Saturday, 20 October 2012

The Royal Oak in Ripon - Review

Royal Oak, Ripon
It's fun to spend a day in a new place discovering what is on offer and browsing windows and menus. We recently had a drive up to Ripon for the day and were pleasantly suprised by the range of foodie treats on offer. The cathedral was impressive and the large market town feel made us feel welcome. We spent some time looking in the well established Deli on Duck Hill, enjoying the range of Yorkshire produce including Taylors tea and coffee, unusual global food items and a huge amount of cheese! There were also a great deal of cafes. An interesting looking wine bar named Squiffy's caught my eye and we are due to give that place a whirl one time soon.

The Royal Oak was the place which drew us in from the cold. It has a fresh and clean look inside and out and the place has atmosphere even on a grey Monday afternoon. Located on Kirkgate, it is central to town, the cathedral and museums.

Royal Oak Menu, Ripon
First impressions were a warm welcome, a choice of seats and an extensive menu, although nothing jumped out at either of us initially. We were offered drinks and allowed time to peruse, however we had to wait more than usual for our drinks to come to the table despite the bar and restaurant having only a handful of patrons. When we asked a few questions about the menu the waitress didn't seem overly familiar with the dishes. This was rectified when our food came to the table looking hot, interesting to look at and smelling delicious.

Pea Tortellini, Ripon Royal Oak
For myself, a sweet and creamy fresh pea tortellini. It was actually faultless. The flavours were enhanced with pine nuts and a soupy sauce served in a pleasant deep bowl.

Tom had a crab salad which although very pretty, did become a little same same. Perhaps some bread or less crab-more salad would have balanced this but the presentation was really lovely. The crab was lain on a bed of cucumber jelly which didn't cut through the thick layer of crab but did taste great. The preserved lemons added great flavour, too.

Crab salad, Royal Oak, Ripon
All in all, I would go back and enjoyed relaying my comments on the form provided. As part of the AA Bed and Breakfast group, the Royal Oak and her sister pubs seek out feedback and constructive criticism from new customers which is a great ethos for any restaurant in this economy. Great food and a great pub!

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