Sunday, March 08, 2020

Outside-In Food Court: The new way to dine in Portsmouth

Press visit with Southampton Bloggers*

'The Home of Portsmouth Street Food', Outside-In is based in an old warehouse building and frankly, it's an epic use of the space.

Walk through the door and you are greeted with a coffee bar and a range of sweet goods. Step a little further and you've found the main event: six independent street food vendors line the back wall, offering up a host of delicious dishes. You want options when it comes to your meal out? You will definitely find it here.

Decor by Thistle and Ivy

Established in April 2019, Outside-In filled a gap in the market. Portsmouth has a great food scene and hosts various foodie festivals, but never have I come across one venue that boasts such a rich fusion of flavours every single day. You will also find a well-stocked bar, selling locally sourced beer, wines, spirits and an extensive list of cocktails (£7 each, unless you pop in when the 2-4-1 is on!).

This visit was my fourth; the first being just over a month after the opening. Each time I have been I have found the same three things to be true: the staff were fantastic, the food was delicious and the atmosphere was buzzing. Outside-In is great for all of the family - and that also extends to canine friends because dogs are welcome too.

The whole place is cashless, so you will only need your card to try out what is on offer. They are also plastic-free, only using things which are bio-degradable and/or recyclable. The fact that the place is so environmentally conscious is, as far as I am concerned, just another big tick against this eclectic and vibrant place.

Since it's opening, 17 different vendors have taken up residence behind the Outside-In doors serving up vegan, GF and vegetarian friendly food. Right now, you'll find the following...

Dumpling Dumpling
Instagram: @dumplingx2

I first tried Dumpling Dumpling at the British Street Food Awards in Gunwharf over the May Bank Holiday last year (they got my vote!) and it was through them, that I actually came across Outside-In in the first place.

Founded by Nat and Dan in 2017, these guys create what they affectionately term 'flavourbombs' - a chinese style dumpling with a fusion twist. To give you a brief rundown of just some of the fillings, there is beef bourguignon, hoisin not duck, BBQ jackfruit and my personal favourite, pesto mac and cheese. They have a range of delectable sides too, including the funky asian fries which are DIVINE.

If savoury isn't your bag and you want something a little sweeter, they also have dessert dumplings too.

Instagram: @arepa2go

These guys have been serving up authentic Venezuelan cuisine since 2015. I had never heard of an arepa prior to visiting these guys, but they are certainly on my radar now. Haven't heard of them either? Arepas are gluten free, corn pocket sandwiches, stuffed with a host of tasty fillings.

There is the Santa Ana - black beans, fried plantain, queso blanco and guasacaca (veggie & vegan), the Sifrino - chicken, avocado, cheddar and sweetcorn sauce and the Caracas - slow cooked beef, black beans, plantain, queso blanco and guasacaca - just to name a few!

If you're looking for some South American eats, with something to tempt everyone, you should check Arepa2Go out.                                                                 

The Panormus Pizzeria
Instagram: @thepanormuspizzeria

If there is one thing that I will always have time for, it's pizza. The Panormous Pizzeria was created in March 2019 by Vincenzo & Paride, the two were serving their stonebaked pizzas at local food festivals before coming to Outside-In. The dough for the ones here are made using original Italian products and they claim to serve up 'just about the best pizza on the south coast.' Having sampled it for myself, I can confirm it's pretty damn good.

Authentic Italian slices come with a number of different toppings to choose from. The menu is vast and also includes calzone and arancine. Meaty toppings are always my favourite; the capricciosa and parma would be my top picks.

One Tonne Burger Co
Instagram: @onetonneburgerco

Juicy burger more your thing? This is the stop for you.

One Tonne Burger Co exploded onto the scene in London just over a year ago. Owners James and Amy saw their burgers touted as some of the best the capital had to offer and being Portsmouth locals, they decided that setting up shop in Outside-In made perfect sense. I definitely agree.

In such a short space of time, One Tonne have seen huge success, even making last year's National Burger Awards Final. All of the beef used in the burgers is butchered and minced in house to ensure quality control and aside from their standard menu, they often have a different special on offer to try as well. We got to chow down on 'The Home Run', which was two onion smashed patties, american cheese, shoestring fries, iceberg lettuce and truffle mayo. It's no surprise they are so popular with menu items like this.

Breeno's Kitchen
Instagram: @breenoskitchen

The focus at Breeno's Kitchen is to create "food without borders", producing an array of mouth-watering dishes with an authentic taste that leaves you feeling like you could be trialling food straight from the Indo-Pak streets.

Established in late 2018, Breeno's Kitchen is another new business bringing something a bit extra to the market. The menu changes monthly so there will always be different things you can try but whenever you go, rest assured that you can expect traditional dishes with a unique and delicious flavour.

Masala dosa, samosas, choley puri and chicken tikka burgers are just some of the popular foods you will find here. One thing I really loved was the masala fries. It would never have crossed my mind previously to add pomegranate seeds to my chips but, let me tell you, it works!

Natty's Jerk Kitchen
Instagram: @nattysjerk

The newest member of the Outside-In party.

Natty set up his Jerk Kitchen in June 2019 and the business was born from a passion to share authentic and homemade Caribbean recipes, passed down through several generations, evoking the great food memories of his own childhood.

The signature dish is the Jamaican jerk chicken which is smoked over pimento wood which has been sourced from Jamaica. You will also find jerk jackfruit and jerk cauli 'wings' - jerk marinated and pimento smoked cauliflower florets dipped in Natty's vegan buttermilk, rolled in pank breadcrumbs and fried. My mouth is watering just typing this.

I really loved the mac and cheese waffles, which were super tasty, but there is so much more I want to sample on my next visit. My husband will not take any convincing to head down with me either since the food at Natty's Jerk Kitchen is definitely up his street too!

If this blog post has left you feeling just a bit on the hungry side, you can find Outside In at 56 Middle Street, Southsea, PO5 4BP. To avoid disappointment, hit up the website and book yourselves a table here. You can plan your visit too because there is a menu for each of the vendors. I already know what I will be having next.

Outside-In often plays host to different live bands and if you want to see who you can find playing next, the details can be found over on their Instagram page.

*This was a gifted experience, however, all opinions shared are my own.

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