Classy, confident cooking served in a lively bistro.
The dark bustle of The Outsider on a Saturday night has an edge of excitement, surprising for a restaurant that has been on the scene for 15 years. Once an outsider, always an outsider, perhaps, but there is no resting on laurels here – instead there's the sense of an outfit always pushing the boundaries and absorbing new ideas. The menu offers great choice for meat and fish lovers; perhaps not quite so much for vegetarians although starters and mains can be adapted to suit. Impeccably cooked hake comes on an orange and coconut risotto studded with little crayfish and crunchy pak choi. The resulting fairground of flavours works beautifully. Lead chef Will Dale seems to have a knack of putting unusual things together and making them sing: pigeon marinated in coffee and brambles, mussels in a light cream with bacon and pine nuts – everything carefully judged and beautifully executed. Puddings combine comfort and sophistication – a white chocolate fondant is gently spiced with cardamom and studded with chunks of honeycomb.
- Private dining: 20 in the mezzanine level
- Provides: Gluten-free options, Children's portions, Children's high chairs, Wheelchair access, Pre-theatre menu, Free wi-fi
- Music on stereo: Deep acid jazz
- Capacity: 110
- Largest group: 10 at weekend, 30 mid-week
- Open since: 2002
- Number of wines sold by the glass: 16
- House wine: £16.60 per bottle