The spring sunshine is more than welcome. You still need coats and the umbrella heaters on to sit in the garden, but that hasn’t discouraged some of you from partaking in a little alfresco dining.
I am very pleased to introduce some new faces at The Royal Oak – well one of them is not exactly new!
Many of you will remember Richard Martinez; I am very pleased to say that he has returned to The Oak as General Manager. Richard has a wealth of experience and is a very valuable asset to the team. Simon Beneteau has recently been appointed as our new Sommelier. Simon has worked at some very well respected establishments within the industry and has already started to make his mark on the wine list. You’ll be hearing more from Simon in the coming months and I’m certain you’ll enjoy his recommendations.
Rob Potter has joined the team in the kitchen as Senior Sous Chef and Seiko Kokubun as Pastry Chef. So Dom’s happy!
Rob is a talented young chef with a very respectful track record. Seiko has already started exercising her expertise on the dessert menu and has introduced some delicious new puds and enhanced some of the old favourites – all low calorie of course!
I would like to take this opportunity to extend a very warm welcome to them all.
The Harden’s Guide 2013 London & UK survey is open. They don’t give you long – the survey closes on Friday 30th March. If you would like to nominate us please follow this link.
The Good Food Guide Restaurant of the Year survey is still open. Entries close on 23rd April 2012. There are voting postcards in the pub or you can vote online by clicking here. As said before, if you think we deserve it, we would really appreciate your vote.
Easter Weekend Friday 6th – Monday 9th April 2012
Easter falls at the beginning of April this year, much earlier than last year. We’re open throughout the Easter break; our usual hours of business apply. If you’re intending to book a table please don’t delay. Easter is always a busy time and this year is no exception.
WHAT’S UP IN THE KITCHEN by Head Chef Dominic Chapman
Wild Roe Deer from the Berkshire woodlands
Already we find ourselves in the middle of March and the kitchen is beginning to reflect the change in season. Our menus will start to lighten and the arrival of Pheasant and Gull eggs are only weeks away.
English asparagus is already being advertised by my suppliers as well as Jersey Royals, French Wild Strawberries, Spanish Broad Beans and Peas. These are all a little early for my kitchen but still the excitement is starting to build.
Spring starts in earnest during March. One of the first signs is Wild Garlic growing in the woodland and hedgerows, it’s widely available. It makes a beautiful soup or if you’d like to try something a little more adventurous, perhaps a Wild Garlic risotto.
Turbot is now beginning to arrive in good numbers; it becomes very affordable at this time of year and is also in excellent condition. Cornish Lobsters will also begin to make an appearance on our menu as well as Scottish Scallops, Razor Clams and Mussels.
Wild Roe Deer from the Berkshire estates is new on our menu. I visited Vicars Game this week and was hugely impressed by their operation. The deer are taken by stalkers to maintain the deer stocks on the estates. They are then hung at Vicars and sold through their shop or various restaurants; one of which is now us. This venison is delicious, traceable, totally wild and in my opinion a brilliant meat to enjoy.
The change in seasons always prompts the return of some favourite dishes. Let’s hope the arrival of spring will also bring a little more warmth and sunshine.
Dominic Chapman – March 2012
Back to Nick…………..
Unusually I find myself without anything else to say! All that remains is for me to thank you, on behalf of everyone at The Royal Oak, for your continued support. We look forward to seeing you soon.