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|Address:||6, Lensfield Road CB2 1EG|
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Whilst the Oak Bistro still bears the scars of its former life as wine bar Honest Lawyer (doomed to failure surely with that tautologous name) it has transformed into a great little neighborhood-feel restaurant. Walking for “date night” in last week wasn't too inspiring initially: the tiny old bar still occupies a corner of the dining room which means tables have had to be awkwardly arranged around it (although well done designers for finding at least one long uninterrupted wall for your obligatory bistro banquette seating) and you can never escape its “you should be drinking, not eating” shadow. But we got shown through to a romantic courtyard round the back: a whimsical little area with twinkly lighting and lush patio greenery where all past ghosts are firmly laid to rest, although the church bells tolling every so often remind you that you're not far from a few graves. The service was great and we can see from the way the waiters greet a number of people that locals have taken this place to their hearts, and the feeling's obviously mutual. Foodwise, it's definitely going for Gallic: everything comes with butter whether described as such or not. My artichoke soup with truffle oil was wonderfully earthy, fungal smoothness, whilst husband's crisped pork belly had plenty of flavour. My salmon en croute main from the specials was perfectly pinkly cooked but rather heavy with thick mushroom paste and floating on a sea of wilted spinach which was itself drowning in bearnaise style sauce; husband's steak was fine, but blandly rather let the side down, despite a truffle butter blob on top trying to inject some interest. A gooey chocolate fondant pud was worth the wait. The wine list isn't particularly ambitious but then its a refreshing change these days to see the highest priced is £50, not £500. At £100 for a pleasant meal for two it was good value, but I'd like to see its 80s past put more firmly to rest with slightly more sophisticated cooking.