I haven’t been to the Royal Oak in years except for one bizarre incident a couple of years ago where I turned up to find everyone in mediaeval costume (!?).Ã‚Â However I will be returning, the food was lovelyÃ‚Â I had the mushrooms (from Marlborough) in puff pastry, crisp and very moreish, as a starter.Ã‚Â Toby Barrett, the chef cares hugely about sourcing and seasonality, his meat comes from Vicars Game and the fish from Flying Fish.Ã‚Â The mushrooms have come from Marlborough for some time now since they first tried them.Ã‚Â The ale comes from a variety of places but especially West Berkshire Brewery which was located next door and is now about 5 minutes away down the road.Ã‚Â Dogs, wifi and tap water are all available.
The mushrooms came with baby leaf spinach, the mushrooms were soft but still retained a bite and a chew and the puff pastry was crisp but able to soak up some of the delicious juices.
The cod was stupendous, a huge square with a crisp skin surrounded by huge fat mussels and tender broccoli.Ã‚Â The chunks of chorizo added a spicy note and the saffron sauce was divineÃ‚Â In fact I asked for a spoon as I wasn’t going to let that baby go to waste.Ã‚Â Finding another fat mussel near the end was like finding an unexpected treasure and made my heart leap.Ã‚Â There was absolutely no seasoning required and the sauce was like a full flavoured golden soup.
This is a picture of the specials board and from my previous experience of coming along to a pub full of people in mediaeval dress they obviously go for the specials theme quite seriously.Ã‚Â Sign up for their twitter page @oakyattendon or check their website.Ã‚Â Definitely a winner.
I paid but my bill was reduced.