The Wild Game Co

Charlotte Street has a new contender, and it's big in the game. Literally. Look for the life-sized stag outside the new Wild Game Co restaurant, and you've arrived.

These guys have come a long way since founder, Andy Waugh, opened his first stall on Broadway Market, selling and championing wild game and venison sourced from his family's butchers in the Scottish Highlands. All in a kilt, with a smile.

Winner of the Young British Foodie's Best Street Food award in 2012, WGC have been serving up their meaty wares at festivals, rooftops and pop-up events all over the country. I've been following these guys since they started in 2010 and suffice to say I was pretty excited to hear that they were opening the doors of their first proper home in Fitzrovia this month.

I arrived early with my brother, and we were greeted like old friends by the manager Adam and front of house Samir. Seated on wooden benches, the room is warm, simple and inviting, with wooden floors, ANTA tartan and mounted antlers. The butcher's rail hanging from the ceiling has come down from the Waugh home in the Highlands. The design is thoughtful without being kitsch and gives a nod to its Scottish street food roots.

Feeling peckish, and with a bit of a wait for the rest of our party, brother dearest and I 'gobbled' (this is the only word that factually describes what was done) a portion of beef dripping fries with béarnaise (£2.50) while we settled in. That's chips, cooked in beef dripping. Ridiculously good. Then Adam guided us through the menu, taking us through where the meat had come from and how they sourced the ingredients for each dish. Andy – if he had been there – would have been able to tell you exactly where the meat was shot and even by whom. This is what they do. These guys are genuinely excited about getting people to eat Scottish game.

Whilst we cooed over the menu, which is relatively short unsurprisingly meat-focused, we tucked into some of their stovie (£3.50)  – slow-cooked venison with braised onions and potatoes, served with an oat biscuit. Simple and delicious.

Then, when the others had arrived, we set about ordering some more meat.

We had the award-winning Wild Game Co classic venison burger, served on a toasted brioche bun with caramelised onions, melted gouda and crispy bacon, and their fab, homemade red-jon and buffalo sauces (£7.50). They have a highland beef and a veni-moo hybrid alternative for the fair weather game eater, but I say go classic. You won't be disappointed.

The Wild Salad (£7) with roasted squash with broccoli and pumpkin seeds came with a choice of venison steak or carpaccio - we chose steak which was fresh and filling,and the steak perfectly cooked. We also ordered a few Scottish side salads (£2.50): homemade pickled beetroot, crispy kale, pearl barley, crumbled feta and toasted sesame seeds with house balsamic dressing was excellent. I could have eaten it as a main. The unanimous favourite, however, was the venison chateuabriand (£35 for two). Served on wooden boards with a green salad, the beef dripping chips and béarnaise (Again? It would be rude not to.). The béarnaise was the best I have ever had, and I mean that.

They have a few quirks still to work through – there's no pudding, for a start –  but as with all WGC's ventures, it's the food takes centre stage, with cooking that is simple and clean and showcases the quality of the produce. All the meat they serve is wild and of the highest quality and you can really taste the difference. It's an ethical choice, too. Plus it is utterly affordable.

Wild Game Co have lots of scrummy pop-up events on the horizon, so keep your eye out on the website. But there's no longer any excuse for waiting for one of their events to come along. Get yourself down to Charlotte Street, and make sure you turn up hungry.