Lovers of game will know that the season for grouse is not far away, kicking off on the Glorious Twelfth. This August restaurants in London which pride themselves on impeccably sourced British produce are serving up a symphony of special menus dedicated to this richly-flavoured bird. Here are our picks for the best places to eat grouse this 12 August. Watch out for buckshot…
A relatively new kid on the block, but one that’s been making waves. In fact it was one of Giles Coren’s favourite dinners of 2015 (though he did seem rather more focused on the whisky). Mac & Wild started life as street food trader The Wild Game Co, before putting down permanent roots with a restaurant in Fitzrovia last summer.
This year to celebrate the start of the glorious grouse season, this Highlands-produce-focused dining spot will create a very special game-filled menu. Dishes include: wild boar and grouse terrine, grouse croquettes and roast grouse. Everything on the menu will be paired with Scottish whisky – a winning combination. So if you think you’re game enough head down to Mac & Wild and sample the season’s first grouse.
12 August: Grouse and wild boar terrine & Grouse croquettes, artichoke puree, blae berries.
16 August onwards: Grouse breast, fennel, radish, cobnut & roast grouse.
Richard Corrigan’s “spacious” and dignified Mayfair dining room has long been a business favourite, and – although it’s undeniably pricey – won very solid praise this year for its “top quality” cuisine and service that’s “attentive yet unobtrusive”.
London’s best-known Irish chef continues his celebration of all things game on his menu at Corrigan’s Mayfair.
From 12 August there will be a selection of game starters and main courses. These include: Pheasant boudin, cep, Jerusalem artichoke; Venison faggots, Lincolnshire Poacher farinette; roasted Yorkshire grouse, parsnip, bread sauce; spatchcock pigeon, soy, chilli, prawn (a Signature Dish); and Corrigan’s Mayfair’s famous Grouse pie for two.
You can also learn the secrets of how Corrigan and his Irish head chef Alan Barrins make game taste so good with their Grouse Glorious Grouse cookery masterclass on Saturday 3 September at Corrigan’s Mayfair.
London’s most “impressive”-looking Indian occupies Westminster’s “soaring” former library, near the Abbey (and looks even more dashing after its recent £1m refit). Nearly fifteen years old, it’s still one of the capital’s most noteworthy culinary destinations, thanks not least to Vivek Singh’s “seriously brilliantly spiced” (if “expensive”) cuisine.
Kick off the shooting season on the Glorious Twelfth at The Cinnamon Club by tucking into the unique Shikaar breakfast, a curried game mince (of grouse and venison) with a fried egg and cumin pao – Bombay spiced vegetables.
If game for breakfast sounds a little too wild, then head to this iconic Indian for the ‘Game On’ tasting menu, running from 18 September until 16 October (£70 per person or £120 with paired wines). Vivek and head chef Rakesh Ravindran Nair’s dishes draw inspiration from India’s centuries-old hunting traditions. Dishes include: Char-grilled breast of red legged partridge; clove smoked Scottish grouse breast with wild mushroom pickle and tandoori venison loin with black stone flower, accompanied by curried game mince with game chips, black lentils and pilau rice.
“Really good game in season” is a highlight at this “countryman’s oasis” near The Barbican – a “stylish” and “buzzy” (“packed”) gastropub serving “lovely” British food.
For the past two years, the Jugged Hare’s Glorious Grouse Race has ensured it’s one of the first London restaurants to serve grouse on the Glorious Twelfth.
Once again, on Friday 12th August, the chefs at this excellent City gastropub will be going from “estate to plate in under 12 hours”, heading out onto the Yorkshire heather moors at first light to bag the first braces of the season. It will then be a race against the clock down from North Yorkshire back to The Jugged Hare, to bring customers attending their Glorious Twelfth British Game and Joseph Perrier Champagne dinner the first grouse of the season.
Dishes on the five course menu include: Seared Yorkshire hare loin, jugged leg belly, roast cep, carrot, thyme jus (Joseph Perrier, Cuvée Royale, Vintage 2004); and Roast breast and confit leg of red grouse, cabbage and bacon, pÃ¢té en croûte, game chips, bread sauce, hunters jus (Chambolle-Musigny, Domaine Francois Bertheau, Burgundy, France 2013).
To book your spot at the dinner contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 020 7614 0134.
For more great game…
A chef who trained at River Cottage and went on to found a supperclub with his business partner opened his first permanent restaurant in Covent Garden earlier this year. Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davis’s game-focused venture specialises in rare-breed meats and nose-to-tail cooking.
“The food speaks for itself” – “memorable” combinations, sourced “with real care”, prepared with “passion” and presented “with a lack of hype” – when you visit this agreeably “austere” and “honest” Shoreditch yearling (founded by alumni of St John). They are yet to announce their annual Game event, but it’s sure to be a cracker. Follow their Tumblr blog for announcements.
“Plush jock-inese decor”… “spectacular cigar terrace and whisky selection”… “amazing wine list”… “traditional, meaty Scottish fare”… live jazz – this Belgravia bastion is well-known as a “clubbable” redoubt of male revelry; its ratings were hit this year though by some reports of “terrible” service and “unexciting” meals. The Canary Wharf spin-off fared rather better with reporters tipping it for business, thanks to its “excellent” steaks and seafood bar, “great range of drinks” and “spacious” interior; “cigars outside a bonus”. There’s also a Bishopsgate outpost, down “a Dickensian alley”. Expect to find plenty of game on the menu in season.
Both owned by the Gladwin brothers, these restaurants in Notting Hill and Chelsea respectively will be serving grouse throughout the season. Faux-rustic spot The Shed has been praised by our reporters for its “super-tasty”, “farm-to-table British tapas”, while it’s sister, Rabbit, on the King’s Road, wins similar plaudits for “innovative” British sharing plates (which can be a bit “microscopic”), but are “superbly executed” with “farm-fresh” flavours.