What a lovely restaurant recommended by our B&B. Meals are made from scratch with fresh local ingredients.
The place is in an unmarked building with a bicycle in front. Make sure you make reservations. The restaurant gets quite busy. We were only able to walk in to get a table because we arrived really early in the evening.
We were put in the front in a comfy window booth. It felt private yet we still could see the rest of the restaurant. I think they have tables in the back with a spectacular view. Request one of those.
I really enjoyed my mussel appetizer.
My Pedro Ximeniez and dessert sampler were standouts as well.
Eat here. You won't regret it.
The outsider is a pretty trendy restaurant situated on George Aye Vee Bridge. Pretty trendy, but never style over substance by the looks of things. From one visit I deduce they have a competitively priced guest wine of the day, pencilled into the list much like a food special (has anyone been two days in a row to verify if this is legit?!). The evening I went it was a lovely Viognier, a carafe of which was expertly and effortlessly dispatched.
But I'm getting slightly ahead of myself...
Considering that the booking was made a generous two-an'-an-odd-bit weeks ahead, and that they have tables with castle views, we were really disappointed to be tucked away at a dinky little table in the corner of the mezzanine level. Butted up against the wall, our view consisted of the diners downstairs through a glass partition.
I had a starter of portabello mushroom with an exotic cheese I hadn't heard of (and neither had the waitress, but who other than that was knowledgeable and attentive). It was OK, the mushroom had been fired directly on the hob presumably and at any rate tasted a little of gas.
My main of roast lamb however was absolutely gorgeous. Caramelised on the outside, melt-in-the-mouth on the inside (pretty pink mind, but that was fine by me). The accompaniments were spot on too.
The way they've done the menu is quirky but not sure I would go as far as to label this place an 'outsider' of the trade. But for gastronauts or those out to impress a date it is definitely worth a visit.
The Outsider is a place that you plan to go to, not simply walk by and stop in. And this is for good reason. The food is excellent. This was the second lunch here for my wife and me. Our first time we had just walked in, and had to wait a bit for a table. This time we took the wisdom to phone ahead for a reservation.
As you'll read in many of the reviews, The Outsider is a modern restaurant with chic interior and great views of the castle and the Old Town. This contrast in decor and the historical surroundings gives you a feeling almost as if you have travelled from a medieval city into a cosmopolitan restaurant of the future. However, while many of the 'restaurants' within a stone's throw of the castle serve up steak pie, balmoral chicken and fish and chips (all of which I love at the appropriate time), The Outsider focuses more on a Renaissance of the taste buds rather than traditional Scottish fare.
The wife and I have been highly attracted to the lunch menu prices. A meal and a drink for two would only just push you over the £20 mark. In fact, without drinks, you can eat for just under £15, even with a starter. And when you compare that to other restaurants considered to be more affordable at lunch time, then I think I'll pay a 1 or 2 quid more and have a much better meal.
Each time we have been here the restaurant has 3 specials served 12-7pm added onto the regular lunch menu served 12-5pm. My philosophy is that if one of the specials appears rather appealing, then I'll have that and try a regular menu choice later. I did that again this time and the duck special with Parmesan mash potatoes, purple broccoli and black pudding, drizzled in a very tasty sort of creamy raspberry sauce. It was really good. If I was a better writer I would describe it in bigger words ;)
While I would say that the food and decor were excellent, I was slightly less impressed with the service, and I do mean ever so slightly. The staff are very friendly, don't get me wrong. The two times I have been here we have had servers who spoke fluent english, but, however, they had problems explaining what things were on the menu. In fact our most recent server had to go ask what some of the items were on the regular menu. I feel like any staff at a restaurant should be able to describe and explain exactly what a dish is and what is in it.
If you're planning an afternoon in Edinburgh, then you should definitely stop here for lunch, especially instead of any of the other well spoken of restaurants even on the same street.
Lovely restaurant. Been here a fair few times over the past few years and it's always been great.
Getting a table with a view of the castle is well worth it if you can.
The staff are really nice and very accommodating.
I remember the first time I went they had homemade gnocchi with cavolo nero, which was just perfection (as great as all the other dishes have been, they've not quite hit the mark as that one did...)
This is a definite treat restaurant for me. Bigger prices, smaller portions, but I find that when food is this good you don't need as much to fill you up - every mouthful counts double.
It's stylish inside - chic yet welcoming, with a very cosy looking alcove for super-intimate celebrations. My friend and I came here on a special occasion and were delighted to be seated next to the window, looking directly across the rooftops of Edinburgh and onto the castle. The views only got more gorgeous as the sun went down.
Last time I was here a while ago, I ordered the gnocchi, then told my waiter I might go with the risotto instead. He confided that he thought I'd be better off sticking with the gnocchi, in his opinion. (I love it when wait-staff are happy to advise on the food!) Well, this time I bravely sallied forth and had the risotto, for comparison. The gnocchi had been delicious, but the red pepper and walnut risotto was actually more to my taste! Perhaps it was a little more punchy and obvious in the flavour, but that's right up my street, and the texture was perfect.
Our desserts had just arrived - plum tarte tatin with vanilla creme anglaise and ginger ice cream for my friend, vanilla and raspberry pannacotta with pistachio biscotti for me - when I blinked and everything got darker. Oh no! A power cut!
Actually, it was sort of lovely to have a candlelit dinner and the restaurant looked stunning in the low light. However, we'd been there since six o'clock. The poor people who had only arrived for 7 or 7:30 were shortly to be informed that no more food could be served.
The waiting staff immediately set about the task. Our waitress had been a cheery delight right from the off - we'd commented to each other on it right away - and now was exactly the same as she went around each of her tables in turn, explaining the situation apologetically and totting up bills with her iPhone. Almost everybody responded with equal warmth and moved on perfectly happily. I do hope nobody was unkind to the staff since it wasn't their fault at all.
She came to us last, which we were perfectly fine with, since we'd been fortunate enough to actually have our full meal (at one point I heard her say to a table she'd just dealt with, "Now then, where shall I go next? Who looks angriest?"). To our amazement, despite what must have been a nightmare evening for her, she'd also remembered everything we'd had. She even knocked our teas off the bill as an apology for the circumstances - which was lovely, although not necessary. My friend summed it up as we left: "I don't think I've had such a fun night in ages!"
So if you go to The Outsider, obviously you can't expect a power cut. But you can expect obscenely good food, a beautiful setting, and superhero service from start to finish regardless of the situation.
After hearing so much about The Outsider I just had to give it a try, so when a special occasion popped up it was first on my list. We went for an early dinner, but the place was hopping when we arrived! The staff took our coats which we later saw was a fantastic way to keep the place looking chic. We were brought upstairs to a table which overlooked the downstairs of the restaurant, though lacked a castle view. You can't have everything!
Since we'd booked an early table the staff had asked we return it by a certain time so we decided to skip the starters for some bread. The artisanal bread was delicious though I wasn't fond of the butter, it tasted a bit on the rancid side. The accompanying parsley and oil dip was also enjoyable.
We ordered a merlot with whole partridge for me, served with black pudding, pear and crushed potatoes, while opposite me steak and chips was the call of the day. The partridge was delicious, and everything on the plate went together wonderfully. I probably won't be ordering 'whole' anything in a restaurant anytime soon as my attempts to carve it up were bordering on ridiculous. Meanwhile the steak, which had been ordered 'medium' arrived quite pink inside which was a disappointment but we decided not worth a complaint.
After we had demolished our dinners we settled on a dram of whisky and some rum truffles for afters. Unfortunately we are both quite picky about desserts and none of those available really appealed to us. The truffles were delicious and quite heavy. There were six or so on the dish and I think 2 or 3 would be sufficient for anyone.
The staff are wonderful, very professional and conscientious. And all very good looking, just saying. The look of the place is halfway between rustic and modern. Candlelight provides a good bit of the lighting in some areas while spotlights take over in others. The chairs are chunky and wooden and the lack of coats everywhere definitely shows off the design. The wooden floors and large windows give a modern look. Huge windows downstairs, complete with mirrors upstairs afford many patrons with a wonderful view of the castle which is lit beautifully at night.
A great meal and definitely one for the list you have friends and family visiting, or just for a nice night out!
I was looking for a restaurant reviewed by a Yelp friend when the clouds opened up and I ran into the nearest doorway only to find myself in The Outsider, the restaurant I was looking for in the first place.
The host was super friendly and seated me in the loft upstairs which boasts terrific views up the to castle. I ordered grilled mackerel from the daily set menu. It came with a rocket (arugula) salad and other nice, fresh veg.
I have been a little wary about mackerel in the past, expecting a strong, oily fish but this one was flavourful with a nice crispy skin.
Service from Ms. Emma was quick and friendly and I was able to enjoy my meal in less than an hour and get out to an early evening Fringe show.
Great food, a nice vibe, and a staff that went out of their way to accomodate us - twice! First time we went and didn't have a reservation (recommended) but they fit us in at a very busy time. Next visit, we showed up on time but met up with 2 friends there who had a reservation for an hour later. Could they get us all in at the same time at the same table? Yes!
Really liked the food and the presentation. The cheese with the crusty bread (app) was wonderful as were the olives.
Very decent food with fabulous atmosphere. Perhaps slightly over-minimalist, but that's not the end of the world. The food is good -- if not fabulous -- but nothings' bad at all.
The downside is really inconsistent portion size. Some of the meals will leave you hungry while others are seriously overstuffing.
Is it niggly? a bit, but the portion sizes are really varied -- some of the lunch mains should really be called starters.
Great place to eat with nice views of Edinburgh Castle. Nice atmosphere with candles in each table. Not many options for vegetarians (4 mains only).
My husband had the salmon chunky health line and he said that it was delicious and very large. I had the fish filet with saffron cream and potatoes and the portion was much smaller, but it was also very good. For dessert, he had the chocolate pot and I had the plum tart with ginger ice cream. Excellent!
This is a nice place for a leisurely dinner, but it would be nicer if it was a bit quieter. We were a party of four middle-aged people and we kept asking each other "what?"
A second visit to the Outsider a year after the first one. The only reason I booked here is because we had friends visiting and didn't want to take them anywhere too nice as they would feel awkward (they're from the sticks) so our usual choices of fine dining were out and our other main choices didn't have a table at the time we wanted. As it turns out the people from the sticks cancelled at the last minute but we just kept the booking for the Outsider. Now the friends that remained confessed as we were sitting there that they've had a terrible experience before at the Outsider especially with the slow service and some ridiculously thick cut beef carpaccio. So we were all prepared for a crappy time in a restaurant booked for people that weren't even there.
As it turns out the food was a lot nicer than the last time, I had the beef carpaccio and it was delicious, a bit too thick but apparently not the doorstep our friends had been served the last time. I opted for the flat iron steak over the ribeye, a bit wary at first as it was cheaper and I wondered if it would therefore be a cheaper less tasty cut of meat. It was actually very good and a huge bit of steak for £14.95.
The dessert menu was a disappointment. Five choices and none of us fancied them. Also it was now 8.30pm and when I booked I had been told they needed the table back for 9pm. Fine, but the service was so unbelievably slow that we thought there was no way we could all order dessert, eat it and be out by 9pm. When ordering a second bottle of wine we had to keep asking and it was eventually brought out by the second person we asked. I remember last time the number of waiting staff was too low and it was again on Saturday. I can only think it is a money saving exercise, otherwise there is no reason to have two members of staff serving the whole restaurant. They really need to get their act together.
One thing that irked us - they have no website. Absolutely no online presence. That's unheard of these days with this kind of restaurant. Even if you have an ever-changing menu you can still put a sample one online, surely your drinks menu stays the same. Oh and none of us liked the cheapskate handwritten photocopied menu and they were advertising a meal outside that was only available lunchtime, why not take the sign in then seeing as it's 7pm?
Torn over whether I would book the Outsider again. Really enjoyed the food but do I have that much time to wait on service?
This was the second best meal that we had on our 31 day trip around the UK and Spain (the absolute best was the restaurant inside the Bilbao Guggenheim museum).
I suppose it's odd to start out with saying that this was a "second best" meal, because honestly, I still think about the fish I had at The Outsider--it was perfect! It was both attractive and delicious and creative (there were sea vegetables decorating the outside of the dish that perfectly complimented the fish--and it was nice to look at). My husband had the pigeon, which was also yummy, and we split a salad to start and the plum tart to finish.
We also had a wonderful view of the castle (and our waitress was nice enough to take a photo of us with the castle in the background). We liked this restaurant so much that we were tempted to just eat here throughout our stay in Edinburgh. Although we had other nice meals, this was, by far, the best in Edinburgh and the best meal we had in the 2 weeks we were in the UK (including time in London).
The CHL (Chunky Healthy Lines) are where its at. The name (at first) threw me a bit. Chunky and Healthy? In a line? I do not understand. But with a bit of explanation I came to learn these were juicy, tender skewers of multiple varieties (I had the monkfish), accompanied by lovely sides (think sweet potato, pita with cabbage slaw, etc). Delightful, filling and...indeed, healthy!
Sides: roasted kale (with a kick, whew!) and the walnut apple salad (really nice).
The foggy mist created a "ghost castle" effect -- very beautiful view from the back of the restaurant's windows. The lighting and ambience are subtle, yet...perfect. Candlelit, clean rustic feel that is both contemporary and classic feeling at once. Comfortable. The din never too loud, but always cheerful. Tables turned all evening. The staff is gorgeous and competent.
Dessert: a fresh plum tart with spicy ginger ice cream. Heavenly
Not a missed step all evening, perhaps they could've upsold me another glass of Forge Mill rose (light and frivolous was the description -- indeed!) had they asked --- but this only allowed me to save room for an espresso martini, which propelled me through the rest of the evening, night and into the morning...as it turns out!
Will surely return when in the area -- a real treat.
Delicious food ! The specials change and are really unique and tasty. They say it's all local , which is great. Really nice atmosphere ! Potions aren't huge but great Great lunch prices and perfect size for lunch! Defiantly coming back
We stopped in here after reading up on the Yelp suggestions. The reviews we mixed and I'll admit our is as well. The chorizo and squid salad was good but we found it missing something. The squid didn't absorb the great taste of the chorizo. Too bad because the sausage is really tasty.
My main was the lamb and feta balls. I really liked it but love the taste of lamb. Sandra was less of a fan. Her sea bass and scallops was good but lacked enough sauce to make it all the way through the meal.
In the end, the tastes were really good but each meal was about 90% of perfect.
This restaurant has always stopped me in my path, pulling me in to peer through the window. I don't know what it is about The Outsider but I'm glad I finally had the opportunity to eat here this week!
Boy it took me a while to decide on what to eat. I wanted everything! My chicken and prawn kebabs in a peanut and lime chili sauce accompanied by salad and apple and beetroot coleslaw tucked inside pitta bread from the Chunky Healthy Lines menu was sooo tasty and filling!
I really shouldn't have had dessert but when I saw the tray with poached pear in plum sauce and pot of chocolate moose being carried to another table, I was having what she was having! It was heaven!
This is my new favourite restaurant. I love the decor and lighting, the staff are friendly and the menu offers reasonably priced, fantastic dishes! Now to work my way down the list of choices...
One of Edinburgh great opinion-dividing restaurants, The Outsider is a love or hate place, as shown by the reviews, here. The view Edinburgh Castle is impressive, so it's a good daylight dining choice. The lunch is competitively priced. It's very popular, so a booking is required. But it all felt rather passé, to me, and both dishes that I had looked rather better than they tasted.
Overall, we said: "I didn't have a particularly strong reaction, for or against the place. My abiding impression was of a restaurant that was a well-worn favourite for many of its patrons, with all the positive and negative connotations that that brings. The owners and staff members know what they're doing, and they're very comfortable with delivering it, but it felt like a place that had been trapped in aspic for a little too long. But if it ain't broke, don't fix it, as they say, and based on the crowded restaurant they had, today, their model still strongly appeals."
After moving to Edinburgh, I had heard so many great things about the Outsider that it stood out in my mind as an alluring, perfect restaurant with a great atmosphere, stunning views, friendly staff, and outstanding food. With building suspense, I visited the Outsider for the first time tonight with my boyfriend and my parents, and it fully lived up to my expectations!
I had the grilled monkfish skewers with rolled bacon and grape tomatoes, with salad and a fantastic beetroot coleslaw (I'm not usually a slaw person but this was amazing). My mother's salmon was perfect and plentiful, grilled with sweet beetroot and piled high with a salad. My boyfriend liked his porkbelly with scallops, and my father liked his mackerel (although the mackerel was a bit of a small portion compared to the other dishes, we had more than enough food with plenty of salmon and monkfish). We had a candle-lit table by the window with fantastic views of the castle and a lovely dinner together here!
Although a treat and a bit more expensive than I would spend on everyday meals, they were absolutely delicious and also had great lunch / early evening deals (£6.50) lasting until 7pm for those with tighter budgets.
This place is a gem. Great space, great views, great service, great food, great prices.
We had a wonderful dinner. Started with olives with fresh baked breads and a rocket/parmesan/pine nut salad. Next, my wife had a skirt steak with chips (I think they were cooked in beef drippings...great flavor) and I had a mushroom, prosciutto and pea risotto. We finished with a chocolate/espresso pave and a chocolate pot with poached pear. Our dinner was accompanied by a very nice Montelpuciano (Note: the wine list is dominated by a very good selection of screw cap topped wines, and wine service consists of the bottle being set on your table -- fine by me). Everything was absolutely delicious, and the bill was only 65 pounds.
Oh yeah...As other reviewers have pointed out, this place is non-descript from the outside, so you could miss it...but that's what addresses are for. :-)
A few months ago, when I was living in Edinburgh, I went to The Outsider for lunch after walking by and seeing their chalkboard menu from outside. Deciding that I liked both the price and the selection (and their kir royale drink special), I went in on a whim. It was a few minutes before noon, and the restaurant was very quiet. I ordered the kir royale I was hankering for, and a lentil and goat cheese salad. Shortly after, the restaurant began filling up with other patrons who also seemed to enjoy a lunchtime drink. The noise level rose, but not to an overwhelming level, and I was soon placated when my food came.
I admit that I've never had a better salad. There were perfectly cooked lentils, briny, creamy goat cheese bits, and delicious crunchy greens in a light vinaigrette. The kir royale was also lovely. I escaped with only an 12 pound bill, and decided that I would return soon.
Not one to break my word, I have returned two times since, once for the venison ravioli, which was a little bloodier tasting than I would have liked, and once for the baked gnocchi with pesto, which did not disappoint.
I would highly recommend The Outsider for lunch. Their lunch menu is reasonably priced, and the food quality is excellent.
Wining and Dining
Castle view cannot be missed
A date Anyone?
Excellent food and great wine list,
Only let down by slight over cooking and waitstaff forgetting I wanted the dessert menu. I always want dessert.
Came here for lunch twice in 2 days and would come tomorrow if I didn't have to go home to London. Excellent service coupled with high quality and varied dishes, wine and dessert.
Ideal for a lunch date, first date or taking your granny out for a treat.
Pretty much any time someone asks me where they should eat in Edinburgh, I say The Outsider. For lunch, for dinner - it's perfect. The food's always great, the staff are lovely, and the venue is elegant and has great views over the rooftops to the castle. We sat at a window seat the first time we went, and I think it was love at first lunch - I've just hooked on the place ever since.
I've been there for work, with friends, with family - and regularly for lunch with Jason when we're in town. I'll confess I do order the mussels 98% of the time, because they're amazing, but I have tried other options and it's always good! At lunch there are specials, plus a list of eight-or-so regular options, all reasonably priced. In the evening, it's fun to start with the chunky skewers to share. And do get the bread and olives - giant, luscious olives and hefty chunks of bread.
I'm hungry now....
I do not have a bad word to say about this lovely restaurant. I went there last night for my birthday dinner with my fiance and my dad and it was fantastic. The staff were friendly and efficient. The starters, mains and dessert were all delicious. I particularly enjoyed the polenta and rosemary biscuit that came with the poached pear and chocolate pot. The guinea fowl was lovely and tender and the chorizo and squid salad had a nice flavour. There was no loud obnoxious music and although the tables were quite close together, the high ceilings made it feel spacious and not claustrophobic. Good value for money. Would definitely go again.
I find myself always slowing when I walk past this place as I used to be SO intrigued by it?! What looks like an apparently 'nameless' restaurant on George IV Bridge....... with a lovely chalk lunch menu outside and what looks like a lovely air-y space inside.
I ended up *finally* getting to go to the Outsider as a wee treat before leaving Edinburgh, and I gotta say it was the perfect choice!!! This place is elegant but laid back, the food has a good modern twist but it presented a little slap-dash and slightly rustic which I quite liked. The service is friendly and I found myself wishing I had come here more before leaving!
My Pigeon with Serrano Ham with a mix of beans and beetroot salsa was heavenly!!!? I only wish I had been a little more hungry and had some starter and dessert! From what I can gather the menu seems to change very frequently which I think is fab. I would definitely go again for dinner and I have heard that the lunch offer is ace!
Came in for dinner last week with a buddy of mine as I knew that it was a solid eaterie, plus his wife thing (she's lovely really) is allergic to (get this) apples, pears, strawberries, other berries, snozberries, most other fruit, tomatos, grapes (so no wine) and of course lactose. She can have Gluten and nuts which makes me think she might just be crazy. Her favourite meal in the world is pizza but it might kill her....
Anyway, we had to find someone that wasn't too "tomato-ee" for her.
This was a good bet.
The chunky healthy lines made a great starter for me and man-friend, and a great main for wife-thing. The rustic bread and olive oil we got with it was delightful.
My mail was some coley and frankly a nicer piece of fish I have never had. My only slight complaint was that the salad and potato that came with it were a bit frugal. The piece of fish was a bit wee as well (if utterly delicious) which basically is a bit upsetting when a chunky healthy line is HUGE and cost £3 less!
Anyway it was a great experience. Staff were great and helpful and nice.
We enjoyed it and my mates wife didn't die.
Had been wanting to try The Outsider for awhile (saw they could do gluten free) and after soaking up some culture after day 2 at the museum, I had the chance.
The blackboard specials looked promising and the prices did too with many dishes priced between £6.80 and £8.00 at lunchtime.
I had hoped to get a table with a view over to the castle as I had my mum visiting but we had a table at the front which turned out to be fab! The window seats are uber comfortable with masses of pillows.
I had the mussels in a cream sauce with parmesan, bacon and onion and for a nice change they came with chips instead of bread. My mum (it was girly Jubilee weekend) had the pork belly in a red wine gravy with sweet potatoes and she said it was fabulous (I didn't try as I'm Gluten Free and wasn't sure it was safe).
Both were huge portions and we both loved our dishes. There were tons of mussels (only a couple closed) and the pail of chips seemed endless but fab with just the right amount of crispiness and some garlicky salt seasoning.
The Outsider was very busy - staff were friendly and seemed to cope. I would definitely return for dinner as the food is fab and drinks are reasonable (£4 a glass if wine, £2.50 for coke) but this is a great place for a post museum lunch!
In my 7 years of living in Edinburgh i had always been meaning to visit The Outsider but never quite got around to it, until this weekend. My Dad was visiting me and so took me out for lunch, perfect opportunity.
The staff were very friendly, if anything a little too laid back, but can't complain. The menu all sounded delicious and i opted for the salmon fishcake served with mussels (only 3 but still good) and a poached egg on top, i would definitely have this again. My Dad had an aubergine based dish which was also delicious and we shared a side of garlicky fries.
The feel of the restaurant is very contemporary and chilled out. Although it was pretty chilly in there so next time i might wrap up a bit.
To finish my Dad had a passion fruit tart with rhubarb, obviously i trid some then regretted not getting one myself. I had a cappuccino which was sprinkled with shaved chocolate, always a good sign in my book.
I will definitely be back here again soon! :)
Today is Valentine's Day, and therefore a day to express your true feelings for those most special and dear to you in your life. And you, dear Outsider, hold that place in my heart.
Is it because of your 'playing-it-cool', nigh on playing 'hard-to-get' attitude with an exterior that gives nothing away, and almost an entire lack of your own name on your building? You're most modest it would seem.
Or is it that once you see past the grey, nonchalent exterior you find the most opulent, vibrant, welcoming and warm interiors, with some of the most gorgeous views over Edinburgh Castle?
Or is it because you are always new, never bored and staid and same-old. Your menu changes every time I am here. Always a surprise, a new twist and turn; something to thrill and delight. Like that pork cheek I had last night, and the baked figs with amaretti for sweet seconds. You popped my pork cheek cherry and I liked it.
Or is it most of all, because it's the little things that count, that your bathrooms are scented with a heady incense? I do like a good perfume.
That naked chick on the outside with the big bajongas isn't half bad either. But that's just being superficial.
You have not once let me down. Whether it's been for a mid-week lunch, a weekend date, a Sunday night family dinner; you always deliver. A reliable lover but one that always surprises, say you'll be mine?
Always and forever,
Had an awesome lunch for 3 on holiday in the UK at the end of March 2013. Great garlic fries. Wonderful mussels (plentiful and a nice broth). Had a great pork loin dish that really hit the spot, my wife's pasta was superb. Fresh ingredients, efficient service at the busiest time of the lunch rush, nice, hip, bustly and pleasant atmosphere. Very reasonable prices at lunch, too.
We couldn't see the view because we were placed on the street side. So apparently you need to request a view when you make reservations, or be prepared to wait a bit.
The food was quite good--we both ordered the skirt steak. The problem was that we ordered medium rare, and one was bright purple, while the other was slightly more cooked. We decided they should be sent back to be heated a bit. They basically threw both back in for the same amount of time, and they came back half the size and one was medium and the other was medium-well. I'm typically not very picky and I don't think I've sent any food back in about 15 years. I ate the overcooked meat and my girlfriend shared her slightly-less-cooked piece with me.
It was very tasty, and I assume the cooking issue was a one-off mistake rather than a reflection on the restaurant. But I certainly can't give this place too high of a reco. I did like the service a lot, and felt good when the waiter confirmed that our steaks did indeed look undercooked by stating "that's not rare...that's blue!" Our appetizers were good and the bread was tasty I think.
Informal yet classy, just like moi. Central location on George IV Bridge, reasonably priced food with a nicely balanced menu, stylish but comfortable interior . . . I really cannot find anything wrong with this place.
I try to divide my luncheon life between Treacle and the Outsider, with the occasional sidestep to Dogs or even a shimmy towards somewhere else, but pretty much these three places have it covered, depending on the end of town in which you find yourself.
If you're lucky they'll give you a table in the window with a view across the Old Town. Lovely spot to drink some wine and enjoy the food. I mostly go for lunch but when I've gone for dinner I always start with the large skewers which are good for sharing. Monkfish and bacon skewers are always popular. In fact the general mix of dishes makes it a great place to bring guests. It's always top of my list to recommend to visitors.
And would you Adam and Eve it but they possibly do the best burger in town. I always say I'm not going to get the burger as the place is too stylish to order such a déclassé dish, but their chilli burger with gruyere cheese is fantastic.
I do have one gripe in that they don't have an online menu, or indeed a website (a cardinal sin in my book), but I forgive them. While the menu changes, I know the standards just about by heart. Well, it's not that difficult to memorise "Chilli burger and a beer, please. And can I have the table in the window?"
I'm not sure I know what "modern European cuisine" means, but if this is it, I am a fan.
Close to the Grassmarket, but away from the tourists, this is a handsome restaurant with a great view of the castle from the back windows.
My son and I split the skewers for an appetizer. Then he had a skirt steak and I had fish. Add a couple of Innkill & Gunn beers, excellent service, and a cozy atmosphere, and we had a great first night in Edinburgh.
We liked it so well that we went to the Apartment Bistro, run by the same proprietor, a couple of nights later.
The Outsider was the one restaurant that stood out from my two days in Edinburgh - and not in a good way. The food was expensive, but it wasn't even that good. The one thing that I really liked about this restaurant was the extremely comfortable booth. I think I could fall asleep amongst those pillows. Also kudos for using actual stick candles. As for the food, the portions were big, but the combination of flavors were confusing and all over the place.
For starters, we had the slow roasted pork belly, dauphinoise potatoes, buttered greens, and shallot gravy. It was better than my main course, which was a pan roasted cod fillet with salmon, chilli and coriander potato cake and a mussel salsa. The cake was very grainy and the cod was completely dried out and lacked acidity. It was one of the few times when I left food on the plate. One highlight from dinner was the olive oil that accompanied the bread.
I haven't tried much modern European cuisine, but if The Outsider was a good example, I don't think I am a fan.
The reasons I have fallen hook, line and sinker for The Outsider:
It's a neighbourhood restaurant where locals and families go to eat.
It's opposite one of my favourite bars and pre-club venues - Villager.
It's decorated tastefully with rustic wooden tables, patterned cushions and hints of colour.
It has a private booth that seats four to six.
It has breathtaking views of the Castle.
It has a fab wine-list including one of the most beautiful and berrylicious Shiraz I've ever drunk.
It serves totally delicious food - my favourite dish being the grilled hallumi kebabs with pitta, coleslaw and salad.
It has sugar-rushing deserts that match the flavour and intensity of the wine.
It has friendly and efficient staff that don't mind if you stay one hour or three.
It's named after Albert Camus's classic existential masterpiece.*
*If it isn't named after Albert Camus's novel, it probably takes its name from Francis Ford Coppola's equally awesome 80s movie.
A great gem of a restaurant in the city centre. Really excellent (and for lunch great priced) food. The Outsider is upscale casual meets modern European at it's best. Sure it's a bit overly crowded (there probably should be 20% fewer tables), but the service is spot on the food was among the best I had whilst up in Edinburgh. Great location too right on George IV bridge.
As for what to order, the chunky healthy lines are massive, great if you are starving. I had the chili beef salad which was very well prepared and tasty. My friend's sea bass was elegantly presented. Even though they charge extra for bread, it's worth the 90p splurge as the bread is freshly baked and really delicious. The lunch specials were all reasonable with most mains in the 6 to 8 pound range.
Next time I am definitely ordering one of their burgers. They look amazing!
I'm sorry, but this place was not as good as it seems some people say it is. Good points are, food was good and there is quite a good view of Edinburgh Castle if you are seated near the back of the restaurant. That's it, I'm afraid, for the good points.
First of all, if you're looking for the place on a recommendation, you might find it difficult to spot. The front of the place is pretty much lacking in any noticeable signage. If you look closely, and I did, but still had to have the name pointed out to me: there are two columns of wooden tiles between the windows, and on them are dark letters spelling out the word OUTSIDER. Other than that, you'd be excused for thinking that the place was going through a renovation or something.
Inside is very light and roomy and the tables seem to be randomly placed between all the wall tables and booths. The manager that meets you at the door seems to have his head somewhere in the profit books as he shows you to a table, you know, just not quite giving you all his attention. He also looked like he'd slept in, with his hair dishevelled and chin unshaven. The grandpa shirt tops of the look of art student in fourth year at art school.
Once seated you are handed a photocopy of a menu. Not a bad idea if you update your menu everyday, but, some ink in the photocopier would be a good idea too. I have good eyesight, but half the menu was totally illegible to me. Most of the menu was in a small type but there was something handwritten at the top. This was totally unreadable.
I managed to find something that sounded nice so I ordered it and it was very well cooked and tasty. It wasn't a huge portion but it was charged as a full meal.
I have given two stars, one for the food and one for the castle view.
Tempted by the ever-changing menu specials, I finally came here on Valentine's day to satisfy my curiosity.
The atmosphere here is lovely, and the service doesn't lack. They have a nice, reasonably-priced wine list too.
I was put off by having to pay for an order of bread -- that's unheard of to an American -- but when it came I forgot about the piddling £1.30 or however much it was, because the bread was amazing. As was the olive oil they served with it. Really, really nice stuff.
Both of the mains my husband and I ordered were really delicious -- duck for me, pheasant for him -- but I would have liked a bit more mash and greens to round out the meal. I felt a bit hungry as we left. I don't think I'm greedy, I just eat a lot! We probably should have ordered appetizers but I didn't think we would need to, and I didn't want to drop £5 on an unimpressive dessert menu.
Overall -- a great place to take a date, with creative and tasty food.
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