This is the only Harvey’s owned pub in London and they keep the Harbverys and guest beer very well
I like having a Sunday Roast and a pint which is always a very reasonable price. They do english food all week long
It is a very traditional pub – no fruit machines or juke boxes - which I like
Top tip: get there early - folks start reserving tables by fone between 1 and 2 which limits available space - get there for about 12 ish.
There were 2 of us but, based on the week day portion sizes and because my lady friend does not each much we ordered a single lamb roast and an empty plate. The portion size was as expected and more than enough for 2 - nice touch was that the empty plate was warmed too!. The Royal Oak is renowned for it's vegitables that acompany the meal and looks like Sunday is no different - loads of fresh steamed veg, not boiled to a mush watery rubbish. We had carrots, red cabbage, runner beans, white cabbage and parsnips - realy crunchy and fresh. The veg comes on a separate plate for you to help yourselves. The lamb was excellent and loads of it - served with roast potatoes, roast parsnip and excellent thick gravy. Not bad for £9.50.
I really, really like and rate this place but remember, get there early or reserve a table!
The SE1 crowd chose The Royal Oak for the 2008 Xmas dinner because of it's previous track record and the fact it has a private room upstairs. I had the warm goats cheese on toast starter - fantastic. I also had a slurp of the minestrone soup and the melon (my chums either side not being as greedy as me) - both were excellent. Had the turkey for main - wow - did not know it was possible to slice turkey so thick! - really nice. The veg (tons of roast spuds, sprouts, collie, beans, carrots) were really crunchy and tasty - no soggy stuff in site. A gut busting Xmas pud followed - and then a cheeky brandy. Want to say a huge thanks to the staff - Charles the chef - job well done, and the serving ladies - marvellous. This has to be the finest pub to have a meal in SE1. Long may it be so!
As the title goes this pub is "Not for everyone". If you are with friends who don't like real ale then this is most definitely NOT the pub for them. There is one alternative that I could see - Carling at a scarey £3.10 for a very flat pint.
That said it appeared busy so perhaps they don't see a reason to cater to a more "general" style of punter but, on my experience of last night, if this is the best that Harvey's Brewaries can provide then I don't see them being a lot of threat to the likes of JDW.
Won't be rushing back
Food: The menu offers a variety of traditional English fare. The Steak and Ale pie is outstanding and a personal favorite. Be hungry - or plan to share.
Summary: A wonderful place to gather for good conversation. I've met many who regularly make the journey to the Royal Oak from far beyond SE1.
Unique pub (in this area). No music, great real ales, all sorts of people, very good simple/traditional food, good wine. Shame I've already had lunch...
Fantastic old-fashioned british pub-food at great value. Steak and ale pie and chips is about £6, and it's so big it's difficult for most to finish. Sunday roasts are popular and again, fantastic value. Usually a choice of pork, beef, chicken and lamb, with vegetarian options too, for less than £8. Nothing flash, but good honest filling food just like your nan used to make. Expect to have difficulties getting a table on fridays.
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