Belle: Ando and I were fortunate to be invited to The Oaks last Saturday. Not being from the North Shore area, we were not at all familiar with The Oaks. This hotel has been around since 1885 and has since become an institution in the area. For the age of the building we were surprised to learn that the hotel has only had two owners. The current owner Mr David Thomas purchased the building in the 70s and with the recent renovations, he wanted The Oaks to be mix of old school charm with contemporary design. Located on the corder of Military Road and Ben Boyd Road meant that there are several entrances that lead you to the different areas.
One of the entrance at Military road was like a walk back in time with the restoration of the old bar named Nineteen Thirty Six. And this continues upstairs where the walls are lined with black and white photography, architectural plans, paintings and propaganda posters which all reminiscent Sydney’s past. We also learnt that the rooms have also been renamed based on previous residents.
We were seated in the Bar and Grill section of the building, and this area had a more contemporary slash British Pub feel to it. The dark timbers and plush deep red tartan carpet, you think you were in a more fine dining space than in a pub. And the food was more impressive than your average pub grub or dude food.
There is nothing better than starting the meal with good bread and butter. But at the Oaks they have taken a step further with their A brioche bun with smoked butter ($6). The brioche was fresh, soft and sweet. The butter was perfectly salted with the hints of smokiness. I could not get enough of the brioche.
And some Bar Snacks to add to the mix.
Buffalo wings with blue cheese aioli ($15).
Beer battered potato scallops with sea salt & vinegar ($10). These were cooked to perfection, crispy on the outside, light and fluffy on the inside and with the perfect amount of seasoning.
Fried buttermilk chicken pieces with aioli ($15). The crunchy batter teamed with the moist chicken.
Popcorn shrimp with chilli mayonnaise ($19). Bite sized and good to share around.
Ocean trout gravlax with baby capers, radish, horseradish cream and fresh dill ($22).
Wagyu Rump 300g Grain Fed ($28) with Cade de Paris butter. The steak was juicy with a perfect amount of fat. It was also served with side of mash potato which was buttery and creamy and some steamed English spinach.
Fillet Mignon Grain Fed wrapped in bacon 200g ($28). Another winner with their steak. And the added bacon just puts the cherry on top.
As a personal preference, I know it is going to be a good burger when I pick one up and can make finger prints dents. Soft burger buns get me all the time and it was nice to see the return of their brioche.
The Original Burger with tomato, lettuce, ‘tomato ketchup for grownups’, fries & condiments ($18).
The Vegie Burger with grilled zucchini & eggplant, roasted tomato, rocket, haloumi cheese, caramelised onion, aioli & fries ($22).
Slow roasted Pork Belly with cauliflower puree, brussel sprouts, bacon, red wine jus & apple cider relish ($28). Another faultless dish that is well cooked.
And to add a bit more green to the meal, the Roasted brussel sprouts, crispy bacon & almonds ($8) was also ordered.
Hot apple pie with vanilla bean ice cream & cream ($14). This a is good classic apple pie with the acidity of the apple and butteriness of the pastry.
Warm sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce & vanilla bean ice cream ($14). When this dish came out, I was rather surprised with the generous size. Perfectly soft and sweet. But this dish could of done more with an extra serve of butterscotch sauce.
Banoffee pie served with caramel gelato ($14). I am ashamed to admit that I have never tried a banoffee pie, but after my first experience I am hooked. The buttery tart case loaded with bananas and filled with a sticky caramel was insanely delicious.
Later this year at The Oaks will be revealing their second renovation instalment with the addition of the Garden Pavilion which will be located behind their famous Oak tree. I can already imagine this place buzzing on those long summer nights.
I can’t wait to get back and check this place out when the complete renovation is done. And also get my hands on another juicy burger and Banoffee Pie.
118 Military Road, Neutral Bay, NSW 2089
(02) 9953 5515
DISCLAIMER: The Lamstock dined as a guest of The Oaks. Opinions are however, our own.