Native’s move from Covent Garden to Southwark hasn’t diverted its kitchen from its mission of serving foraged British ingredients and game, with a zero-waste ethos wherever possible. To get a taste for the approach, order a portion of the ‘chef’s wasting snacks’, which change daily according to whichever ingredients are left over.
We loved the salty grouse tostadas, sticky-sweet bao buns with beef heart and the impressively crispy focaccia, and also the fact that diners the following evening might be served something completely different.
We were also impressed by an especially good grouse with sweetcorn and black pudding, which showcased a great mixture of tender game with a crunchy twist. We were less taken with buttermilk-fried grouse, which was claggy rather than crisp. The puddings to follow were excellent, though, including a sweet but subtle sea buckthorn and carrot curd.
Interiors reference the foraging theme with faux-derelict brick walls and industrial pipes on the ceiling, with clumps of vegetation here and there – not the most original setting, perhaps, but in keeping with the urban-rustic vibe of the menu. Throw smooth service and comforting array of drinks (such as the Native gin and tonic) into the mix and Native is a great find for a relaxing but slightly experimental dining experience.