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The Royal Oak

Bars and pubs, Pubs Marylebone
3 out of 5 stars
5 out of 5 stars
(6user reviews)
The Royal Oak

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Marylebone pub with a gastro grub menu.

The Royal Oak reminded me of how Marylebone still has that neighbourhoody feel despite its central location – something many Soho pubs have lost as rent costs have risen. A group of lads were playing cards over beers and soft candlelight gave us a warm and fuzzy feel. Adnams, Harvey’s and Timothy Taylor’s were on handpull – the beer line-up is fairly old-school but a couple of craft beers on draught included options from Berkshire’s Siren and Hackney’s Five Points. And a wine list had been put together with food pairing in mind.

The Scotch egg was given an ’nduja makeover; comfort food that could have done with more of a fiery kick from the Italian salami. Main dishes were also elevated takes on pub classics. Lamb shoulder was served with pearl barley, plus a heavily smoked yoghurt almost balanced out by a drizzle of zhoug (a Yemeni green chilli sauce), while a hake fillet with a buttery sauce was given an extra tang of the sea by a generous stack of samphire.

Staff during our visit weren’t all that engaged, but it’s now easy to understand why. Just after my visit, news broke that the pub’s celebrity chef Dan Doherty had been accused of alleged workplace sexual harassment at his own venue, eventually stepping down from his position. It’s not easy to predict how this Marylebone boozer will weather the storm, but let’s hope it can focus on encouraging that neighbourhood vibe.

Details

Address: 74-76 York Street
London
W1H 1QN
Transport: Marylebone / Edgware Road
Contact:
Opening hours: Mon–Fri 12–11pm, Saturday 12-11pm, Sunday closed
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Users say (6)

5 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.8 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:5
  • 4 star:1
  • 3 star:0
  • 2 star:0
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|6
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Tastemaker

​​Carnivores rejoice because The Royal Oak - under the talented new ownership of chef Dan Doherty and business partner Andy Ward - is one of the best places in London to indulge in a very gratuitous & highly delicious meat-fest. For all the plant-based diners in the capital, there are indeed options that sound incredible but on my first visit there, it was merguez and steak that caught my eye & stretched my stomach and I won't apologise for either of those facts.


Barely a five-minute walk from Marylebone and Baker Street stations, this lovely little spot was lovingly given a face-lift earlier this year, transforming it from the previous burger-and-chips hotspot into the sort of local, neighbourhood, community hub that you often wish for but don't always succeed in finding. Warm and spacious in the ground floor dining room with window seats and tables outside, it's the kind of place that you can imagine coming back to regardless of the season which is exactly the kind of reaction that all the smartest restaurateurs hope for. 


Staff here are cracking - they're super smiley and relaxed, generous with their time and eager to make sure you're enjoying yourself. I always have and always will argue that service is as important as food when it comes to having the best kind of meal out so relax in the knowledge that here, both are treated with the same level of importance.


Small & seasonal, the menu here is an absolute winner. Starters, plates of the small & main varieties and - praise be! - an actual pudding list offer everything from summer ingredients to classic pub dishes and twists on tradition. Sourdough with cultured butter is crusty bordered, puffy centred delight, full of tang & texture whilst the deep fried filo merguez sausages are an absolute meat-eaters dream. Served with creamy whipped feta & lip-tingling harissa, not only are these light, flaky, golden & smack-bang-wallop full of spicy flavour, at £4 they're also one of the best value dishes I've come across in recent memory...anywhere. This is a ungrudging portion and a total celebration of North African flavour so order a glass of Pinot Noir & a plateful and forgive yourself for being selfishly greedy enough to forego sharing.


A neighbouring plate of n'duja scotch egg has become something of an Instagram hero and for those seeking something lighter, the burrata topped, pistcachio speckled peach was pretty as a picture and devoured lustily.


The chances are high that I'll be going back for the vegetarian delica squash with feta, zhoug and beets but on this occasion, a steak seemed the ideal follow-up to the already-ravaged plate of fried sausage. Flawlessly cooked and served with arguably the best spuds in London right now, this was a thing of rich, tender, charred, crispy beauty and I loved it. 


There's always room for dessert though here it was only for a shared bowl of silky dulce de leche ice-cream with the apple & plum crumble a regal sounding bookmark for the coming autumnal months...and something tells me that there will be many repeat visits for much ticking off of those fore-mentioned menu bookmarks. The Royal Oak is a glorious example of the way that pubs can evolve nowadays. Not every old-school boozer has to have nicotine stained carpets or a an air of 'ooh err stranger' if you walk in never having been before; equally, not all modern drinking establishments have to be hard & trendy and full of glass, chrome & bare-bulb lighting. It's entirely possible to marry the two if you have a deep-found respect for the food you're serving and the people you're feeding and in The Royal Oak, both of these things are beautifully evident.

tastemaker

Here's another central London pub that's had a facelift fairly recently and looks great.

I'm certainly going to be coming here more often after work now that I've discovered they do £1 oysters every day from 5-7! And they're actually big oysters too, with red onion relish, salt and Tabasco. Totally divine and guilt-free. Except, if you're having oysters you should really have a drink with them too, right?

I like the boutique look of the pub with its chunky wooden bar and floors and textured wallpaper.

It's somehow still really hot inside during warm weather even when the big windows and the doors are all wide open.

It's quieter during the day, usually just with a few laptop workers.

Sometimes they have sport on and after work it can very get busy especially on Thursdays and Fridays.

Staff are always chatty and friendly.

I like this pub a lot.

tastemaker

What a little gem!

I dont frequent pubs as the smell of spilt beer and unwashed carpets always deters me but the royal oak had none of the two!

The staff were very friendly and for once had knowledge about the wines they sold!

The decor was airy and welcoming and also very clean! Not even a whiff of beer in sight which was wonderful!

We had their oysters with champagne which may I add have to be some of the most delicious oysters I've had in a while.

Even though they were huge and rather hard to swallow I enjoyed them immensely!!! We were told that they had an oyster happy hour between 5-7pm so if you get there between those times you can shuck those babies down for just a £1 :)

If you're in the area I defo recommend a drop in!

tastemaker

I can't help but say that this is, and always will be, my first choice for both food and drinks for anything from a Friday team lunch to fulfiling a dirty burger craving.


Although a little more expensive than average, the Royal Oak's Burgershack more than makes up for the money you leave at the counter. Served in classic plastic baskets, they have everything on offer from seasoned, spicy French fries to chicken and beef burgers from basic level to stacked up to the ceiling. The buttermilk-fried chicken burger comes with a crispy-coated, juicy slice of meat in a soft brioche bun; the cheeseburger leaves you feeling just a little guilty but fully satisfied with meat fried to perfection and just enough crunchy vegetables. 


Extra praise must go to side dishes, which is really just modesty on the Oak's part. These dishes are easily enough for a full main, and their cheesy jalapeno poppers will leave you floating on a pink cloud for their pungent, spicy filling and creamy cheese that pours out when you bite into a crispy breading. Three of these babies is offered in a bucket, and they are hugely filling by themselves. I can also recommend the chips with blue cheese dressing, which is, although advertised as a sharer, not to be shared. I warned you.


With a nice selection of beers from Guiness to Blue Moon, the Oak has something for everyone. And if you're in the area, you really couldn't make a better choice. I'm drooling just thinking about those poppers right now.


...Gone to the Royal Oak, see ya!


Incredibly friendly and welcoming good atmosphere and the beer both quality and range, as well as the food and music. Partridge that wasn't dry! And the beer was all wonderful.

Tastemaker

Yes yes and more YES. Come on wingsday (thats Wednesday for all you 'proper English' folk) and take part in their £5 wing bonanza. They have two types: Buffalo or Korean. First off-- both breaded, which automatically adds a nice crunch and helps to keep the wing juicy. The Buffalo is pretty darn tasty, with the distinct smell of Frank's hitting your nostrils. They even serve with blue cheese. If you want more sauce-- the super friendly wait staff would more than happy to oblige. 


I actually prefer the Korean wings myself-- sweet with a bit of heat to them. Served with sliced chilis and green onions. NOM. 


Oh did I mention we had burgers too? WE DID. Fantastically juicy and bursting with flavour. The only downside was that the bun was losing structural integrity after a few bites. I persevered. 


Believe the menu when it says the fries are to share. THEY ARE. 


Oh and don't forget-- this is a pub. They have beer! Delicious beer! They have a decent selection of London beer (Kernel, Five Points, Weird Beard), ales on the taps, and your typical lagers to keep pretty much everyone pleased. 


If you are in the Marylebone/Baker Street area-- highly recommend this place. The price is right and so is the food!

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