Everyone needs a neighbourhood hangout. The kind where chirruping couples sit at the bar for a first-date cocktail, or where friends come to lounge on a sofa with a drink. Where you can enjoy a few small-plate snacks midweek, or drop by for a full-on meal. The Oak, sited on a corner of Ravenscourt Park, has the potential to fulfil all options.
It’s a welcoming spot, with friendly staff, high Victorian ceilings and an interior that mixes antique and industrial furnishings. Like the original Oak in Notting Hill, this sibling draws culinary inspiration from France, Italy and Spain.
To start, aromatic fennel seeds and a squeeze of lemon made unexpected yet successful companions to sautéed chorizo.
But niggling inconsistencies persisted throughout an otherwise enjoyable meal: scallops were expertly cooked yet overshadowed by a busy assortment of crispy pancetta and courgette purée. Notting Hill’s Oak is known for its pizza, but here the dough under a tasty topping of asparagus and Tuscan sausage was still soft. Nevertheless, ambition, charm, good ideas and quality ingredients are all present and correct; with just a few tweaks in the kitchen, this could be the ideal local.
Reviewed by Clara Perez