Thursday, 15 July 2010

The Outlaw

Thursday morning dawned wet and windy but we were determined to venture out. We eventually decided to take a trip aboard the passenger ferry over the Camel estuary to Rock, motivated by the prospect of lunch at Nathan Outlaw's Seafood and Grill.

Outlaw runs two restaurants, both located in the St Enodoc Hotel in Rock. The Seafood and Grill provides a more casual dining experience, compared to his main fine dining restaurant - Restaurant Nathan Outlaw.

Originally a graduate of Rick Stein’s Seafood Restaurant, Outlaw has become more of a household name after two appearances on Great British Menu. His previous establishments have held Michelin stars but a recent re-location from Fowey means he doesn't currently hold any. It can only be a matter of time.

Overlooking the Camel estuary, the Seafood and Grill is the perfect place for a relaxing lunch. However as the mist descended and the rain came down there was no chance of drinks on the terrace, or of us making the most of the magnificent views through the glass frontage. Still, inside the restaurant is very pleasant; modern, light and airy. We were slightly bedraggled after a short walk from the ferry landing and maybe lowered the tone somewhat, but received a friendly welcome and were soon seated by the huge windows.

Outlaw’s menus are driven by locally caught fresh seafood and the best seasonal produce that is available. The menu at the Seafood and Grill is short but perfectly showcases his amazing ingredients.

My starter was hand dived scallops with broad beans and ham hock dressing. Perfectly cooked, the soft scallop contrasted beautifully with the crispy, salty flakes of ham hock and fresh young beans. It was a delightful combination and easily the best scallops I have eaten in a long time.

Dave chose the Cornish duck leg salad with hazelnuts and boiled duck egg. There is something delightful about a soft oozy duck egg; it looked and tasted amazing.

For main I had the whole grilled lemon sole with brown shrimps, sea purslane and new potatoes. The delicately flavoured fish was cooked to translucent perfection and the purslane gave a beautiful, natural salty back note. I guess its use wholly encapsulates what Nathan Outlaw is about.

From the specials board Dave opted for the Monkfish tail with peas, clams and samphire. He also had a side of very buttery new potatoes, commenting that The Outlaw isn't shy of the butter.

We were fairly full and so shared an Elderflower cream with English raspberries for desert. It was light and delicate with the elderflower providing an enchanting floral note.

Dave followed all of this with a coffee and petit fours.

Service was friendly & proficient without being at all overbearing.

At £83.88 it wasn’t one of the cheapest lunches we’ve ever had, but we felt that the food itself was more than reasonably priced. It was all the little “extras” that added up; a couple of drinks, the fact that a bottle of still water was charged at £3.50 and the 10% service charge which was automatically added to the bill. However I’d more than happily pay for it again. The straightforward style and perfectly executed dishes certainly impressed. The food was top class throughout; it was hard to find any fault at all with the dishes and his flavour combinations were exceptional without being over complicated.

I guess you get what you pay for and, unlike the sun, Outlaw’s class shone out.

Nathan Outlaw Seafood and Grill
St. Enodoc Hotel, Rock, Cornwall, PL27 6LA, UK

This post forms part of a series about our 2010 gastro camping trip in Cornwall.

No comments:

Post a Comment