From the moment you walk into Oaks you are hit by the warmth and smell of the wood fire. The slightly smoky atmosphere is incredibly comforting, especially now we're heading into slightly colder weather outdoors.
Oaks is also beautifully decorated. It is polished and modern but in a way that doesn't feel at all stuffy, its a perfect mix of quality and comfort.
We started our visit with two of their cocktails. The cocktail menu is brief - five cocktails chosen to perfectly compliment their foods. Unfortunately for me, as someone with a passionate hatred of fresh mint, I could only choose from two of the drinks, but anyone else would probably find it much easier to get a drink that would suit their tastes. I opted for the traditional Negroni (£6.75), which was short, delicious, and incredibly punchy, while Dave chose the Midlands Spritz (£5), a blend of vermouth, elderflower, mint and pale ale. We don't often bother with starters but the 'nibbles' section of the oaks menu looked so good that we also got some pork crackling to try while we waited for our mains.
For the main course, I decided to try one of their specialty sausages. All of the flavours at Oaks have been carefully crafted, we had a lovely chat with our waiter about where all of the ingredients had come from and everyone there seemed so passionate about the food, which is quite a refreshing experience. I chose the wild boar, purple broccoli and smoked mozarella sausage (£6.95), and it was just perfect. I'm not really a fan of smoked foods usually so the idea of smoked sausages cooked on the wood fire grill was something that felt like quite a gamble, but I've honestly never had anything like it. The flavour combination was amazing.
Dave chose the angus beef burger (£7), which I of course had to try in the interest of a fair review and this was also brilliant. My hunt to find a really good burger without travelling halfway across the country is still on (sort it out Lincoln, please) but until I find one, Oaks is definitely going to be my top choice as its well worth a short journey to Nottingham for. We both chose hand cut chips to accompany our meats. I didn't expect to be impressed by these because, well, they're just chips right? No. These were thin cut chips, perfectly seasoned and from potatoes that I can only presume were blessed with some kind of magic as they grew. I'm not exaggerating when I say these are in the top 5 chips I've ever had. Maybe even top 2.
By this point we were completely and utterly stuffed, but I couldn't give you a true opinion without trying the dessert menu so we had a portion of the marsala cream filled doughnuts (£4.50) to share. When I heard that description, I honestly was picturing a sort of spicy profiterole, but these were better than anything I could have imagined. These doughnuts have visited me in many dreams since. Small, freshly cooked doughnuts, filled with marsala wine cream, this dessert is a unique one that really completes the Oaks experience. If these aren't your thing though, or you want another dessert (I won't judge) then there's also the choice of a cheeseboard or range of unique flavoured ice creams.
I was beyond impressed with our first trip to Oaks and haven't really stopped talking about the place since. Burgers and sausages didn't sound like the most impressive menu at first, but they've created an incredibly unique venue, where everything has been lovingly crafted to perfection. If you're looking for somewhere to eat in Nottingham you definitely couldn't go wrong here. Just look at their Instagram for more drool worthy food pics if you don't believe me.
*I was invited for a complimentary meal. All opinions are my own.