The Oak Bistro

  • Quality — ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
  • Price — 💸💸💸💸
  • Contact@theoakbistrocambridge
  • LocationLensfield Road, Cambridge

The Oak Bistro is a cozy, elegant restaurant in the center of Cambridge. It serves quality continental European food along with an extensive selection of international wines.

This was our end-of-exams dinner (though admittedly a reason to have good food is always easy to find..) and we wanted a special meal to commemorate the occasion. We had passed by the door of The Oak Bistro many times and mentioned in passing how nice it would be to dine there. In the end, it took us until the end of Easter term to book a table at this promising location. Our choice was without a doubt a resounding success.

The Oak Bistro is a characteristically small restaurant, family-owned and has a certain air of mystery, as it is almost hidden in a corner of Lensfield Road. Curiously, the restaurant is named after an ancient tree that once grew on the same spot of a restaurant. That spot was originally a historic coaching inn that was a welcome stop for travelers on the road to London. Nowadays, it is a restaurant offering high-quality elegant dining that follows traditional recipes in the heart of Cambridge.

As it was our end-of-exams dinner, we were pretty generous with our selection of dishes and wine. As we always do, we shared everything to be able to try the greatest number of different dishes and styles of food. Of note that we received some complementary bread to start the meal that came with a flavorsome dip.

Our choices:

  • Potted crab with lumpfish caviar and toasted brioche
  • Pan fried scallops with pea puree, micro salad, balsamic reduction and parsnip crisps
  • Confit duck leg with braised red cabbage, mashed potato and red wine jus
  • Potato gnocchi with black truffle, exotic mushrooms and sun blushed tomatoes

All of the dishes were almost perfect with the exception of the potted crab. The pot was served extremely cold - which meant we weren’t able to properly taste the crab - and with a thick layer of fat on top, which we had to remove by ourselves. Also, the crab wasn’t as tasty as expected and the fat that had been added to it in the process of the elaboration of the dish only further reduced its flavor.

On the other hand, the pan-fried scallops were simply magnificent. The quality of the scallops was remarkably high, and they had been perfectly pan fried, so that they were golden on the outside but soft on the inside. If we had to associate a texture and flavor, it would be comparable to having butter that tasted of the sea.

Furthermore, the confit duck leg was excellent. Its skin was crispy and nicely roasted but its meat was soft and tender. This juxtaposition paired perfectly with the mashed potato and wine jus that had been added to it.

The potato gnocchi were also really good, with fresh black truffle added on top and premium quality mushrooms. We must admit though that mixing mushrooms and black truffle is not something very innovative but nonetheless always makes a good pairing!

And for dessert:

  • Selection of cheeses with celery, grapes, chutney and water biscuits.

The cheeses in the selection that we ordered for dessert were of average to high quality (nothing excessively surprising), but we found that this dish left something to be desired in terms of quantity, with some cuts of cheese being extremely small, even for one person.

Wine to pair our dinner:

  • Pinot Noir Gran Reserva, Viña Echevarría, Chile 2018.

To round off the review, the wine selection in the restaurant is spectacular, and our choice yielded very good results. The Pinot Noir had those characteristic red fruit notes and had very intense aromas. As it was a Gran Reserva it also had a quite notable tannin which made it even more appreciable and unique. One of the best wines we’ve had in a restaurant in Cambridge!

All things considered, The Oak Bistro is one of Cambridge’s best independent local bistros and definitely one of the best places to share a meal with friends and family.

Review co-written by Álvaro Martin and Matias Silva.


Visited Jun 10, 2022