The Royal Oak Newsletter – October 2011

As many of you may know the Great Britain and Ireland Michelin Guide 2012 was released earlier this month.   Traditionally the Guide has come out in January.  Michelin decided to move the release date to October to bring it in line with other publications.  So for the industry the panic started early this year, but at least it’s all done and dusted before Christmas.  I am delighted and relieved to confirm that The Royal Oak retained its Michelin star for a third year.

Last Monday The Oak was awarded 39th position in The Restaurant Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants Awards 2011.  This is an industry award; restaurant owners, chefs, managers and others in the trade are invited to vote for their favourite restaurants.  You can imagine how critical and competitive it is.  39th is a very respectable position and one we are proud to have attained.

2011 has been a great year for awards.  Earlier this year we were awarded 3 AA rosettes and The Good Food Guide gave us a rating of 6/10.  All of which is further confirmation of the quality of food, service and standards The Royal Oak is achieving these days.  Consistency plays a really important part and is something we constantly strive to maintain.  All credit has to go to Dom and his team in the kitchen, and Mo and his front of house team.

The new kitchen is running well and has enabled us to increase our maximum table size from 8 to 16, just in time for Christmas!  Talking of which, as anyone who goes shopping, reads any form of media, watches the telly or listens to the radio will know, Christmas is not very far away!   If you haven’t made arrangements for your company or private festive get together please give us a call or send us an email as soon as you can.

Some of you may already have started your Christmas shopping.   The Royal Oak Gift Vouchers make great Christmas presents and might be the answer for those who are difficult to buy for.

Christmas Day lunch is now fully booked.  Last New Year’s we opened for business as usual.  No special menus, gimmicks or inflated prices.  Everyone had a great time and we received some good feedback.  So needless to say we are doing the same this year and currently still have places available.

WHAT’S UP IN THE KITCHEN by Head Chef Dominic Chapman

October is a wonderful transitional period of Indian summer and the start of autumn.  There are some brilliant things available for us to cook at this time of year.

Examples include globe artichokes and Scottish girolles both of which I use in my Linguine dish.  Good old potatoes have been the basis of the British diet for generations and they are in plentiful supply right now.  The list of ways to cook and prepare potatoes is endless.  Potato gnocchi and chips are two of my favourite variations.

Vegetables are available in abundance:-  Fennel, Leeks, Pumpkins, Turnips, Carrots, Coco Beans, French Borlotti,  Beetroot, Broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Cabbage, Cauliflower, Celeriac, Celery, Chard, Corn on the cob, Courgette, Curly Kale, Marrows, Onions, Parsnips, Radishes, Cucumbers, English Gem and Cos lettuce, I could go on…………….

There are loads of wonderful fish around too.  Mackerel, Cod, Turbot and Sprats to name a few that I have on my menu.

Apples galore……….  Bramley apples, raspberries and plums make a wonderful combination in a crumble.

As many of you know I am a big fan of game and at this time of year I enjoy the opportunity to indulge and include some really tasty game dishes on my menu.  Such as Yorkshire Grouse with homemade crab apple jelly, wood pigeon and hare and trotter pie, a favourite with many of our clientele.

I would like to echo Nick and say how delighted and proud I am that we have retained our Michelin star, gained 3 AA rosettes, a 6/10 Good Food Guide rating, 39th position in The Restaurant Magazine’s Top 100 Restaurants and we’re in The Good Food Guide’s Top 50 restaurants too.   I would like to thank my team in the kitchen and Mo’s front of house for all their hard work and dedication.  Keep it up guys; we haven’t finished yet!!

Dominic Chapman October 2011

THE ROYAL OAK WINE by Sommelier, Michael Trenga

Malbec – a sturdy, intriguing red

Malbec comes from France, probably Burgundy, though it became most popular in Cahors (south west of France).  Malbec is valued as a blending wine for its deep colour and firm flavour.

It’s a real star in Argentina; on the foothills of the Andes the grape’s flavour becomes richer and more concentrated.  It’s considered to be Argentina’s best wine and fast becoming an international success.

The taste is forceful but well balanced and lightly spicy.  Different enough from other reds to be intriguing. Luscious and vibrant, with a slight blackberry bite.  It’s a pleasantly contradictory medium bodied wine, full flavoured with a lovely deep garnet colour.

Spicy and substantial meat dishes are the best partners:  Mexican beef dishes like carne asada or chilli made with beef or pork, even empanadas.  Barbecued smoked meat and Indian lamb and chicken dishes also work well.

Michael Trenga – October 2011

Back to Nick…………..

The Royal Oak Wine Club is growing.  The members are meeting up for a wine tasting this Thursday (20.10.11).  They will be sampling Spanish wines this time and as the temperatures are dropping the emphasis will be on reds.  If you’re interested in joining the Wine Club and possibly coming along on Thursday please contact Roz at

That brings us to the end of our October newsletter.  As always, on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak, I’d like to thank you very much for your continued support and look forward to seeing you soon.

Warm regards,

About The Royal Oak Paley Street

Welcome to The Royal Oak. Behind the smart black and white frontage lies a warm and stylish 17th century pub. Once inside the beamed ceilings, wooden floors and friendly welcome soon confirm you’re in the right place. The Royal Oak is a restaurant styled pub serving great British food cooked to perfection. Our extensive wine list boasts some impressive titles and offers something to suit all palates and purses – and rest assured; we haven’t forgotten how to pull a good pint!
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