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|Address:||Paley Street, Maidenhead, Berkshire SL6 3JS|
|Price: £42.00||Wine: £15.00||Champagne: £42.50|
|Opening Hours:||Mon-Sat 11am-3pm 6-11pm Sun 12N-4pm|
1 of 2 people found this review helpful.
Regrettably, I had a similar experience to Steffi F.
Took my wife there for a birthday lunch on Saturday just gone and whilst we can be quite hard to please sometimes, by the same token, we're not over critical for the sake of it.
The venue is very pleasant, well looked after and appointed, if in the middle of nowhere, but not difficult to find. Drinks service and for that matter, starters were pretty much as expected although the crab was slightly overwrought by the amount of rosemary used. The eel salad I had as a starter was perfectly pleasant, but lacked a little bit of the smokiness I would expect from smoked eel. But, in fairness, this is hair splitting.
What proved to be a lot more serious and resulted in our untimely departure was the long, too long, gap between starter and main courses. Now, for a central London restaurant, maybe just maybe, sometimes you'd give such an interval, of 35 minutes or so the benefit of the doubt. And I realise that there are not many staff on in the kitchens of gastropubs on a summer saturday and yes, it was quite busy.
But once you've heard “five minutes”, “five minutes”, “its coming shortly”, “its coming any minute now” and still the mains dont turn up – particularly when in both cases, we're talking about fish dishes which were not exactly over complex, it starts to wear a bit thin. And, I'm afraid my wife decided that we were not waiting any longer and that was that. Much as I would like to have given them the benefit of the doubt, I couldn't defend them and at that point we left.
In fairness to Nick Parkinson, he was extremely apologetic and despite my repeated attempts to pay for what we had already consumed – two starters, two drinks, plus a glass of champagne for my wife – he refused to accept any payment and seemed visibly put out and disappointed. Maybe the Royal Oak isnt used to people finding fault or being dissatisfied with basic things and are more used to the local and national press telling them how wonderful they are.
Maybe it isnt fair for us punters to be as demanding of gastropubs as we are of other restaurant establishments. We're not a couple who demand the impossible of venues, but when you're spending as much as you are in this case, I think its only reasonable to expect that such long intervals between courses are either kept to an absolute minimum or customers kept informed a lot more than just the platitudes of “its coming right up”.
Sorry guys. I had great hopes for the Royal Oak, I really genuinely did. But, I was left more than a little disappointed and my wife even more so. Maybe it just wasnt meant to be.