Friday, 28 August 2015

oaks, nottingham.


Serving up lip-smacking homemade sausages and an array of inspired meat and fish combinations, OAKS in Nottingham showcases a modern menu that has been smoked by natural wood embers. Their impressive custom built grill has been stocked with wood from the Nottinghamshire Wildlife Trust, which has been sustainably sourced as a natural byproduct of coppicing.


The smoky scent of embers swirls around you as you enter the restaurant, which is further decorated with natural timber with hints of industrial metallics. Seating is cosy and communal but really well spaced out, with an inviting central table lit up with quirky bulbs and hanging candles. 



Along the back, near the well stocked cocktail bar, you can see chefs working hard amidst a roaring open fire, with auburn flames licking at the latest food order. As well as the wooden surroundings, the menu and glassware also have a natural and recyclable feel, with a short and simple printed menu featuring this season's sausage creations. 



The homemade sausages ranged from delicious Pork, Pancetta and Paprika to Chicken, Asparagus, Ricotta, Lemon and Sage and scrumptious Beef, Gruyere Red Onion and Red Wine to Lamb, Aubergine, Tahini, Rosemary and Confit Garlic, costing from £5.95 to £7.95. Ahead of my visit, I'd spotted that the menu had the likes of beef quail scotch egg and pork scratchings. For this reason I brought along the best man for the job - my Dad. With many years of scotch egg experience (see the chorizo scotch eggs I made for him) he was on form for sharing his South Derbyshire opinions. 



After perusing the cocktail and wine menu, we went for a bottle of French Carignan red to share. It was a shame we couldn't choose a few of the other wines by the glass, and opted for this one with a screw top since my Dad was driving. We both agreed for the £22 price tag it was a beautifully fruity medium bodied wine which proved to be the perfect accompaniment. 



To begin, we shared the promised nibbles of scotch eggs and pork scratchings. For those who love their scratchings, for want of better words, fatty, salty and hairy (sorry!), you would have been disappointed. Instead these were lightly puffed and melt-in-the-mouth with a subtle and smoky bite to them. The scotch eggs were gleefully gooey (I had to grab one back out of my Dad's hand to take a picture) and well seasoned. A passing waiter advised we try one with their homemade horseradish mustard - boy was he right! 



For mains, I went for the Wild Boar, Smoked Mozzarella and Purple Brocolli sausage (£6.95) in a pretzel bun (+£1) whilst my dad chose the Seabass (£12) seasoned with lemon, sage and garlic. Hands down, the sausage was unquestionably awesome. The smoky cheese and flecks of greenery were little tasty treats as you made your way through, and the pretzel bun was deliciously squidgy. The seabass was beautifully smoked, which although it was one of the healthier options actually seemed like a real treat. We agreed that they maybe should have advised us that it came as a whole fish with head, however it was really well filleted and my Dad didn't mind at all.



To accompany, we opted for naked slaw, skin on chips and simple salad. We were both instant fans of the chips, which were as crunchy as you'd hope with scatterings of black pepper and sea salt. The slaw was another great addition which didn't need mayo at all - it was lovely and crunchy as it was. 
The salad was great, but not alluring enough to keep us interested - I personally think maybe some other quirky salad combinations would be really popular. Think avocado, courgette ribbons or Asian inspired with mooli, pak choi and coriander.

We did think that side plates would have been really helpful here, and I'm sure if we'd have asked then our super friendly waitress Jade would have grabbed some. As you get the seabass on a wooden board, there isn't much room to grab a bit of slaw or salad to eat on the side. Overall though, a really fantastic main course which has made me want to go home and try my hand at homemade sausages myself. 


So to finish I just need to say four words. Bakewell tart ice cream. If you've been reading my little place on the Internet for a while, you'll know I'm a little Bakewell tart obsessed. They also had carrot cake flavour, so you'll be pleased to know the awesome dessert options continue. 



I'd also heard good things about the doughnuts with Marsala cream so it made sense to try those too. Unsurprisingly, they were both as good as they look. The boozy cream oozed out of the sugary doughnuts in a sickly sweet but ultimately moreish combination. 



Expect an attempt at Bakewell tart ice cream very soon. For now, they've kindly sent me their scotch egg recipe to have a go at - so watch this space. 

Have you been to OAKS yet? What dish would you go for?


OAKS
2 Bromley Place
Nottingham
NG1 6JG

Parking? We parked along Park Row just across the road, which was only a couple of quid after 6pm.

Note: We dined as guests of OAKS. All opinions are honest and my own.

5 comments:

  1. Looks like just the kind of food I enjoy, had similar puffy pork scratchings at a Japanese place in London recently, they were incredible!

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  2. Oh how I miss Nottingham!!! Take me back! This looks fab, right up my street :) I'll have to get the sister to take me next time we are visting!

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  3. Cor love the sound of the smoky smell in the room! Those scotch eggs look BEAUT x

    Cate in the Kitchen

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  4. Not as good as your chorizo ones looked though..

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  5. This looks like a fab restaurant, will look out for them should they come down South! So glad you were able to have some Bakewell tart ice cream too ;-)

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