The Royal Oak and its royal rooftop are ready for summer.
Summer has almost arrived and what could be more enticing but an after work nip down at the pub or watching the sun set atop a breezy roof top? The Royal Oak in Double Bay is an Eastern Suburbs institution and is celebrating this warm weather with a menu that will not disappoint.
Sitting on a cosy little corner off Bay Street is The Oak and its many offerings. You’ve got the sports bar, the garden bar and the front bar downstairs but we were interested to trial the lively level two rooftop bar.
Many of the after work patrons relaxing on the roof top were enjoying a chilled glass of rosé or a pint. However, our own eyes immediately looked towards the extensive list of cocktails. From sweet to sour, tame to strong, The Oak has cocktails down pat.
I opted for the Lycheetini ($17). A classic around Sydney bars, it varies slightly between each establishment. This one was very sweet, with a hit of vanilla and tropical flavours with every sip. The Ginny Hendrix ($18) was crisp and refreshing with gin, pineapple juice, muddled cucumber and fresh ginger. None of the special cocktails strike your fancy? Don’t be afraid to go off menu. Our very talented bartender whipped us up a Passionfruit Daiquiri ($17) – strong and fruity, the best of both worlds.
Might I note that when Happy Hour is over (Mon-Fri 3.30pm-5.30pm), the ladies still have their hour (Sun-Thurs 5-8pm). So if you’re on a budget, it’s $5 piccolos. Who runs the world?
Now, the food menu is extensive. Besides the daily specials, there are plenty of hearty meals, little bites, sides to share and yummy desserts to choose from. We were allured by the mix and match dishes. With eight options to choose from, it’s perfect for the fussy eaters of the group.
We chose Peking Duck and Pork Spring Rolls ($3.60/each) and scorched corn, manchego and jalapeno croquettes ($3.50/each). The spring rolls were mouthwateringly crispy and the meats paired perfectly. The matching honey soy and spicy lemon sauces were also very impressive. The croquettes were rich and creamy with just the right amount of spice.
There are limited vegetarian dishes on the menu which makes ordering a little tricky for the veggos of the group. In the end, we opted for the butternut pumpkin, goats cheese and sage ravioli ($26) that confirmed The Oak’s menu was one cut above your average pub fare. The pumpkin filling was cooked to perfection and sauce surrounding the pasta was both creamy and light. The pine nuts added a good textural element to the dish. And we can confirm they went heavy on the cheese. No complaints.
The oozy, gooey margarita pizza ($19) was essentially your standard pub grub – cheesy and moreish. We’re not talking Napoli style wood fire pizza but at a Sunday sesh over a few ciders, a couple of these bad boys would go down very nicely with the gang.
As I do when I hit most pub feeds, I opted for the steak ($26-$42, but a $15 Monday special). Whilst it was cooked to perfection (blue for me, #sorrynotsorry), the steak lacked flavour and without the rich mushroom gravy for dipping, crispy fries and the tangy side salad, it would have been a little dissatisfying.
Clutching our stomaches and declaring we’d never eat again, we spotted the dessert menu and claimed there was just about enough room in our tummies for the sticky date pudding ($12). Our only complaint was that the moist morsels of cake weren’t doused in enough sticky butterscotch sauce.
There’s something for everyone at The Oak – whether you’re an avid sports fan, down for a wild Saturday night in the garden bar, keen for some live music to end your weekend or simply some very classy pub grub, this hotel will tick every box this season.
The Royal Oak Hotel.
28 Bay Street, Double Bay
Mon – Thurs 10am-Midnight, Fri & Sat 10am – 1am Sun 10am-11pm (Bistro open 12pm-10pm)