Chef Richard McLellan is set to open his new restaurant and bar, Wilder, on Wednesday 16 October, at Boundary London, Shoreditch.
Previously of Typing Room and Michelin-starred Alyn Williams at The Westbury, McLellan has partnered with restaurateur Sir Terence Conran to open his first solo venture in the basement of east London institution the Boundary London.
Inspired by McLellan’s supper clubs of the same name, where each dish included a wild element, the menu at Wilder will have many wild components from around London and other parts of the UK, many picked by McLellan himself.
With the aim to have 100% of their produce sourced from the British Isles, everything at Wilder will be as sustainable and local as possible.
Gathered from independent and small scale suppliers, there will be vegetables harvested from a local Clapton allotment, to seasonal produce from Sir Terence Conran’s 145-acre Barton Court estate in Berkshire; such as brassicas and game in autumn and winter, to asparagus in the spring, and freshwater trout and crayfish from the chalk streams that run through the estate.
Seafood will be sourced from Cornish company Fish for Thought, who avoid varieties where stocks are low.
Longhorn beef will come from the English Farm in Henley, with only one animal killed a week, a small herd is farmed over many acres through traditional, organic farming methods and 'herbal leys’; a complex seed mixture of grasses, legumes and herbs, which nurtures environmentally sustainable livestock, and yields much healthier animals than those that are conventionally grain-fed.
There will be wild edible plants found in Lymington by food writer and forager Susan Campbell, in addition to those collected by McLellan.
The menu at Wilder will constantly evolve in line with the shifting seasons, showcasing the best produce available. Sample dishes for October will include: Bread Cracker with carrot emulsion and carrot oil; Venison, beets, elderberries and rye; Plaice, cockles, black cabbage and gutweed and Meadowsweet with white chocolate and fig leaf oil.
A dish that would usually require the acidity of lemons or imported citrus fruits, will use home-made vinegar instead. There will be home-made pickles and house cured charcuterie, with Tamworth pork and pepper salami on the opening menu. Sourdough bread will be made using beremeal, an ancient grain found on the island of Orkney. In place of imported olive oil, British rapeseed oil will be used.
The wine list is curated by consultant Lucy Ward, previously of Dinner by Heston and Noble Rot. This old-world list will include bottles from sustainable and biodynamic producers who pay the highest degree of respect to their environment. Changing regularly to match McLellan’s menu, the eclectic list will include wines from small producers of Xangall from Galicia, Cecile Tremblay from Burgundy, Sylvain Dittière from the Loire Valley and Victoria Torres from the Canary Islands, alongside a few rare gems.
A small and concise cocktail menu has been created by Alan Sherwood, founder of neighbourhood bar Little Mercies in Crouch End. The cocktail list takes influence from McLellan’s sustainable approach, using produce that is seasonal and abundant, such as the Apricot Highball, which takes advantage of this year’s bumper crop of English Apricots. Other cocktails include the Fig Americano, the Perilla & Pisco and the Foraged Sour.
There will be a curated menu of 12 distinct and unique gins, including a bespoke gin made by East London Liquor Company using local botanicals, and a custom-made Hopped Gin from Victory London Distillery.
Located in the impressive high-ceilinged basement of Boundary London, the 60-cover restaurant has been designed by Kirkwood and McCarthy and will focus on earthy tones and textures, from exposed brickwork, and walls rendered with an old-fashioned clay technique, to Ash wood tables from Jan Hendzel. Seating will be a mixture of custom made banquette seating in the same Ash wood with chairs from Carl Hansen & Son and there will be stoneware ceramics from local ceramicist Ned Davies in Bow. A separate bar area accommodates 40 seated guests, with marble and pewter topped Benchmark tables and separate snack menu.
In-keeping with the ethos of sustainability, there will be large, sprawling installations of foliage from Barton Estate suspended from the ceiling, created by east London floral design studio Worm - a duo inspired by the imperfect wildflowers that grew around them when they were growing up on the coast of southern Ireland. Installations will also hang in the semi-private PDR space, for parties up to 12, and above the cocktail bar.
The front of house-team will be headed up by general manager Rachael Martin, previously of som saa in Spitalfields.