Last week-end, I went to London to meet some friends and enjoy the spring in the parcs…. The first task was fully completed…. the second…..
Anyway, on Friday evening, JC, my friend Pauline’s husband had organized a great dinner for her. He had booked the Private Table at the Oak and had her best friends in France coming over for the week-end. She was very surprised and we were happy to be part of the fun!
The Oak is one of my favorite pub in Westbourne, I used to go there almost every week-end to order the Zucchini pizza. With kids, with friends, in the Winter or Summer…. all the occasions are worth going there. Even if you want to share a drink with friends, you can go upstairs at the bar they have at the 1st floor. They have nice boards of cheese, mezze and patés served with amazing bread. The cocktails as well as the wines are just what you are looking for when you come during the week for a casual drink. And the atmosphere is just slightly more sophisticated than downstairs.
It’s also a good alternative when the restaurant downstairs is full and the waiting list too long….!
The Bar at the 1st floor:
The Private Table:
The Private Table at the Oak is also upstairs and you have to walk through the bar to reach it.
You can have a drink at the bar while waiting for all the guests to arrive or seat around the large wooden table straight away to enjoy the privacy of the room.
You just need to close the white doors to get separated from the bar.
A tasty Italian wine: Valpolicella 2011 Allegrini Veneto
For the menu, the person organizing the party has to make a pre-selection of dishes in order to make it easier to deal with for the kitchen. Still, you have 3 choices of starters, mains and desserts!
We were pretty lucky as JC really made a great choice and we had a taste of the whole list…. Here is what we had:
Burrata di Puglia, Prosciutto di San Daniele, Bruschetta
The Burrata was very creamy and fresh, the olive oil tasty and the prosciutto very thinly sliced. A perfect starter!
Dorset Crab Salad, Fennel, Black Olives, Dill, Radish, New Season Felsina Olive Oil
That was my starter as I love Dorset crab and Fennel! As you may guess, I loved it! Fresh and light, really what I expect for a starter.
Sautéed Scallops, Broad Bean Puree, Crisp Pancetta, Truffle Oil
A great starter that can also be a great dish served in a larger proportion. The scallop is sautéed in butter and almost caramelized. Soft as butter, it really gets well with the crispy Pancetta served with it. The broad bean puree and truffle oil bring some more complexity to the whole dish and brings it one step further in comparison with many other places serving the same dish.
Fillet of Sea Bass, Globe Artichoke Puree, Lemon Oil, Parsley Salad
The fish was fresh and cooked to perfection, the Artichoke puree creamy and light and well enhanced by the lemon oil and fresh parsley salad.
Grilled Corn Fed Chicken Breast, Asparagus, Jersey Royals, White Wine & Tarragon Sauce
That one was a very earthy dish, served with tasty potatoes, soft asparagus and light but powerful tarragon sauce.
Seared Tuna, Insalata Primavera, Basil Mayonnaise
Not a huge fan of raw fish, this was not one of my choice obviously but the salad was fresh and crispy and the mayonnaise was very tasty too. And for those who like raw fish, it was cooked just the way they wanted it.
We were a bit disappointed indeed. By the presentation but also the taste….
Semifreddo Zabaglione, Confit Lemon, Baci Di Dama Biscuits
The Zabaglione was too sweet and not creamy enough, the confit lemon did not really sparkle and the biscuits were just adding some more sweetness to a dish that we expected to be more on the citrus feeling.
A Selection of Ice Cream & Sorbets
The ice cream was OK but nothing to crave for in the future.
Cheesecake, Hazelnut Base, Banana, Rum & Caramel Sauce
The cheesecake was actually the good surprise among the desserts. The hazelnut base brought some crispiness and flavor and the cream cheese batter was very airy and fresh. Not too sweet in order to enjoy the sweetness of the caramel sauce.
The portion was just the right size also…. Neither too big nor too small. A perfect ending!
Basically, we were just delighted to have a great room to chat and to enjoy a wonderful dinner that we did not have to prepare. The privacy of the room makes it even more special as you are not disturbed by the noise of the other tables or the constant flow of the waiters.
Just keep in mind that you have to be at least 10 to book it and also that the waiting list can be very long in the week-end and the months before Christmas!
London W2 5QL
tel. 020 7221 3355