Restaurant of the Month: Native Restaurant
Take a look at our Restaurant of the month profile. This month we take a peak into Native Restaurant in Covent Garden, London.
Discover Native; a restaurant that specialises 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 meats, vegetables and fish found in Britain today, in a wholly unique, approachable way, at a reasonable price.
Hugely passionate about nose to tail and stem to root eating, the dynamic duo and co-founders, Imogen Davis and Chef-Patron Ivan Tisdall-Downes, met at university and ran supper clubs before launching the now celebrated restaurant. Through an inquisitive childhood spent in rural Northamptonshire, Imogen developed a fascination for and an adeptness in the arts of skinning, plucking and foraging wild food. Having trained at River Cottage, Ivan channeled their principles of sustainability into Native's gastronomic ethos, echoing the River Cottage's belief in the health benefits of eating game grown in the wild.
The lunch and dinner menus constantly change with seasonal demand and feature twists on familiar dishes, such as their much loved and inspired signature
Pigeon Kebab and Southern Fried Rabbit, alongside full-flavoured foraged and vegetarian dishes. The drinks menu champions the very best of British
wines, beers and ciders as well as a regularly changing seasonal cocktail.
Native’s style is simple and clean cut. The Nordic inspired décor is set over two floors, with the ground floor featuring bar seating surrounding an open plan kitchen, where guests can interact with chefs. An intimate dining area in the basement hosts handcrafted wooden tables, that complement the beautiful driftwood paneling.
Located in the heart of one of the capital’s most iconic destinations, the Native aim is to change the public's perception of game meat; using innovative techniques, bold flavours and taking inspiration from street food.
We believe that food should be exciting and dreamt of creating a restaurant that we wished existed but didn’t yet. Native is a fusion of both mine and Imogen’s (cofounder) upbringing and our food ideologies.
What do you enjoy most about your job?
Creating dishes and watching how much joy food can bring to people
What do you enjoy the least about your job?
There have been a few challenges in our first year including the boiler breaking, equipment breaking etc, but thats all in a days work. The thing we dislike
the most are no-shows; people not turning up for bookings is very disrespectful and damaging to any restaurant.
What achievement for the restaurant are you most proud of?
When Time Out named us as the 14th Best Restaurant in London after only being open for a short amount of time, we were absolutely delighted.
Do you use British Produce?
Yes, 100% completely British produce!
What do you think is best about using British produce?
It means we think creatively and really appreciate the seasons, highlighting the wonderful produce this country has to offer, with many forgotten ingredients
heavily featuring on our menu.
Why should people buy British?
Supporting local business is common sense, and eating the seasons means the produce is so much more flavoursome from the start!
What is your most popular dish?
Wood Pigeon Kebab - An organic flatbread with beetroot hummus, pickled kohlrabi, ras-el-hanout spiced wood pigeon breast, dukka, harissa