So, yesterday was National Burger Day. I decided to set off to review Mac & Wild, so that I could check out how you might make a healthier choice, whilst still enjoying the fun and frivolities of the atmosphere. Why Mac & Wild? I wanted to reconnect with my Scottish roots, and I must say the sensory stimulation did remind me of home. The tartan blanket over the bannister, the thistle pot on my table, and the Rabbie Burns poetry on the mirror, all added to the experience.
Let’s get down to the food…as with all menus, it’s easy to find the healthier choice if you’re looking for it. (BTW, I suggest you don’t go to eat out when you’re too hungry, as your salivary juices will just start oozing as you read the menu, and you might end up ordering more than you need. See my 5 top tips to help you make wise decisions). This blogpost isn’t about endorsing particular restaurants; it’s about helping you to make a better choice if you’re going there.
Starter – I recommend the smoked Scottish mackerel pate. It’s served with Melba sourdough toast (a low glycaemic index bread), and pickled cucumber, seaweed and chilli. Mackerel is an oily fish, so it supplies cardio-protective omega-3 fatty acids. If you want to pace yourself, put two slices of the sourdough toast aside (or give it away) and allow yourself generous dollops of the pate, drizzled with a squeeze of fresh lemon.
Mains –the Mac & Wild story is about local food producers, and the menu changes daily according to whom the red deer was shot by, or the name of the farmer for today’s beef. The Wester Ross poached salmon and broad bean salad is the obvious nutritious choice, but I’m guessing if you come here, you’re probably attracted to the meats.
So, to my star choice:
Venison is lower in calories and fat than beef, lamb and pork. Roast venison has almost double the iron of roast lean topside of beef. And it has less than 25% of the cholesterol found in lean beef. I went for a small Venison steak. Here’s a tip: choose the 210 g if you’re watching your weight. Not because the meat itself is particularly high in calories (165kcal/100g roast venison), but because you’re likely to be adding calories from all your accompaniments. Order the Red John sauce rather than a creamy Béarnaise or blue cheese.
My suggestions for side dishes include charred leeks with coarse grain mustard (you don’t need to eat the egg yolk puree), and seasonal salad.
After all of that, you really won’t have room for dessert, esp. if you eat it slowly and allow the protein from the mackerel and the venison to signal your brain that you’re full. A nice mug of tea, immersion in the Burns poetry and good conversation with the staff about the brand heritage will complete your meal perfectly. Meet Harold…
My thanks to Mac & Wild for asking me to test the menu and give my honest opinion. This blog has not been influenced by Mac & Wild.
Data: nutritionselfdata.com and McCance & Widdowson’s Composition of Foods, 6th Ed.