The Wild Restaurant

This restaurant has ceased trading.

The Wild Restaurant
21 Newington Road, Edinburgh, EH9 1QR
  • Telephone 0131 667 1210
  • Opening times Tue–Sat 6pm–1am; closed Mon & Sun. Closed Sun/Mon.
  • Bar open Tue–Sat 6pm–1am.
  • Food served Tue–Sat 6pm–midnight.
  • Average price £12; £15 (set evening meal)
  • Email
  • Website www.thewildrestaurant.webs.com
Photo of The Wild Restaurant
The Wild Restaurant
Eating & Drinking Guide

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You wouldn’t guess from the unprepossessing frontage, but there’s a lot going on here. Having moved into the space vacated by The Wild Elephant, young couple Nico Masecchia and Lili Johnson are developing a unique take on what will hopefully prove more than the latest food trend: affordable, sustainable dining. They take ‘affordable’ very seriously, offering three-course menus at £12 or £15, wine between £7.50 and £12 a bottle – barely above cost – and no-corkage BYOB. They admit the hope is to survive, not to make huge profits, and their motivation is allowing and encouraging everyone to eat good food. In tandem with this is what they call the Sustainable Philosophy: a determination to make everything from scratch when ordered (including unmissably good pasta), to use home-grown ingredients where possible – veg from their organic garden, eggs from their rescued battery chickens – and to reduce and compost waste. The constantly changing menu reads like a series of riddles, but trust Masecchia, he knows what he’s doing. ‘Two-tone soup’ is concentric circles of the smoothest of organic squash and mushroom soups; breast of duck in lavender and red pepper sounds dangerous, but turns out to be a lavender-hinted sauce, aromatic, inventive and hugely successful. Some aspects of their philosophy, however, aren’t being realised on the plate – supermarket shopping is in evidence, as are ingredients touting sustainability question marks, such as farmed salmon. Keeping prices (breathtakingly) low is a central and laudable tenet of their model, but it could be easier for them, and just as cheap, to build relationships with fishmongers and craft bakeries and to buy direct from farmers, with Masecchia putting his copious skill and imagination to work transforming cheaper cuts of meat. However, they are open and honest that their project remains a work in progress: a gap has deliberately been left on the signage so they can declare themselves a sustainable restaurant when they get there. Give them a chance, and indulge the eccentricities: the fug that invades the dining room as beef is smoked to order in the kitchen, the no-budget décor. Wild lacks the media-friendly polish that abounds on Edinburgh’s restaurant scene, but if they work it all out it’ll be one of the most heartfelt and genuine places in town.

  • High point: The most charming and expansive service possible
  • Low point: Not everyone will be comfortable with the quirks
  • Notable dish: Pasta, and duck breast with lavender and red pepper
  • Average price: £12; £15 (set dinner)

The Wild Restaurant is dedicated to promoting the Sustainable Philosophy.

Our contribution is to provide our customers with freshly prepared, nutritious meals, and great service. We offer this new perspective excellent sustainable dishes at affordable prices while maintaining the highest quality.

Text supplied by third party.

  • Provides: Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Free wi-fi
  • Music on stereo: Lili's playlist - power ballads and pop classics
  • Capacity: 25
  • Largest group: 25
  • Open since: 2013
  • Number of wines sold by the glass: 0
  • House wine: £7.50 per bottle
  • BYOB: Free corkage

Reviews & features

New Edinburgh restaurant The Wild adopts an idiosyncratic approach to sustainability and hospitality

2 May 2014

The unprepossessing eatery is run by young couple Nico Masecchia and Lili Johnson

You wouldn’t guess from the unprepossessing frontage, but there’s a lot going at The Wild. Having moved into the space vacated by The Wild Elephant, young couple Nico Masecchia and Lili Johnson are developing a unique take on topics that deserve greater…