Credit: Ben Broomfield Photography / @photobenphoto / www.benbroomfield.com

Pop ups

Jason Allen 18/07/23


NOTE: Outcrop is sadly closed for the time being, but may be back soon…

Usually if a pop up lasts for longer than two weeks, you need to consult a doctor.

But this one’s going to be around for the next three months, and trust us, that’s very good news.

It’s called Outcrop, and it comes to us from a dream team of show runners: it sees a trio of Secret Cinema alumni teaming up with the guys from Michelin Star winning Luca to organise it all, and the duo behind the excellent AngloThai to take care of the food. And then as a kind of concrete cherry, they’ve moved into the gorgeously Brutalist space at 180 Strand to take their ideas for a spin.

So what are those ideas? Well, they’re calling it a ‘green social club’, which basically means it combines a restaurant, and bar, and an art space in one very plant-filled package. You’ll find it down on Surrey Street, where is shares a building with this-bodes-well neighbours like Ikoyi and Toklas. Walk inside, and you’ll be greeted by some extremely friendly staff who’ll whisk you though the grand foyer to the restaurant space, which is semi-outdoors, thanks to a mix of both open-air & covered seating.


But the first thing you’ll notice – apart from the way that the leaf-green fabric on the wooden furnishings blends unsurprisingly well with the leaf-green leaves of the plants that are strewn about the place – is the music. And not just because you’ll be hearing it first, but also because of the remarkably huge speakers that are posted between every other table. These are ‘vintage Tannoy Lancasters’ apparently, and we can only assume that any audiophiles browsing this article have already stopped reading and are frantically booking their table. The DJs they have manning those speakers aren’t half bad either, with music from John Gomez and Marshmello in the pipeline. It’s a smooth, jazzy soundtrack, and it channels a sumptuously laid-back mood.


The food aspect of the restaurant is the domain of AngloThai (AKA husband & wife team John & Desiree Chantarasak). And they’ve absolutely nailed it too, creating something that’s punchily flavourful using predominantly British ingredients. They’ve raided neighbouring Ikoyi’s leftover turbot heads to create a powerful (and waste-free) hot & sour turbot bone broth; Carlingford oysters come served in a bright orange fermented chilli sauce (not for the faint-of heart); the satay uses big chunks of Oakley Court courgette and sunflower seed satay (to avoid unnecessarily importing peanuts); instead of importing rice they use British spelt topped with finely grated cured beef heart for a rich, salty dish; and their bright Som Tam salad uses carrots in place of papaya, and hazelnuts in place of peanuts. It’s all highly sustainable, and all highly delicious.

outcrop drinks

The cocktails helping to ease all of that down come courtesy of award-winning bar manager par excellence Rob Simpson (he’s worked at places like The Clove Club and Gymkhana), who’s mixing a British Margarita made from barley eau de vie, London honey and gooseberry, or the Outcrop Martini, which blends London gin with a homemade herb garden vermouth. And of course there’s a wine list, which is a European list of natural bottles curated by AngloThai’s Desiree Chantarasak.

Outcrop art

And if you get as far as wandering past the restaurant, you’ll get to the art space. This is a huge atrium area which houses their centrepiece art installation. It’s basically a gigantic video installation the size of a bus, and it shows a huge redwood-sized tree stripped back to expose its shimmering, ever-flowing vascular system, all set to a forest-like soundscape.

It’s all set to stick around until the end of September, after which…

…we hope it crops up somewhere else.


NOTE:Outcrop is sadly closed for the time being, but may be back soon…keep an eye on their website right here

Outcrop | 180 Strand, WC2R 1EA

Want to know what else is coming up? Here are London’s best popups


180 Strand, Covent Garden, Central London, WC2R 1EA

8.3 | Great