Native, the first restaurant venture of university friends Ivan Tisdall-Downes and Imogen Davis, has lived many lives. From street food market pop-up to a bricks-and-mortar restaurant in Neal’s Yard in 2016, later relocating to London Bridge in July 2018, the wild produce-championing restaurant has found its latest home in Browns department store in Mayfair.
Dedicated to maintaining and working towards a zero-waste kitchen, the culinary team work hard to cook only using sustainable meat and seafood, presenting a daily changing, foraged-focused menu dependent on seasonal availability. Native’s MO: ‘Sustainable, conscious food served up in an accessible and playful way’.
Designed by London-based architecture and design studio Red Deer, the main dining space places focus on the artisanal and the handmade, with spring-like colours offering a joyful lift to surrounds. Bouclé sofas, marble-topped tables, and delicate glass light fixtures offer up a polished yet welcoming vibe. On sunnier days, opt for a seat in the Courtyard, where you can enjoy Native’s Garden Bites menu, natural wines, and signature cocktails al fresco.
What To Order
When we visited, we opted for the Regenuary menu (available throughout January). Focusing on ingredients sourced from producers using regenerative and low-impact agricultural methods, the set menu (which spans six courses) is priced at £59pp and celebrates the British regenerative farming cycle. Each course is named after a stage of the regen farming process: soil, first rotation, no till, cover crop, holistic grazing, and soil. As per Native’s traditional style, the vegetable-focused menu showcases seasonal British produce, including foraged herbs and ingredients that would otherwise go to waste.
Kick things of with chef’s wasting snacks – a selection of zero-waste snacks made from what many would consider waste but to Native’s kitchen team find value in. These substantial snacks (which are really quite filling) are followed by slices of supremely fluffy focaccia, served with confit garlic oil. Tempting as it is, don’t fill up too soon – your starter hasn’t even arrived yet! Speaking of, we opted for the celeriac cacio e pepe with pickled walnut and curds, and the chalk stream trout ceviche – both were delicious, but the addition of rhubarb to the latter dish provided a perfectly tangy and unexpected twist. When it comes to the mains, the celeriac kiev and the roast cauliflower with smoked ox tongue and wild garlic capers are both strong contenders for favourite items on the menu, only to be outdone by the rhubarb and rosemary with Meadowsweet custard and honeycomb pudding – it’s perfection.
Who To Bring
Your most fashion-forwarded friend, given that Native is located at the rear of Browns on Brook Street
The Dress Code
Chic yet contemporary is the way to go.