Seafood. London has very few really exceptional seafood restaurants. Mainly due to the proximity to any water that isn’t used for party boats, HMS Belfast or Canary Wharf water-taxis.
While London doesn’t “suggest” award-winning fish, it does expect sustainability. In a time where mung beans are outselling truffles 10/1 (…This is completely made up, but I imagine its something like that), if you’re going to open a seafood restaurant, you better have the (pescatarian) chops to back it up.
They provide sustainable British seafood caught predominantly around the coast of Cornwall. How? Well they know and trust the suppliers and fishermen that they use.
We started with a cods mousse Amuse-bouche. Apart from being delish, its just plain nice to say “Cod’s Mousse Amuse-bouche”.
Bread and butter is so underrated. There is nothing that sings to me more than freshly baked bread and extra salty butter. While I am a carb-ophobe for 87% of the week… for that last remaining 13%…. Things get REAL.
We started strong with 6 delicious oysters for my guest. I had 2 as you well know, that is my oyster limit. They were perfect and you guessed it… super susty.
For mine. There is one very quick way to my heart… this can be considered the short-cut, fast track, speedy boarding way to my heart and it comes in the form of a scotch egg.
What is it about a ball of meat, cuddling an egg wrapped in a golden duvet of breadcrumbs that just gets my heart beating (other than the questionable cholesterol). There are few comfort foods that I am GUARANTEED to order if on a starter menu, but this as my friends will tell you, is a certainty.
In this case, the meat-cuddle came in the form of crab meat and the sauce was a delicious curried emulsion.
After this, we opted for both the cod and the brill.
The brill was served with Oyster, Green Sauce Hollandaise & Kale.
The brill was delicious, meaty and strong enough to stand up to the oyster and hollandaise with the sauce giving a sharp compliment to the quite comforting fish. I’m still no fan of kale but it needs something to freshen the dish with some texture, so I suppose I can forgive them.
The cod was served exactly how I like it…. perfectly acompanied by berlotti beans, garlic and parsley.
This is a proper hearty fish dish and had I not been in a Michelin star restaurant, is the kind of dish I would have curled up and eaten it on a swing chair on the decking of a lake house in Oslo…. sans knife, avec wooly socks.
Sommelier’s usually are very knowledgable about wine, but sometimes can be stumped if you start discussing wines that aren’t currently on the list…. unbeknownst to their sommelier, I had a secret wine weapon with me… My mother. She knows her wines and has collected tipples from all around the world. For this reason, if you’re answering questions, you better know your 1942 Beaujolais from your 2011 premier cru (quaff quaff). I do not. I mean, I enjoy wine and consider myself “knowledgable” but this is a different level.
We shared a bottle of the Main Divide Sauvignon Blanc 2015. As I understand it, this was a particularly warm Summer making it a very good year for a rich mid-palate wine. It’s flavours are citrus, elderflower, passion fruit, nectarines and mango.
It had the right amount of depthy to crisp/dry meaning we were both pretty happy.
So, with any fish lunch comes the obligatory “healthy gloating” chat about how fish is So good for you, Omega 3 this, Oily white fish that, sustainability the other…. What this really translates into is….. “I’ve got space for calories so I’ll have the most decadent dessert on the menu”. I mean, no-one orders the fruit plate after fish do they?
Luckily, it is not the first fish-lead-feast for yours truly and so I preempted this notion by…. well, I ordered the most decadent dessert before we had even ordered our starter. I like to think I’m a little ahead of the ordering curve and if you’re going to jump the gun… it’s no bad thing if dessert is the result.
In this case, I’ll need your attention for it’s description….Honey Custard Tart with quince, anise & Gingerbread Ice Cream. I don’t care who you are… if you’re not salivating… have it looked into.
While it said gingerbread, for me had more of a cinnamon flavour which is absolutely my favourite ice cream.
FYI, this nearly missed out to the Rice Pudding. It is another of my food weaknesses though as luck would have it, I make a pretty exceptional one myself (I won’t lie, it is mostly double cream)
To finish it off, I did my usual “I’m a grown up so I must like Espresso” order which was met with the usual wince and wide eye response. Luckily, there were some delicious petit fours jellies to sweeten me up again.
The thing is, when you’re a stones throw away from Harrods (literally you can see it from the window), it is easy to land yourself in an old-fashioned aristocratic eatery territory without the food, style or sustainability to really warrant it’s location.
Luckily for Outlaws, they are leading the charge in sustainable, interesting and exploratory cooking and in thus, have found themselves as the New Collection in a sea of Vintage. .
I’ll see you by the Oysters.