We were looking forward to visiting Outside-In Food Court on their launch weekend and we weren’t disappointed.
Within a warehouse in Middle Street (where Portsmouth Tea once resided) are several street food vendors, all serving up something different.
As soon as you enter the premises you receive a friendly welcome. The first food stall you come across is The Southsea Deli’s who offer salads, sandwiches, coffee and cake. The Deli here is open every weekday from 8am-3.30pm (I think possibly later), Saturday and Sundays from 10am, whereas the rest of the vendors are open from Thursday to Sunday 12 noon-10pm.
Outside-In has been decorated simply but it looks good. The white walls making it light and bright with a few bits of greenery, fairy lights and several upturned umbrellas overhead in one corner add a splash of colour. Upon the bar area walls are large stickers by Pompey Banana Club with Pompey slang words such as ‘din-lo’, meaning idiot and ‘squinny’, meaning a cry baby. (These two words particularly go back to my school days and I still say them now). Music plays in the background, creating a great vibe.
One side wall contains the bar area with local gin and beer, whereas the other has several different pop-up eateries. I believe some may stay and be regulars but the rest will change now and again which is a great idea. At least you won’t get bored visiting time and time again. All the vendors offer something different, so there’s something for everyone, whether you’re a meat eater, vegan, vegetarian, flexitarian, pescatarian… have I missed any?
Down the centre are long tables and benches to sit and eat your delicious grub along with… shock horror… strangers! It’s not so bad, honestly, try it!
Here’s a list of the current vendors –
Well, now came the big decision on which stall to get some food from. It all looked and sounded really rather good.
Indies had a plate of some lovely colourful spices on the side and the chap serving was very friendly. Geoff opted for their mutton on the bone curry. He said it was excellent.
We obviously still had enough room for coffee and cake though. This was from The Southsea Deli’s stand, a salted chocolate brownie, a flapjack, a cortado and a cappuccino – without chocolate though as somehow Geoff seems to manage to get it all over his forehead 🙂
We were most impressed with the food court. What an excellent addition to the Portsmouth food scene. We were looking forward to returning and trying something different… in fact, we did just that a few days later…
We returned on Thursday evening rather late, around 8.30pm or more, supposedly for only a drink. Again we received a very friendly welcome as soon as we stepped over the threshold. It looks good at night with the little fairy lights showing up more. The music wasn’t quite as loud as it was on our previous visit, we would have liked it turned up a notch or two to be honest.
There were still a few people eating (although a couple of stalls had already closed) so we decided to share La Boca Rica’s polenta chips which we’d seen on our last visit. Unfortunately they (and some of the other vendors) already changed their menu since the launch, wanting to keep it fresh and different each week, which is understandable and also a very good idea.
We took a look at the other vendors menus, those that were still open, but we could only see normal chips. We eventually went back to La Boca Rica and ordered their chargrilled pineapple in rum & cardamon syrup which was cooked and flambéd whilst we watched. It was very tasty and served in a bamboo container.
Please note that it’s card payment only, no cash payments.
There’s free WiFi at Outside-In and parking on the street for up to 2 hours.
Outside-In is not here to stay, perhaps only for a year. So what are you waiting for? Get down there. It’s a great place to meet up with friends and family.