This week I finally got to visit a café that I’ve been desperate to get to for a long time – the Wild Food Café in Neal’s Yard, London. When I first developed an interest in nutrition and health I quickly heard about this unique place, and it has been at the top of my wishlist ever since. Here’s a brief review of my visit – if you don’t have time to read the next few paragraphs, then spoiler alert: it’s amazing, and you have to go!
Wild Food Café is situated in the magical place that is Neal’s Yard, in the Covent Garden area of London. This tiny little yard is full of quirky buildings that are painted in a rainbow of colours, and was home to the first Neal’s Yard Remedies shop, so it really has been centred around health for quite some time. It’s hard to believe you’re still in London when you enter, as the area is full of plants and colourful benches with a very relaxed, peaceful atmosphere. Wild Food Café is located just above the Neal’s Yard shop – I imagine that it’s even lovelier in summer when the shutters are open and you can look from their windows over the tranquil yard.
The café itself is quite small, with the open kitchen right in the middle of it so that you can see all of the food being prepared by their busy staff. I loved the big tables filled with nice quotes and Himalayan salt crystal lamps, they’re definitely going on my next Christmas list! The staff themselves were all really friendly and happy to tell us how they made their amazing dishes when we asked. I can see why they all clearly love their job – working with delicious food all day in such a cool place cannot be half bad.
As for the food, it was all incredible. There are more and more healthy cafes and juice bars popping up in the capital, but out of the handful that I’ve managed to visit I would have to say that this meal was the best I’ve had. My mum ordered the Living Hummus with beetroot and carrot salad on a raw vegan seeded cracker, and I had their famous Ayurvedic Superfood Salad – a bowlful of fresh greens, zoodles, seaweed, artichoke hearts, avocado, cucumber, pepper, shiitake mushrooms, amaranth, coriander/rocket/parsley pesto, mango salsa, and seeds – wow! The flavours were delicious and the ingredients so fresh, it was filling but left me feeling refreshed and energised (just in time for dessert…)
Speaking of dessert, we had to try the famous Raw Chocolate Tart. This is normally made with berries, but as it isn’t berry season was instead served with a date caramel sauce that was to die for – plus this just goes to show how seriously Wild Food Café take their ingredients and source only the freshest, in-season produce. The tart itself was a thick layer of rich, smooth chocolate on a base of nuts, dates, figs and coconut, and was so indulgent that my non-vegan mum couldn’t believe that it was entirely raw and good for you. The texture was just like a creamy chocolate cheesecake and I can only describe it as heaven on a plate. If you are considering a visit, it is worth it for this dessert alone.
As well as these dishes, Wild Food Café also offer a wide variety of choices including raw burgers, pizzas, falafel coconut wraps, soups, cupcakes, raw vegan chocolate mousses and daily specials. The drinks menu is equally varied, with all kinds of tea, juices, smoothies, superfood hot chocolates, kombucha and even coconuts straight from the shell on offer! We tried the Fresh Mint Tea (literally just mint leaves that was such a delicious option) and a Green Juice, which came topped with rose petals. The presentation of this and all of their other menu items is exquisite – search through their Instagram to see what I mean. It’s almost too good to eat! (But we didn’t let that stop us.)
Overall I cannot recommend a visit to Wild Food Café enough. Their food is amazing, the atmosphere is so vibrant and refreshing, and the staff and people you bump into are all so welcoming. I think this one will stay at the top of my love-list for a long time.
Visit wildfoodcafe.com for more.