Review: Wild Food Cafe in London
For some foolish reason, I agreed to meet a colleague for a coffee in Covent Garden on the last Saturday before Christmas. The streets got busier as time went on and when our meeting came to an end just before lunchtime, I needed to find somewhere for a quick bite to eat away from the crowds. I immediately remembered the Wild Food Cafe in Neal’s Yard. I’d heard so much about it, but never had the chance to visit.
If you’re not familiar with Neal’s Yard, it’s a small pedestrian courtyard in Covent Garden sitting in the triangle between Monmouth Street, Shorts Gardens and Neal Street. Filled with colourful buildings and lots of outdoor seating, it’s a delightfully (semi)hidden gem in an otherwise heaving part of London.
Enter one of the doors opening onto Neal’s Yard, head up a staircase, and you’ll find yourself in the welcoming, airy and open space of Wild Food Cafe. The room has communal seating and large windows look down onto the courtyard below. The restaurant bills itself as a ‘raw-centric, vegan/vegetarian eatery’ but in practice it seems that 100% of the food is vegan.
The menu clearly labels which foods are raw, which are gluten free and those that contain nuts. I opted for the starter dish of Hummus & Toasted Sourdough which is served with veggie sticks. I’ve had lots of delicious raw, nut-based cheeses in the past and was intrigued by the Plant Based Cashew & Coconut ‘Mozzarella’ so I ordered that as a side. The food came out very quickly and was beautifully presented with micro-greens adorning the ‘cheese’ and a light drizzling of olive oil on the hummus/sourdough plate. The hummus and sourdough dish was very tasty and surprisingly filling and good value at £5.70. The side dish of raw coconut and cashew cheese was less pleasing, with an unpleasant sticky/slimy texture and a lack of any discernable taste.
Overall, I enjoyed my visit and would return again to try some of their other dishes. Mains look to be a little pricey, but given the location and quality ingredients, that’s understandable. Despite being a side dish, the hummus and sourdough plate made a great lunch dish and was competitively priced.
One thing that I don’t understand is why this restaurant still offers dairy milk in drinks and honey as a sweetener. Surely they wouldn’t lose business by dropping these items from the menu and becoming 100% cruelty-free?