Restaurant Nathan Outlaw takes the top spot in The Good Food Guide 2018

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th August 2017

For the first time in five years, the Good Food Guide, published by Waitrose, has announced a new number one restaurant.

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw in Cornwall has taken the top spot and it has also achieved a perfect score of ten for the second year running. Nathan Outlaw is also The Staff Canteen's next Featured Chef so you can watch his new videos exclusively on our YouTube channel in the next few weeks.

On being Britain's best restaurant Nathan said: “We’ve always been proud to have a place in the listings, but to hear that Restaurant Nathan Outlaw has made it to No 1 is phenomenal. I’d say the award has come due to the hard work and dedication of our team who have now been working together for a decade.

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw credit: Beth Druce

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw

credit: Beth Druce

"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.”

The Port Isaac seafood restaurant has been crowned number one in the UK for being ‘the whole package’, with its relaxed dining room, a menu carefully crafted around the freshest Cornish seafood, along with perfect service which ‘just happens in the most discreet and attentive way’. It takes the title of Britain’s best restaurant from L’Enclume in Cumbria after its four years at the summit. However, Simon Rogan’s L’Enclume still retains a perfect ten score for its ‘fiercely seasonal ingredients’ and ‘knockout dishes’.

Speaking about the newly crowned number one restaurant, Waitrose Good Food Guide Editor, Elizabeth Carter 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. Moreover, nobody seems to leave Nathan Outlaw’s staff – they just go and work in another one of his restaurants. They obviously think he’s a pretty good boss as well as a fine chef.”

Alongside the finest dining establishments, the Good Food Guide also champions more unusual eateries that you may not find in more traditional restaurant guides.

This year’s edition features four new entries housed under railway arches: Umezushi in Manchester; Hart’s Bakery in Bristol; and Bala Baya and El Pastor, both in London.

Also new to the guide this year is Vice and Virtue, a Leeds restaurant located in a former strip club. With its Art Deco style interior, this venue is now poles apart from its previous life - it now serves up three tasting menus, with dishes including ‘perfect’ lobster ravioli and organic apple strudel.

And in Devon you'll find Ode & Co in a posh holiday park above the sea on the Teign Estuary. Run by husband and wife team Tim and Clare Bouget, this eatery has a real focus on local ingredients, with their pizzas cooked in a recycled oven and made with organic Devon flour, topped with local cheese. The GFG has celebrated fine food in a holiday park before. The Marram Grass Cafe found on a caravan site in Anglesey, was featured two years ago.

A plea from the Editor

While some restaurant trends are a benefit to the customer, such as the offering of free tap water as standard, others can be off-putting. Editor Elizabeth Carter has made a plea for two trends to fade.

Turn it down

“Restaurants are getting noisier - that’s what our readers, this year in unprecedented
numbers, are telling us. Noise levels, already amplified by bare-bones design, are being raised by music played at Glastonbury force. Everyone loves a restaurant that has a buzzing, vibrant atmosphere, but it becomes exhausting and self-defeating when, as one old hand told us: ‘I have never heard such loudly amplified music in an eating place. It was so loud that I couldn’t hear a word the waitress was saying, and vice versa. We had to gesture and point.’ The reporter was not recommending inclusion in the guide.”

Small plates or sharing plates?

“As for that other trend that’s been warmly embraced by chefs and restaurateurs across the country - let’s be honest, small plates are frequently not designed to be shared. Why the reduction in size if more than one person is supposed to be eating it? If plates are for sharing, there ought to be more, not less, food – after all, a dish featuring a fried egg is best tackled by a solo diner. Moreover, these plates often come out in a random, inhospitable manner. As customers, we have let this weak formula go unchallenged for too long.”

Elizabeth said: “Once again the readers of theguide have pointed our experts towards some brilliant eating in unexpected places. Whether it’s fine-dining in a former strip-club, sushi under a railway arch or a fish supper in a shipping container, we find and celebrate culinary flair in all its forms. With this year’s new entries including an ‘ecological canteen’ constructed from renewables in a holiday park, and a former town library playing host to one of Devon’s best new openings, The Good Food Guide continues in its mission to uncover great cooking whatever the venue, wherever the talent. We think that eating out should be fun – and that’s something these restaurants deliver in spades.”

The full list of the Good Food Guide 2018's top 50 Restaurants

(A top score of 10 means "Just perfect dishes, showing faultless technique at every service; extremely rare, and the highest accolade the Guide can give.)

1 Restaurant Nathan Outlaw, Cornwall (10)
2 L’Enclume, Cumbria (10)
3 Pollen Street Social, London (9)
4 Restaurant Sat Bains, Nottinghamshire (9)
5 The Fat Duck, Berkshire (9)
6 Restaurant Gordon Ramsay, London (9)
7 Hedone, London (8)
8 Restaurant Andrew Fairlie, Tayside (8)
9 Claude Bosi at Bibendum, London (8) New
10 Casamia, Bristol (8)
11 Bohemia, Jersey (8)
12 Ynyshir, Powys (8)
13 Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, London (8)
14 Fraiche, Merseyside (8)
15 Marcus, London (8)
16 Le Champignon Sauvage, Glos (8)
17 Adam Reid at The French, Manchester (8)
18 The Ledbury, London (8)
19 André Garrett at Cliveden, Berkshire (8)
20 Midsummer House, Cambridgeshire (8)
21 Alain Ducasse at the Dorchester, London (8)
22 The Peat Inn, Fife (8)
23 The Kitchin, Edinburgh (7)
24 Sketch, Lecture Room & Library, London (7)
25 The Three Chimneys, Isle of Skye (7) New
26 Moor Hall, Lancashire (7) New
27 The Greenhouse, London (7)
28 The Ritz, London (7) New
29 Castle Terrace, Edinburgh (7)
30 Forest Side, Cumbria (7)
31 Orwells, Oxfordshire (7)
32 Paul Ainsworth at No. 6, Cornwall (7)
33 Restaurant Marianne, London (7)
34 The Waterside Inn, Berkshire (7)
35 Restaurant James Sommerin, Glamorgan (7)
36 Artichoke, Buckinghamshire (7)
37 The Raby Hunt, Durham (7)
38 Whatley Manor, The Dining Room, Wiltshire (7)
39 Restaurant Story, London (7)
40 Simpsons, Birmingham (7)
41 Restaurant Martin Wishart, Edinburgh (7)
42 The Sportsman, Kent (7) New
43 Adam’s, Birmingham (7)
44 Freemasons at Wiswell, Lancashire (7)
45 Gidleigh Park, Devon (7)
46 Le Gavroche, London (7)
47 Hambleton Hall, Rutland (7)
48 Murano, London (7)
49 The Whitebrook, Gwent (7)
50 The Man Behind the Curtain, Leeds (7) New

In these challenging times…

…the hospitality landscape has dramatically changed in the last two months, and with that our advertising revenues have all but expired, significantly impacting our business. Despite having to furlough a large portion of our staff, we are still delivering the valuable content and honest information, which hundreds of thousands of you come to The Staff Canteen for. We believe we have a critical role to play in informing and supporting our audience. We need your support right now, more than ever, to keep The Staff Canteen active. Without your financial contributions this would not be possible.

Over the last 12 years, The Staff Canteen has built what has become the go-to platform for chefs and hospitality professionals. As members and visitors, your daily support has made The Staff Canteen what it is today. Our features and videos from the world’s biggest name chefs, are something we are proud of. We have over 500,000 followers across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and other social channels, each connecting with chefs across the world. Our editorial and social media team are creating and delivering engaging content every day, to support you and the whole sector.

Your financial support means we remain independent and open to all. We were launched by a chef and remain the voice of chefs and other hospitality professionals.

We need your support to keep delivering the products and content that you love, giving you the platform to share opinions and inspiration. Every contribution whether big or small, means so much.
Support The Staff Canteen from as little as £1 today. Thank you

The  Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 17th August 2017

Restaurant Nathan Outlaw takes the top spot in The Good Food Guide 2018