Restaurant Review: Outlaw’s at The Capital, Knightsbridge in London
When you visit a seafood restaurant with Nathan Outlaw’s name in the title you know those primary ingredients are going to be handled very well. For starters the seafood is mostly sourced from the Cornish coastline, with traceability and sustainability at the core, making for fresh top quality ingredients to begin with. Secondly it is the experience that comes with this – with a 2 Michelin star restaurant in Port Isaac on the north coast of Cornwall and a number of cookbooks under his belt, TV favourite Nathan Outlaw has created a simple menu alongside head chef, Andrew Sawyer, with foods expertly complemented by their accompaniments and the wine pairings. For the seafood foodie (a seafoodie?) in London you can’t go wrong with a visit, especially when you can sample 3 courses at lunchtime for £39.
Nick and I popped along one Monday and enjoyed a casual lunch in the elegant surroundings. Based inside The Capital Hotel in Knightsbridge, the restaurant has a sophisticated, yet casual, feel to it with staff almost tripping over themselves to ensure our needs were met. We started with a glass of Champagne to accompany an amuse bouche of cod roe on a cracker and some lovely warm bread rolls, including cheese and rosemary. Next up was a helping of pickled herring with fennel, orange, a dill dressing and a glass of Pinot Gris from the Loire Valley to accompany. The dense herring was lifted by the citrus flavours, which was complemented very well with the wine – some amazing fresh and zesty flavours here.
For my starter I chose the duck scrumpet with red pepper ketchup and pickled carrots. The rough, dry duck in the crisp crumb was delightful with the cool, smooth, sweet and flavoursome sauce and crunchy, pickled carrot strips and a glass of silky red wine was just perfect. Nick went for the Cornish fish soup with seaweed, which had a chunk of fish in the middle. He said it had deep flavours but would have liked a little crunch, perhaps in some croutons.
We both opted for the hake with roast fennel, saffron and olive butter for our main course and loved it. The fish was full of moisture yet had a crisp skin – expertly cooked and still hot when brought to our table. Underneath sat some lightly cooked fennel and little pieces of olives with the butter. The flavours of the olives and saffron went very together and I don’t usually like fennel or olives but the ways in which they were presented here were very pleasing. We had a glass of the Pinot Gris again and it suited this dish well too considering it was quite different to the herring.
When it came to desserts we could choose from pavlova with mango, passionfruit, banana and rum ice cream, rice pudding with clotted cream, apple and prune or a cheese plate with pickled celery, chutney and crackers. The cheeses won me over and I was presented with a portion of Stinking Bishop, Davidstow and a blue along with some lovely red pepper and tomato chutney and a good selection of crackers. Nick chose the rice pudding and I had a little taste and liked the prune jam with the warm, sumptuous rice. A final course of cappuccinos and petit fours and we felt rather well fed and watered.
The décor of the restaurant is fairly muted and with a clean, fresh feel. Mid wood panelling on the walls, dark wood square tables and mirrors aplenty met with grey, soft fabric chairs, a grey carpet, wall and ceiling with spotlights and lamps to light the room (as well as plenty of windows along one wall) and some black and white images of seahorses and a coastal map. Instrumental music aided with the relaxed feel and it was a very comfortable space to spend a few hours.
IN A NUTSHELL
Seafood is the king here and it is treated with great care. The restaurant also happens to be in a great location next to Harrods and inside the 5 star Capital Hotel. To find a London restaurant serving seafood at this level is not an easy one, it is certainly worth popping along to see what seasonal delights you can sample.
As part of my visit to Outlaw’s at The Capital I also spent a night a The Capital Hotel’s sister hotel The Levin next door. My feature length review will be coming soon.
Address: 22-24 Basil St, Knightsbridge, London SW3 1AT
Phone: 020 7589 5171