lunches at The Royal Oak in Paley Street...

The Royal Oak is a quaint Michelin starred pub out in Paley Street, close to Ascot, Marlow and Bray.  The chef, Dominic Chapman comes to the Oak via the Hinds Head at Bray, and the manager, Mo Gherras is ex Petrus.

Lots of my chums had been to the Royal Oak at Paley Street, and I was very happy when Steve Whitelock suggested we meet there.

Scotch egg and rabbit on toast
The rabbit on toast is excellent, exactly the sort of rich delicacy to kick your tastebuds into action, especially with the piquant chive and gherkin garnishes.  The scotch egg had to be divided very carefully between us, because it was so good that we both wanted our share.  You can see that the yolk is perfectly cooked, and the egg was properly seasoned.  A great start to lunch.
Scotch egg and rabbit on toast

I began with a stuffed courgette flower - very carefully handled.  The main body of the courgette perfectly cooked, without rendering the stuffed flower soggy. The light and fresh garnishes perfectly complemented the summery dish, adding both texture, acidity and sweetness - this was echoed by the artichoke and roast beetroot.

Courgette flower, artichoke, beetroot, pine nuts peas and raisins
Another perfect summer lunch offering - sea salmon with braised lettuce in the lightest buttery sauce.  The leek and lettuce were barely braised, the chervil added a lovely aniseed note, the peas sweetness and the radishes texture.  I'd be very happy to eat this dish in Mayfair, I'd be very happy to find this dish in Mayfair - here is just seems perfectly in keeping with the natural surroundings.

Sea salmon, braised lettuce, peas, morels and radish
We all know I'm a soufflé obsessive, and a good raspberry soufflé is a joy! I often make the Marco Pierre White one at home, and consider it one of my top three soufflés. This absolutely did not disappoint - the precision of the cooking was excellent - and it was perfectly baveuse!

Souffle of raspberries

Little petit fours were well made, packed full of flavour, and the perfect way to end the meal.

The Royal Oak is a great little pub, except it's more than that - it's a good Michelin starred restaurant. The quality of the cooking is precise, measured, the ingredients carefully chosen and of undoubted quality. Real effort has been shown, and I'd happily take anyone here. Oh, and it has a garden - perfect for a summers day in the English countryside.

Petit fours: chocolates with pistachio and
hazelnut, mango gelee, biscuit with caramel nut
The entrance area

The dining room, taken from the bar

Royal Oak
Paley Street 
Berkshire SL6 3JN

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