If you think about places in the UK with the best food, London might come to mind. But if you were to guess the capital as the home of the UK's best restaurant, you'd be wrong. That honour goes to Port Isaac, a fishing town in North Cornwall.
The Good Food Guide just released its 2018 awards list, and right at the top of the list of good restaurants is Nathan Outlaw. It scored a perfect 10, which let it knock Cumbria's L’Enclume off the top spot - a position it has held for the past four years. Both restaurants received a perfect score, meaning dishes are "perfect… showing faultless technique at every service".
What gave Nathan Outlaw the edge seems to be its menu, crafted around fresh local catches, and a relaxed dining room with service that “just happens in the most discreet and attentive way”.
Elizabeth Carter, the guide's editor said:
"Nathan Outlaw’s food is characterised by the absolute freshness of ingredients and a clear sense of purpose. He has done an enormous amount to educate and encourage the public appetite for fish, driven by his supply of impeccably fine ingredients and a special talent for creating unique and thrilling fish dishes."
Outlaw himself, who founded the two-Michelin-star restaurant a decade ago said:
"The award has come due to the hard work and dedication of our team who have now been working together for a decade. It just goes to show that if you stay true to yourself, get your head down, look after your customers and use the very best ingredients available to you, you’ll make it to the top."
Other restaurants noted in the guide include Stark, a 12-seat dining room in Kent that opened last December, which doesn't even have a customer toilet, and a "canteen" on a posh caravan site in Anglesey.
The Good Food Guide is designed to "find and celebrate culinary flair in all its forms", regardless of where it might be found. It's not opposed to criticism, either, this year noting that restaurants are becoming too noisy thanks to loud music systems - nothing that things just become "exhausting and self-defeating." I don't dine out often, but I have to agree. Nobody goes to a restaurant to listen specifically to listen to the music. [Guardian | London Evening Standard]