The Oaks has just opened the final piece of its new-look space with a garden conservatory, 80-year-old oak tree and innovative cellar-door bottle shop.
2019 has been a big year for this North Shore institution. As the biggest renovation in the venue’s 133-year history, The Oaks has just revealed its completed multi-million dollar development earlier this month with the opening of its new bar and eatery, Alala’s.
As an ode to craftsmanship, Alala’s takes up residence along Ben Boyd back street with direct access to the venue’s leafy garden. The space is a clear departure from The Oak’s masculine space, celebrating the strong feminine lineage of the pub’s family owners who purchased the venue in 1975. It’s an elegant, airy dining room and bar with a focus on handcrafted cocktails, natural light and centred around the venue’s beloved 80-year-old oak tree.
The bright dining room at Alala’s boasts dappled sunlight, light timber furniture and an alfresco terrace with café furniture and a light canvas awning, barista-made coffee and indulgent pastries to be served for diners during the mornings. The dining offering here is headed up Head Chef Julian Nikiel (a former protégé of Mike McEnearney from Kitchen by Mike), with a seasonally-driven menu of fresh local produce and dishes designed to be shared. Punters will be in for an excellent dining experience with Restaurant Manager Jemma Fowler leading the floor, bringing 10 years’ experience in hospitality and worked for premium groups such as Rockpool Dining Group and Merivale.
On the menu at Alala’s you’ll find a dedicated tartine menu, a French-style open sandwich, with fillings including fig, live honeycomb, goats cheese, hazelnut drizzled in saffron honey plus blue mackerel with chermoula, harissa, cucumber dressed in orange water. As for smaller bites, expect bright summer eats including fresh scallops on the shell with finger lime, chorizo spice and trickled lobster oil and watermelon with creamy labneh, freekeh, pomegranate, oregano, and piment d’Espelette.
For vegan and vegetarian diners, Alala’s wholesome veggie plates will tick all your boxes including dishes such as roasted eggplant with a spicy bush tomato sauce with goat cheese wrapped in vine leaves and rotisserie cauliflower with pumpkin hummus, mojo verde and ras el hanout.
As for drinks, cocktails are undeniably the star of the show here. Expect unique twists on classic mixes such as the blonde Negroni with Suze, gin and Lillet and even ‘Alala’s Pearl Diver’ served with Bacardi blanca, Pama pomegranate, Falernum syrup lime and a splash of bitters.
Alongside this new bar and eatery, the new Oaks Bottle Shop and Takeaway is set to deliver craft beer and a 1940s-inspired milk bar rotisserie for those looking for a grab-and-go dining experience. At this boutique bottle shop you’ll find a communal tasting table that invites guests to try before you buy with fresh craft brews on tap, focused on rare and hard-to-find brews. Plus, swing by the rotisserie for hot roast rolls such as pork belly porchetta with salsa verde and spiced cauliflower with pumpkin hummus, harissa and rockette plus on-to-go dinners such as whole rotisserie chickens, homemade sauces, crunchy rosemary potatoes with garlic and fresh salads. served until 1am.
These latest openings come off the back of the launch of Taffy’s sports bar, which opened its doors to punters in September 2019. To find out more about what’s happening at the new-look The Oaks and to book your table, click here.