I have been wanting to try Oaks out for ages! I have heard loads of good stuff about it, however the only time I have been booked in, my all you can drink Brunch was cancelled! They had to close the restaurant because of something to do with their air vent breaking, I was gutted and it has taken till now for me to go back.
I was lucky enough to be invited to review with a friend of mine this week, and I am so glad I was.
Oaks specialise in locally sourced meats, their sausages are made in house, and then sent to Netherfield to be popped in to their skin, the meat is from the same farm, and their craft ales are from Castle Rock brewery.
Their menu is full of amazing sounding food, from pork, pancetta & smoted paprika sausages to honey dew beer and black pepper chicken.
They put their unique twist on everything, from the fillings in the sausages, to their house sauces, Smoked Chilli Brown Sauce, Burnt Tomato Ketchup and Mustard & Horseradish Sauce. Seriously try the brown sauce – its delicious! Totally unexpected, a little heat but not overpowering and nothing like the brown sauce I was expecting.
My friend and I decided to share the pork crackling (think the texture of Quavers, so light and fluffy but deliciously salty and that same crackling taste you know and love, with a hint of spice) and lightly battered sea bass with tartare sauce. The fish was chunky and moist, with a tempura style batter. I loved the tartare sauce.
For main, I went for the soft shell crab in tempura batter, minus the wasabi and hand cut chips. WOW. The toasted bun has a dollop of mayo, lettuce and tomato, and the crab was utterly delicious. Golden brown and crisp and cooked perfectly. It reminded me of summer. The chips were chunky and plentiful. I was well and truly stuffed… until I spied the dessert menu!
I opted for the chocolate tart, and pistachio ice cream – mainly because pistachio ice cream is my favourite flavour in the world and I can never find it unless I am on holiday.
I was worried it was going to be really heavy after all the food I had put away, but although it was a good portion and extremely rich, the ice cream gave it a nice light feeling.
To go with the summery menu choices I opted for a Pimms and lemonade – summer in a glass! Gosh the glass was huge and it took all my meal to finish it. The atmosphere was so lovely and relaxed I could have had a few more.
The staff were amazing and really enthusiastic about the whole ethos of the place and I thoroughly enjoyed my time here – I can’t wait to go back for any of the other dining options, whether it’s Brunch, the £10 steak and chips on Tuesday or Wednesday, or the Sunday roast – I will be back, thank you!