Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards Sessions

Nathan Outlaw on rethinking top-end dining

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags Nathan outlaw National restaurant awards Outlaw's New Road

The next video in the Estrella Damm National Restaurant Awards' Sessions series features Nathan Outlaw, who relaunched his flagship as a much simpler affair earlier this year.

Things are quite different at Nathan Outlaw's flagship restaurant these days. Gone is the tasting menu, replaced with a far simpler three course a la carte with no bells and whistles (unless you count a basket of house-made bread).

While the team and the design remain largely unchanged, the celebrated Port Isaac fish restaurant now goes by the name of Outlaw's New Road.

"Outlaw's is the team name and all the guys that have worked with me for many years call themselves Outlaws," says Outlaw, who opened the original Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in 2007 (it moved to Port Isaac in 2015) . "And New Road is the actual address. It all works really, it's a bunch of guys called Outlaw, we're on New Road and the path we're on is new. No PR needed for that one."

Outlaw says that charging £145 for a tasting menu at Restaurant Nathan Outlaw put a lot of pressure on the team, as did the two Michelin star rating is has held since 2011.

"I had to make sure there were very luxurious ingredients on there," he says. "The new menu format allows us to be more creative and use lots of different produce. This is great from a customer point of view but it also means my chefs are learning more about different ingredients."

Dishes include crispy squid, pickled vegetables, sweet chilli mayonnaise; spiced monkfish, curried lentils, cauliflower salad; whole john dory, scallops, braised chicory, crab bisque; and baked vanilla rice pudding and blackberries.

While the cooking style remains unchanged, larger plates of food allow the kitchen team to cook and serve more fish on the bone.

Outlaw says that a lot of people assumed that the changes were made because of the pandemic, but this is not the case.

"It's something I've been thinking about for a long time, at least three or four years. I don't want to be standing there doing paint by numbers cooking. I want to cook off the cuff using the best ingredients I can possibly get."

"When Covid-19 hit I realised now was the time to do it. If we can build a successful restaurant out of such a terrible time, then it sets us up well for the next 20 years. I'm 42 now. I see myself cooking here for another 20 years at least." 

"The customers are happy, the chefs and front of house have got similes on their faces. That's all I can ask for."

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