Nathan Outlaw is a young British chef who’s made quite a name for himself as one of the country’s leading seafood specialists. Having learned his trade under the great seafood man Rick Stein, he earned 2 Michelin stars at his first restaurant in Cornwall. His first London restaurant opened earlier this year at the Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, tucked away on quiet Basil Street just around the corner from Harrods.
The hotel itself is a small, traditional-looking luxury hotel, with very deep-pile carpets and a general ambience befitting of its location. Outlaw’s restaurant is located a short distance from the main hotel reception, with its own reception desk and adjoining bar. After friendly welcomes from the hotel staff and the restaurant reception staff, we were taken to our table in the main restaurant. The main restaurant is relatively small, but nicely furnished, with blonde wood and mirrors giving it a light, airy feel.
Soon after being seated and drinks orders being taken, the pleasant waitress brought us some delightful amuse-bouche, mini-fishcakes that were fluffy little bundles of joy in lightly-breadcrumbed coating.
I opted for crispy hen’s egg to start, and ray wing for the main course, from the set lunch menu- given Outlaw’s reputation as a seafood specialist, it would have been a shame to have had a fish-free meal. The hen’s egg came in a light breadcrumb coating, and was akin to a Scotch egg minus the pork layer, and with much lighter/ finer breadcrumbs. The thin outer layer gave way to a firm egg white, and a yolk that was just runny enough, beautifully cooked. The selection of crunchy vegetables that accompanied it complemented the softer textures of the egg very nicely.
The ray wing, when it arrived, tasted superbly fresh and succulent, no doubt due to the provenance of the fish combined with the skill of the cooking. While it came on the bone, as usual with wings, the flesh came off the bone very easily indeed, and there was actually a lot more of it than I was expecting. The accompanying sauce was delicious, and the overall taste and textures of this course were absolutely in line with my expectations of a restaurant bearing Outlaw’s name.
The overall experience at Outlaw’s was top notch, featuring a very comfortable and relaxed dining room, charming staff and, not least, superbly cooked food- I’d have no hesitation in adding it to a list of the best seafood restaurants in London. It’s also something of a haven from the bustling streets and shops of Knightsbridge, for a quiet and relaxed lunch.