On my recent sojourn to Zaap, as you might recall, I walked past its neighbour ‘Oaks’; a restaurant that had been on my “to go” list for a while, as a food blogger you quickly wrack up a ton of these. But what was in stark contrast was that Zaap was full to the brim with its loud interior whilst Oaks sat quietly on the side, almost fortress like; they even had to resort to a ‘we-are-open-the-doors-are-closed-only-to-keep-us-warm’ sign. So I wondered why, what looked like a beautiful restaurant with, generally, great reviews on the whole was deadly quiet on both my little peak through and on my actual visit.
Upon entering you are greeted by a beautifully decorated interior. I adored their candle chandeliers, geometric wooden seats and obviously their oak paneling! Here’s the architect in me calling out, how can such a beautiful restaurant be so dead?
The menu features a rather standard selection of grilled meats, grilled over wood embers in their custom-built grill and some intriguingly composed burgers. We decided on a selection across the menu with the Quail Scotch Eggs, who doesn’t do these now! Baked Lincolnshire Poacher Cheese with Sourdough Toast, Honey Dew Beer and Black Pepper Chicken, the 10 oz Porterhouse Steak, some Truffle Mash and Oak’s Chopped Salad on the side and to cap it all off Doughnuts with Marsala Cream. I also went for a cocktail; the Cuban Affair which, if you’re a fan of pineapples and ginger beer, is a good choice.
The humble Scotch Eggs are everywhere nowadays, I’ve tried quite a few but Oak’s have been lauded as one of the best outside London! These are more of snack sized variety with a beautifully runny yolk in the centre. I’m not sure if this was intentional but the darker yolked scotch egg had a heavier peppery taste. The bite size pieces were enjoyable with their crunchy exterior and oozing yolks but the meat was a tad over fried for me. The toast was an unexpected hit. I’m not much of a cheese connoisseur but it fit perfectly with the garlicky sourdough as it wasn’t too heavy and wrapped silkily over the toast, we just wished we had more toast!
Keeping true to the meat the Porterhouse was simply a beautifully served piece of steak embellished with a little sea salt. The wood fires gave the steak a smokier taste and crispier exterior, whilst it could have been a little tenderer it was a perfectly cooked piece of steak. The truffled mash was a solid side with hints of truffle within the mash, the salad on the other hand was a bit of a side thought.
The real lowlight of the night was sadly the Freedom and Respect Chicken. The skin was marinaded perfectly with the beer but the meat was flavourless and dry as the Sahara! The thigh was just about fine but the breast was unsalvageable. Whilst its honourable to stick with the true flavours of the grilled meat this dish was crying for some sauce more thoughtful than the pimped up ketchup, mustard and brown sauce sides.
To finish off a feast of a meal we shared the doughnuts, which somewhat reminded me of the beignets at Blanchette. Sadly these didn’t quite hit the right spot. I was almost expecting them to be warm, or at least I feel they might work better warm and served with a dollop of ice cream. The doughnuts were a little too doughy and needed more marsala cream to even them out.
Overall Oak’s is a great addition to the Nottingham food scene, a great place to get some quality grilled meats minus the mishaps. It has a lovely dining room fit for large groups or a more intimate meal though there were some questionable choices of music which detracted from the ambiance, I’m pointing my finger at you music controller! I’d definitely consider going back for another slice of the steak and maybe fit in one of their burgers as well!
Address: 2 Bromley Place, Nottingham, NG1 6JG
Telephone: 0115 947 7244
Mind The Gap:
Tues – Thurs: 12pm – 10pm
Fri – Sat: 12pm – 1am
Sun: 12pm – 9pm
They are currently doing a 25% discount Sunday – Thursdays till February 18th 2016.
Panda ate, shot and left.