Or try the guinea fowl with a creamy sweetcorn sauce and pearl barley – delicious washed down with a glass of your favourite red from the extensive cellar list. thestaffordlondon.com/the-game-bird

HUNTER GATHER COOK, EAST SUSSEX

Want to really get to grips with game? Enrol in one of the game butchery, preparation and foraging courses in the treehouse or shepherd’s barn at Hunter Gather Cook’s rural East Sussex HQ. Participants might learn to butcher a whole fallow deer, before cooking venison carpaccio, burgers or tacos, or combine a crack course in cooking pheasant, partridge and duck with a spot of truffle hunting in the surrounding woods. huntergathercook.com

GAMEKEEPER, VARIOUS LOCATIONS

Find this street food truck, whose motto is ‘from the forest to the fork’, at music festivals, food festivals and private events across the UK. The menu promises fill-your-boots burgers made with delicious locally sourced ingredients, that taste just as good as they look on your Instagram feed. Try the ‘deerlicious:’ venison patty (pictured below) with sundried tomato chutney and house sauce, smoked Cheddar and dijon mustard-spiked mayo, or the ‘duck’n’roll’, with slow-cooked duck, sriracha and pickled cucumber in a soft brioche bun. gamekeeperuk.

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POT KILN, BERKSHIRE

This cosy pub and restaurant, set within the sprawling 9000-acre Yattendon Estate, in West Berkshire, really is a game-lover’s paradise. The partridge, rabbit, roe, fallow and muntjac, along with wild mushrooms, edible leaves, are plentiful in the Hawkridge woods which lie a stone’s throw from the kitchen, and these form the inspiration for the seasonally changing menu. These top-notch ingredients are treated with care in classic dishes such as game bird terrine, fallow steak with smoked mash and game stuffing, and the signature slowbraised muntjac shoulder to share. potkiln.org

AND THERE’S MORE…

London

  • Le Bab – one of London’s favourite contemporary kebab restaurants – is partnering with the British Game Alliance on three limited-edition feathered game dishes. Throughout the week, diners will be able to purchase the delicious crispy fried partridge, pheasant shawarma and grouse adana: a Turkish-inspired, long, hand-minced grouse kebab, cooked over charcoal and topped with cavolo nero kimchi.

  • ROVI, Ottolenghi’s Fitzrovia restaurant, will also be serving BGA-assured dishes, with the highlight being the crispy mallard duck dish with rye pancakes and a beetroot and apple sauce.

  • Rabbit restaurant will be treating customers to game dishes including Partridge popcorn with spiced apple sauce and grouse with pickled shitake and berries.

  • Holborn Dining Room will be serving a signature BGA game pie in the main restaurant, along with pheasant fennel sausages on the breakfast menu

Out of London

  • Beverley Arms, Beverley, who will be serving roast breast of pheasant, pearl barley and apricot risotto, duck liver and apricot bon bon, and redcurrant pearls

  • Royal Oak, Keswick will treat diners to pan fried duck breast, plum sauce, fondant potato and winter greens

  • Crown Inn, Pooley Bridge is celebrating Game Week with a rosemary smoked pheasant breast, roasted squash, shallot and rocket salad with a sherry vinaigrette. Not forgetting steamed game pudding, braised red cabbage with mash and a mushroom and port gravy

  • The Fleece, Cirencester will serve game terrine, Cumberland chutney and toasted sourdough

For more information visit britishgamealliance.co.uk

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