Dining on a budget should not be

limited to eating cheap food amid dire surroundings. Restaurateur David Ramsden, formerly of (fitz) Henry and Rogue, and now working with The Outsider and Apartment restaurants in Edinburgh, sees value for money options growing. Barry Shelby caught up with him.

Photography: Neale Smith

BA R P1.” ‘5 H " BY:

During the festive sc; son. restaurants ~ thr‘rugl'i not 'f'nc Outsider or Apartment ~ put on special menus. which are typically pricier. What's your View of that? DAVID RAMSDEN: Restaurants know they can get away with it. They also think the public want a Christmas offer and, because they’re doing what they believe the public want, they’ll probably raise their prices. It’s a two or three week period in which menus undergo significant changes. There is a similar psychology that goes on during the Festival. Do restaurateurs have it right? is there that much demand for special menus and party atmosphere’?The good thing about the commercial arena is that there must be a spectrum. So, there’s everything from nothing at all to a scene that is completely crazy, where everyone’s wearing hats and eating rubbish trade-up turkey and pre-roasted chipolatas, etc. Now. its January. what does the restaurateur do to ture in custom during a down timc?‘Both The Apartment and Outsider continue to do well. It isn’t really an issue we have to confront with too much vigour. But you have brought some changes. n o?‘Beginning in the latter part of 2006, we introduced two new menus in each unit: brunch at the weekend, and one for lunch, Monday to Saturday. We’ve made a real effort to keep them in the slightly wacky, off-piste flavour of the a la carte Top tips for eating out well on a budget men"' But we’ve also ensured that it provided better value for money. During the day, we have halved the approach can cut your bill by about pnces (compared withwt‘at pe°ple a quarter. expect to pay for a main course during the evening).

Order two starters instead of a starter and main course That

18 THE LIST 18 Jan 1 lot) 900/