In a digital age where popularity can rise or fall in line with your ‘likes’ and shares, you’ve got to be pretty confident (or cocky) to have no online presence at all. Not that a lack of website, Twitter or Facebook does The Outsider any harm at all – quite the contrary. This bustling bistro dines out on its cool credentials, hip surrounds, good word of mouth and decent location.
The ‘Chunky Healthy Lines’ (or CHLs) are a popular dinner favourite. The salmon and monkfish or spiced lamb balls with merguez, chargrilled on skewers and served with a beetroot coleslaw and pitta proving to be the best of the bunch, although they’re a little over-priced for what you get.
Elsewhere on the menu, a decent portion of steamed mussels with bacon, pine nuts and parmesan gets its flavour combinations just right. There’s also a decent array of duck, beef, and rabbit dishes. If the dinner prices feel slightly exorbitant at times, lunch (served from noon-5pm) makes up for it. With tasty decent selections, such as a beef burger topped with mulled cheddar or crab and crayfish linguine coming in at an altogether more palatable £7-ish.
The folks that dine here, less the odd passer-by, are largely loyal locals and tourists on a tip-off, and you can’t knock the buzz and service of the place. It’s a great space, split over two sections, with a pared down, minimalist look. Harried staff take you to your seat, and the noise from neighbouring tables full of families, couples, pals and local office workers add an energised buzz to proceedings. There’s a top little spot near the back that offers a great view out over to the back of the castle, so grab it if you can.