Neutral Bay institution, The Oaks Hotel is currently undergoing a $4 million renovation. With stage one complete, the iconic Sydney pub has reopened with an inviting fresh look and a new food and beverage menu.
The Oaks Hotel, Neutral Bay
Interior designer, Paul Kelly, whose work includes Sokyo, Black by Ezard, The Bourbon, The Ivanhoe Manly and White Hart has given the site a modern look, while still retaining some of its art deco features. The new look had to have “an interior that felt like it was always there,” he said at the media dinner.
A dark wood interior set against sandstone feature walls with a sleek fireplace and tartan carpet give the iconic pub a renewed look while retaining a touch of nostalgia.
The long sleek bar serves a selection of local and international wines with many options by the glass including fine wines from the temperature controlled cellar.
A modest range of cocktails with the likes of Cosmopolitans and Mojitos are also available.
In line with recent trends, the beer focus has shifted towards craft beer with ten available on tap including White Rabbit White Ale and Two Birds Golden Ale, and some by the bottle such as Feral Hop Hog American IPA. Other popular draught beers are available as well as two ciders.
Part of the Oaks’ reboot is a new food concept that was extensively researched around meat concepts. The new food menu is a collaboration of long time Oaks chef, Denise Brinson and renowned Italian chef Danny Russo with some classics and an English slant.
The Oaks Butcher
Dining options includes traditional pub dishes, burgers, a range of pizzas, and steaks from the “meatorium” where a resident butcher prepares cuts of meat supplied by Vic’s Meats in Woollahra, and patrons can either cook themselves or leave the task to the kitchen.
Ocean trout gravlax
The ocean trout gravlax ($22) dressed with radish, horseradish cream and fresh dill with baby capers is a good option to start,
Heirloom Tomatoes and Mozzarella
as is the fresh and light heirloom salad ($20) with Italian buffalo mozzarella, basil and heirloom tomatoes.
Fried baby calamari
Fried baby calamari with lemon and aioli ($18) in a light and seasoned batter are difficult to resist with their fresh flavour,
Beer battered potato scallops
and go well with a classic, the beer battered potato scallops with sea salt and vinegar ($10).
From the grill, all steaks are served with creamy mash and sauteed English spinach. The 200g grain-fed Filet Mignon is wrapped in bacon ($28) and cooked to order, medium to well done, juicy and flavoursome,
as is the 300g grass-fed Scotch Fillet ($25) with Cafe de Paris sauce. The steaks are hearty, filling and well prepared and are good value for money.
Leave room for dessert, in particular the Banoffee pie with caramel gelato ($14), voted as the best ever tasted,
Hot apple pie
or a hot humble apple pie with strawberry and cream ($14).
Chocoholics will be tempted by the chocolate fondant with hazelnut gelato ($14), soft-centred with a river of warm chocolate.
The new Oaks is aiming to appeal for a younger crowd and become known as a hybrid pub, a place to go to for a drink and stay for food made using quality produce. According to third generation owner Andrew Thomas, competition from small bars has driven the change and the pub had not undergone any renovations since the 1980s. October will see Phase 2 of the Oaks complete, with a new space set up as an English conservatory.
But regulars to the Oaks need not be alarmed. While it may have a new welcoming facelift, the John Meillon OBE Bar, named after the renowned actor still stands.
The Oaks Hotel
118 Military Road
Neutral Bay NSW
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