Tag Archives: scallops

The Oak Private Room

10 Jun

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:

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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.

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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!

Oak London

137 Westbourne Park Road

Westbourne Grove

London W2 5QL

tel. 020 7221 3355




Les Commis Experience…. Lot’s of fun and Great Dinner! Worth trying…

7 Apr

I heard about Les Commis a while ago as a good friend of mine in London knows one of the guys who created the concept and told me I would love it.

Time goes by, I left for Miami, came back and as I was visiting a friend of mine living close to the Avenue Trudaine, I saw the shop and immediatly loved it. I entered the shop and talked with Cyril, one of the co-owner of the shop. He told me about the concept, the shop and even gave me a tour of the whole space. It is really great. Modern and clean, lots of space and a nice selection of wines to match the menu of the day as well as lots of utensils and ingredients to offer to food lovers.

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Food lovers gift ideas and utensils

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Menu & Office

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A glance at the kitchen

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Preparation area and Delivery Counter

I promised I’ll come back to give it a try…. it took me another few weeks but eventually I came back. We discussed it with my friend Pierre-Henry and decided to share the experience with open-minded friends as well as indulgent in case we fail!

We decided to meet at Georges and Cecile’s place as they have a great kitchen that would allow us to enjoy a drink with everyone while we are cooking….

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Here it is….. Order for 7 of us!

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Back to the kitchen…. let’s cook now!

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We even have Mini Commis!

As we are 2 chefs cooking…. we decided to go for 2 different menus and that might have been a mistake….

We ended-up with the following order:


  • 2 Salmon Gravlax with Wasabi Whipped Cream and Daikon
  • 5 Scallops Carpaccio, Granny Smith Salad and Black Truffles


  • 4 Herbs and Nuts Marinated Sea-Bream with a Lemon Risotto
  • 3 Iberico Ham with Thyme and Honey Carrots cooked in Carrot and Lemon Juice

When we went to the shop to pick-up the order, Cyril told me that usually, you go for only one choice but as usual, I wanted to push further and make it almost restaurant like… We got a bit lost in ingredients and organisation especially with a glass of champagne in one hand and people to talk to as other friends joined us for a quick drink before dinner…..

Also, my Mini-Commis thought it was really funny to play with my ingredients and they tried to create odd mix…. I started to wonder weither we will get through that dinner even before opening the ingredients!

My first glass of Champagne is already empty, I fill another one and try to focus on the recipe. Suddenly, I realize that I have never been able to respect a recipe from A to Z….. I need to do it my way, I just cannot empeach it…. The problem is that I have no choice but follow the recipe as all my ingredients have been weighed, prepared, cleaned for me. Even salt and pepper, olive oil, stock…. I start to panick!

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Another round of Champagne, I take a deep breath and read the recipe. It is clear and easy indeed…. there is just a few things to do such as slicing the scallops or cooking the risotto but in the end, it is really about assembling all the ingredients in a nice way!

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Scallops Carpaccio, Granny Smith Salad and Black Truffles

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Salmon Gravlax with Wasabi Whipped Cream and Daikon

Ok…. we’ve had some fun with the presentation but also a lot of champagne before! We also forgot to have a look at the picture on the recipe…. and realized it looked much nicer the way they present it!

Anyway…. let’s have a look at the main now… We only had to pour the marinade on top of the Sea-Bream and Cook it a few minutes. Same for the ham, just pan-fry it and cook it for another 10 minutes.

Risotto was easy as well as Carrot, there was just 2-3 steps and we finished both dishes on time and did not even have to adjsut the seasoning as the great chefs creating the recipes did it for us before…. Thank you Les Commis!

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Sea-Bream Marinade

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Risotto in Progress

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Herbs and Nuts Marinated Sea-Bream with a Lemon Risotto

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Thyme and Honey Carrots cooked in Carrot Juice and Lemon

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Iberico Ham…. slowly cooked at low temperature

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Iberico Ham with Thyme and Honey Carrots cooked in Carrot and Lemon Juice

We did not try the whole menu as we are cheese lovers and thought that it might be too much but the dessert menu is really great.

For example, you can go for Jasmine Poached Apple with Mascarpone Vanilla Cream and Raspberry Coulis or the Ginger and Cocoa Crumble with Cider Jelly and Carambar Cream.

The menu offers a wide choice of dishes. You can go for anything you want among 4 starters, 4 mains and 4 desserts that change on a regular basis.

Yann Tanneau is in charge of the Starters and Mains

Johannes Bonin is in charge of the Desserts

Prices are 12.5 euros for a main / 16 euros starter + main or main + dessert / 20 euros for starter + main + dessert

To me, Les Commis is really a great way to have a restaurant quality dish on your table with the intimacy of a private home. It’s also a great way to experiment new techniques and ingredients that you might be afraid of when you do not know where to source them or how to handle them….

As they say… “You cook, we take care of the rest” 

Let’s save some time for once and enjoy the pleasure of pure cooking!

Les Commis
51, avenue Trudaine – 75009 Paris
Ouvert du mardi au samedi de 11h à 20h45
01 48 74 83 14