A verdant courtyard at the heart of 180 The Strand, Outcrop – a restaurant, bar and arts space – is now open. Designed to connect guests with nature, the pop-up will serve as an inner-city oasis within London’s West End for three months.
Outcrop’s restaurant is run by AngloThai’s John Chantarasak, and showcases his signature Thai cooking using ingredients from the bountiful British summer larder. Inspired by Outcrop’s mission, John has created a menu that focuses on seasonal British vegetables, native breed animals and line-caught fish, cooked over charcoal in keeping with the traditional cooking practices of rural Thailand.
Outcrop sources UK-grown ingredients such as ginger, chillies, Thai basil and lemongrass, alongside London honey and native British grains. Whole ingredient cooking and preservation techniques ensure the kitchen upholds a sustainable and low waste ethos. Dishes include: Carlingford Oyster, Sea Buckthorn, Fermented Chilli; Violet Artichoke Tempura, Yellow Soybean and Sugarcane Vinegar; Wildfarmed Flatbread, Shrimp Paste Butter and Cornish Shellfish; Skate Wing Jungle Curry; Thai Tea Burnt Cream and Newlands Farm Strawberries.
Award-winning Bar Manager Rob Simpson, who honed his experience at restaurants including The Clove Club and Gymkhana, has curated an entirely British list – with the island providing the entire menu’s spirits, infusions and ingredients*. Cocktails include a pea vodka; an aperitivo masterfully formed from discarded oyster shells; and leftover tomatoes from the kitchen are used to infuse a signature negroni. The list includes: the No Fly Zone, made from barley eau de vie, London honey and gooseberry, and the Cropped Martini, which combines London dry gin with a homemade herb garden vermouth, served ice cold. Outcrop works with small distilleries striving to have a more positive impact: building soil health, eschewing pesticides, growing heritage grains, and using smarter ecological packaging.
Desiree Chantarasak of AngloThai as curated Outcrop’s wine list of low-intervention European wines, many served on tap by the glass or carafe. Wines have a great deal of character to stand up to the gutsy flavours of the food, many from the list come from the low-waste keg format, and the menu also features a canned pet nat.
A central installation comes from leading art collective Marshmallow Laser Feast. Sanctuary of the Unseen Forest is a large-scale, immersive video installation of a giant Ceiba Pentandra tree from the Colombian Amazon, designed to create a moment of awe, inviting guests to contemplate their place within the wider systems of nature. As guests uncover the vibrancy of life that is flowing through the tree and listen to the lowly reverberating soundtrack, the pulse of the artwork taps into the pulse of the human body. The vast artwork is projected within the communal space, offering Outcrop guests a chance for reflection throughout their visit. More information and images of the work can be found here.
Outcrop features an audiophile sound system, centred around three pairs of vintage Tannoy Lancasters. The system has been designed, in collaboration with Hifi specialists Audio Gold, by Outcrop co-founder Daniel John Willis and revered sound engineer Jamie Harley – noted for working with the likes of Aphex Twin, Neneh Cherry, James Blake and Kelis to name a few.
DJs, selectors and collectors from across the spectrum have been invited to create musical journeys inspired by the natural world. At the heart of this is an animal migration series, which sees artists curating music from the countries that our summer visitors migrate through:
- South African musician, DJ & composer Esa Williams is planning a 6 hour set that will follow the migration of the Swallow from South Africa to the UK
- John Gomez will do the same for the Manx Shearwater, which flies from Patagonia, through South America, to the UK and back again each summer
- Tash LC will musically follow the Cuckoo, on its epic journey from Angola, via the rainforests of the Congo to the UK
- Nadia Ksaiba will follow the Painted Lady Butterfly, from North Africa across Europe to the UK
- And LOCAL (club night) will follow the Humpback Whale on its journey through UK waters to the Caribbean
In addition to this, Naima Karlsson is planning to perform a set titled The Sacred Life of Plants, a mix inspired by Stevie Wonder’s Journey Through The Secret Life Of Plants album. NTS Favourite Marshmello will be creating a sound collage titled ‘A Summer In London’. And co-founder Daniel John Willis will create a series entitled “Rivers and Tides”, a sonic exploration of the journey and importance of water.
Outcrop’s founding team is made up of Daniel Willis and Johnny Smith (co-founders of Michelin-starred The Clove Club and Luca), alongside three Secret Cinema alumni – Tom Allott, Andrea Moccia and Sabrina Goreeba. It is a new type of gathering place – a green social club within the city that brings people together to eat, drink and have fun, all whilst striving to have a positive impact on the planet. In the longer term, Outcrop plans to link buildings in cities with large-scale regeneration efforts in the countryside, mobilising urban dwellers to increase biodiversity on depleted sites.
Outcrop is now open, with bookings available Wed to Fri, 17:00 – 23:30 | Saturday, 12:00 to 15:00; 18:00 – 22:00.
*The entire bar menu comes from the UK, however UK-based spirit producers that Outcrop works with occasionally import juniper, citrus, molasses etc. from overseas.
Walk ins available and reservations made: outcrop.social