Wildflower

British, Irish·
££££
·
Bronze Award

SquareMeal Review of Wildflower

Bronze Award

Opening a fine-dining operation in a street food market is a pursuit for either the foolish or the brave and the jury is still out on Adrian Martin’s Wildflower, an intriguing restaurant which serves often brilliant food that's jarringly incongruous with its casual setting.

The young Irish chef, who has also penned two cookbooks, has set up Wildflower inside a repurposed shipping container as part of the Buck Street Market development in Camden, where it’s stablemates include punnily named street food joints such as Lord of the Wings and Juice Junkiez. As far as we could see, Wildflower is the only restaurant proper in the entire establishment.

The intimate dining room is stylishly decorated with teal velour chairs and white tablecloths, while floor-to-ceiling glass doors overlook the market itself, boasting a contrasting aesthetic of pastel-splashed surfaces designed as prime Instagram backdrops. Wildflower exclusively serves a seasonally evolving tasting menu (wine pairing available), with the number of courses dependant on whether you're willing to splash out on supplements. The dishes are all put together using foraged ingredients sourced by the kitchen team and there is some real technical know how on show here.

We kicked things off with heavenly soda bread (kept warm in a brown paper bag) that arrived accompanied by cultured butter, perfect for smearing all over. Next up, a posh take on a Subway sandwich (the chef’s words, not ours) which saw fleshy lobster tail drizzled with Wildflower’s version of ranch dressing and finished off with a zingy carrot coleslaw.

The dish of the night however was the beef, which had been slow-cooked for three days, deep-fried and then drizzled with barbecued sauce. The intensely meaty flavour paired well with the crunch of accompanying hash browns, while a tarragon bearnaise (lighter than normal thanks to the substitution of butter with oil) stopped things from becoming too heavy.

We also loved our autumnal bowl of mushroom ‘custard’, made using Cornish ceps, which was finished off with a shower of black truffle shavings - delightfully warming and creamy, it almost felt like a savoury dessert.

The puddings proper meanwhile, consisted of fig leaf ice cream topped with a mouth-puckeringly tart handful of fermented cherries, followed by a late summer dish inspired by a bramble bush: velvety sheep’s yoghurt, a handful of Cornish blackberries and a scoop of refreshing sorrel ice cream.

As tasting menus go, £60 per person (excluding drinks) is far from bad value. It’s also no doubt an impressive feat to turn out dishes this complex from what is certainly a tiny kitchen, and the head chef even finds time to deliver some of the dishes to the table himself, which is a nice touch.

We hope that Camden locals and those from further afield are able to look past Wildflower’s somewhat odd location and make their way to what must be London’s fanciest shipping container - the food at least, deserves it.

Good to know

Average Price
££££ - £50 - £79
Cuisines
British, Irish
Ambience
Fine dining, Luxury, Quirky, Unique
Food Occasions
Dinner, Lunch
Alfresco And Views
Outside seating
Special Features
Gluten-free options, Vegan options, Vegetarian options, Wheelchair access
People
Birthdays, Celebrations, Dates, Romantic, Special occasions

About Wildflower

Fine dining on an intimate scale is shaping up to be one of the key trends for the new decade. First came the 15-seat sushi specialist Endo at the Rotunda ahead of Tom Aikens’ 25-seat Muse in Belgravia. Now Irish chef Adrian Martin has opened the 30-seat Wildflower in Buck Street Market, a new development in Camden Town housed in re-purposed shipping containers.

‘Simplicity, service and seasonality’ form the restaurant’s mantra, with an emphasis on foraged produce, a relaxed style of fine dining and the best ingredients available for the time of year. Some of these are grown in the market’s Garden Terrace, giving an urban spin to the field-to-fork concept, as ingredients are picked moments before finding their way onto diners’ plates.

The seven-course tasting menu costs £60, or can be paired to matching wines for £110. Dishes rigorously change with the seasons but in spring you might find scallop with smoked burdock, dry-aged short rib of beef with truffle, wild mushrooms and lumper potato, or wild turbot with courgette flower and sweet spicy broth.   

The separate vegan menu also costs £60 a head, for similar dishes minus the meat and fish. Lunch menus are cheaper, with two/three courses clocking in at £25/£36 and three options at each course, as well as bread and amuse bouches.  The emphasis on sustainability, meanwhile, sees any food waste turned into compost to generate energy that will produce electricity for the market.  

Martin is a familiar face in Ireland, where he is known as 'Chef Adrian'. The 28-year-old has made numerous appearances on Irish TV and published two well-received cookbooks. There’s substance behind the style, though. Martin has worked at famous Irish restaurants including MacNean house in his native County Cavan and the Michelin-starred Bon Appetit, just north of Dublin. What’s more, his commitment to spreading the word on good food and good ingredients has seen him spend time in schools teaching kids the basics of cooking. Fingers crossed he can teach Londoners a couple of things, too – relaxed fine-dining is a market as crowded as Camden.  

 

Special offers for Wildflower

500 Points

For all diners to this restaurant, spending over £55. This offer can only be used once.

100 Points

For all diners any day, every time


Offers cannot be combined. You will be awarded the offer that gives you the most reward points.


FAQs

Are there gluten-free options on the menu at Wildflower?

Yes there are gluten-free options on the menu at Wildflower.

Helpful? 0

Location for Wildflower

Camden (Buck Street) Market, Camden High Street, Camden Town, London, NW1 8QP

07799 357396

Website

Opening Times

Lunch
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed Closed
Thu Closed
Fri 12:00-15:00
Sat 12:00-15:00
Sun Closed
Dinner
Mon Closed
Tue Closed
Wed 18:00-23:30
Thu 18:00-23:30
Fri 18:00-23:30
Sat 18:00-23:30
Sun Closed

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