Sadly, we have come to the end of the blogs of our Cornwall dining experiences, and when booking this restaurant for the last night of our holiday, we thought we would be saving the best until last – expecting a truly exceptional experience at Nathan Outlaw’s 2 Michelin Starred Seafood Restaurant in Rock.
Nathan has held 2 Michelin stars here since 2011, and the restaurant was also awarded Best Fish Restaurant by the Good Food Guide in 2011. Nathan also has another restaurant, Outlaw’s, a more casual dining experience and both of these are housed in the St Endoc Hotel in Rock, set at the top of a hill, with a lovely vantage point across the Camel Estuary towards Padstow.
Restaurant Nathan Outlaw is a small intimate venue, and the only option available is the 8 course tasting menu (or the vegetarian equivalent). This I presume, gives the chefs ample oppertunity to concentrate on making those 8 courses the very best they can be, without other distractions.
It was clear everybody had their individual roles and responsibilites and they carried these out to the highest standard. We were met at recpetion, and offered the option of going striaght to our table, or having a drink outside the hotel. As it was a gorgeous evening we opted to have a drink first. I had bellini, which was delicious. The menu was brought to us, as well as a signed copy to take home, a lovely thought, espcially for me that likes little souveniers like this so I can remember the meal in years to come.
Moving on the the food. The first course and second on the menu – the amuse bouche, were bought simultaneously; Red Mullet and Red Pepper Sauce and Cured Brill, Apple, Bacon and Horseradish.
The red mullet was well cooked and the red pepper sauce was full of flavour. The brill was simply outstanding. Such clean and delicate flavours, a real triumph. We would come to realise later on that as whole dishes, while there were parts of other that were also amazing, the brill would be the stand out course of the meal for us both.
The first of the ‘proper’ courses was Port Isaac Lobster, Orange and Basil. Port Isaac is a small fishing village not too far up the coast from Rock, which we visited during our Cornwall stay, and I think its great to know that that lobster you were eating was probably caught that morning in somewhere you had visited. The lobster was really succulent and the dish came with some tiny pretty bits of toast with a lobster mousse and orange gel which tasted great and were useful to mop the plate!
Next up was Grey Mullet, Tomatoes, Olive Oil and Green Sauce. Perfectly cooked fish and an exquisite green sauce, I really enjoyed this one, although Lee was not quite as keen on the tomato element.
The last of the fish courses bought us Turbot on the Bone, Tenderstem Broccoli, Saffron and Garlic. I had never had turbot before (shock horror! call myself a foodie?!) but this was defintaly the way to introduce me to it. The saffron and garlic puree was delectable.
An intervening course before dessert was Ragstone, Beetroot and Walnuts. This caused me a little dilemma, a classical combination seen over and over again combining both one of my favourite and most hated things (goats cheese and beetroot respectively). I never ask for menu without beetroot, becuase I don’t think its fair for a chef to change menu’s for things their customers jsut don’t like, only for true allergies, so I am always interested to see if the way a chef prepares the beetroot can make me like it! The ragstone was heavenly, and when paired with the beetroot it was pleasant. A success in my book! Lee though, thought this course, and the grey mullet were a little simple and boring, and felt they didn’t show off the tremendous skill we know that Nathan has.
At this point we had run out of wine, and weren’t too keen on another whole bottle, so the sommelier suggested a dessert wine pairing, and as we were dessert wine virgins, offered to do half a glass for us both with each course, in case we weren’t keen, which was a great thought.
The first sweet course was Strawberries, Yoghurt and Shortbread, paired with Brachetto d’Aqui. Both were so amazing, I cannot begin to describe it. I can’t really believe I have gone all this time without discovering dessert wines. And the next one was set to wow me even more!
The final course of the night was a Gooseberry Tart, Peach and Hazlenuts. The peach sorbet was divine! The dessert wine chosen to go with this was Vidal Ice Wine 2009 from China. What’s an Ice wine I hear you ask? Well we certainly didnt know, but the sommelier took time to explain it to us – essentially the grapes have to be picked at colder than -8 degrees for it to qualify. Well, it was so scrumptious I think I will be hunting it out at the wine merchants, I could have easily have drunk the whole bottle let alone half a glass. Dessert wine is definitly something we will try again so we will be ever grateful to our sommelier – I think his name was Damon. Thanks!
I thoroughly enjoyed my visit to Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, it was sophisticated and elegant, with technical cooking made to look effortless. The tasting menu is not cheap, but you have to be prepared to pay that type of money for 2 Michelin Starred food.
If you want to eat seafood, next to the sea, this is the perfect place to do it.
Nathan Outlaw Restaurants Ltd
St. Enodoc Hotel
Disclosure: We paid for our own meal, and all opinions expressed are honest and our own