July 13th marked The Royal Oak’s 10 Year Anniversary!
How clearly I remember the day my Dad and I first set eyes on The Royal Oak. It was a tired, uncared for pub which was painted pink inside. Dad thought I’d gone barmy, but I had a vision for what it could be.
We started out serving sandwiches and bar snacks with a modest wine list and good beer.
Many of you will remember the Oak’s famous music nights when we were fortunate enough to see performances from Chris Rea, Jamie Cullum, Amy Winehouse, Katie Melua and Daniel Bedingfield, to name but a few.
When Dom arrived in January 2007 he was only meant to cover a few weeks work in the kitchen. Fortunately he decided to stay – and the rest is history.
It would take too long to list all of the people I would like to thank. So let me just say a very big ‘THANK YOU’ to all the great people who work and have worked at The Royal Oak. To our suppliers, and most of all to our wonderful clientele, many of whom have been so loyal to us over the years.
To celebrate, during the first week of August we are offering a complimentary bottle of Royal Oak house wine to tables of 4 or more. To redeem this offer please quote ‘Celebration 10’ when making your reservation.
As mentioned in our June newsletter we are closed from Monday 5th September for a kitchen refurbishment; reopening on the evening of Tuesday 13th. This is stage one of a two stage plan to extend The Royal Oak into an 80 seater restaurant. Stage 2 is planned for April 2012.
WHAT’S UP IN THE KITCHEN by Head Chef Dominic Chapman
All the beautiful fruits of summer are now at their sweetest. It’s a joy eating just ripe fruit. English strawberries have made wonderful jellies; greengages turned into tarts; raspberries served with vanilla ice cream; cherries apricots and peaches simply poached with elderflower and vanilla. All these fruits are delicious and make July a brilliant time in the kitchen.
Scottish girolles have just started. These wild mushrooms are perfect fried in a little butter served on toast with a poached egg for breakfast or a light lunch.
Hurst farm is supplying first class produce again this year; broad beans, courgettes, baby beetroots and gooseberries. Beautifully fresh, and delivered freshly picked to the door. The revived gooseberry crumble has proved a firm favourite this year and I’ve very much enjoyed having it on our menu. It’s a classic pudding from years gone by.
As well as our local eggs from Stokes Farm near Wokingham, we are now also enjoying some local quail eggs. They are from Hurley. Mrs Dauncey has 12 pet birds and they are able to supply us with freshly laid eggs.
Our local suppliers are extremely valuable to us and a perfect fit within The Royal Oak philosophy. Their produce is truly delicious.
Next Month brings the “Glorious twelfth”, which means Grouse is available. This is probably my favourite time in the kitchen calendar.
Dominic Chapman – July 2011
THE ROYAL OAK WINE by Sommelier, Michael Trenga
Viognier, a new fashionable white wine.
Viognier originates from the hills above the Rhone River in France. Formerly fairly rare, it became quite fashionable in the 1980s. Now it has spread to Southern France, Australia and Argentina. In the Rhone and in California, where it’s most successfully grown, it has been exalted to cult status, with a price to match!
The climate in the South of France is warmer, making the vines more productive. The grapes have a little less special character, however, the Viognier produced here is a very pleasant casual wine. The flavour is fairly soft, it’s low in acidity and medium-bodied, with a lovely aroma similar to peach blossoms. Dry, but so soft and fruity that it can seem slightly sweet.
Voignier goes well with aromatic medium-flavoured foods, with spices like nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, or cloves. Middle Eastern or Moroccan foods that mix fruit, spices, and poultry in sweet-savoury combinations are a good match. It also goes well with chicken with Chinese five-spice powder, roast chicken with herbs, old fashioned chicken potpie and lemon chicken also works well.
Michael Trenga – July 2011
Back to Nick…………..
Once again we come to the end of our newsletter. As always I would like to thank you on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak for your continued support and look forward to seeing you soon.
To make a reservation and/or for further information please:
Telephone: 01628 620541