Australian chef-owner Alexis Noble – who is shortlisted for our 2019 Female Chef of the Year award – made the decision to open her debut restaurant in north-east London while on a trek with her dad in Bhutan. And so, after much graft, including the creation of a private dining room downstairs, Wander opened in late 2017 in Stoke Newington to plenty of praise, both for the ambience of the restaurant and quality of the modern Aussie fare.
The space is small, but possesses a unique look and feel thanks to specially commissioned artwork by Lucia Fraser, beautiful ceramics and carefully curated playlists, which include everything from Massive Attack to Kanye West. The emphasis here is on sharing, so diners can look forward to a weekly changing menu of meat, fish and vegetarian plates of diverse flavours and textures.
As ingredients are sourced according to the season, it’s impossible to predict what will appear on the menu in any given week, but dishes you may encounter include padron peppers with garlic togarashi, steak and mountain pepper pie, or smoked eggplant cappelletti with nduja and mint.
Cheeses from Wildes in Tottenham are available before pudding or as a substitute for dessert and come with gooseberry jam and pepperberry crackers, while desserts themselves are likely to be fruity – think Peach Melba with lemon myrtle ice cream.
To drink, there’s a thoughtful selection of wines, most of which hail from Australia and Italy, though you’ll find a handful from other regions too. For those who don’t want wine, there are cocktails, beers, ciders and softs.
As trendy as Wander undoubtedly is, one of the nicest things about it is its affordability. Sourdough with whipped Vegemite butter is just £3 and no dish (currently) exceeds £15 – perfect for cash-strapped wanderers in search of good food and a friendly setting.