Vanessa: Did someone say Cheese & Truffle Toasties???
To launch into talking about food without providing context is something I generally don’t do. However, on this occasion I do so in order to ingrain into the minds of our readers one absolute stand out item on the winter menu at The Oaks Hotel’s Cabin Fever bar..The Toastie. Now.. on to the context.
The Oaks Hotel, a stalwart establishment of Sydney’s Neutral Bay, has recently transformed their front bar to create an inviting ambience resembling an aspen-style ski lodge. Myself and fellow FFS bloggers, Bianca and Alex, were lucky enough to have been invited to attend the launch party of this unique pop-up bar. We were suitably impressed by the well thought out details with the use of wooden clad walls, fireplace and various ski equipment carefully placed around the bar to give it a real cabin feel.
The Canadian Club was flowing that evening and we sipped on a delightful drink, known as a Ginger Spritz, containing CC, ginger ale and lemon – a refreshing combination that went down a little too easy!
Having been tempted by the sound of Celebrity Chef, Danny Russo’s, specially designed winter bar menu we were eager to tuck into some of his unique creations.
First up was a round of Bacon, Bourbon, Caramel Popcorn ($5), a smoky/sweet taste with the bacon being quite prominent. It would make a nice snack if you were after something to nibble on with a drink, as well as freshly made Toasted Marshmallows. This was followed by a serving of Frickles ($10) – a portion of battered pickles accompanied with a smoky bacon aioli. Personally, this wasn’t one of my favourites as I found that the batter took away from the taste of the pickle, but I was alone in that sentiment as my FFS family enjoyed them very much.
The Crispy Fried Smoked Chicken Wings ($16) were deliciously crispy (as the name suggests!) with a strong smoky taste – a definite crowd pleaser. This was followed by the Pigs in Blanket ($9), a serve of bite size hot dogs, encased in a light, flaky puff pastry. Although this isn’t something I would necessarily order, it’s definitely well paired with a few ciders or ales.
The Crab Cake Sliders ($12 for 2) consisted of a crab pattie topped with slaw inside a small bun. I enjoyed the flavour of the crab cake and thought it went well with the slaw.
Now to the piece de resistance (and this is not only our opinion but others we spoke to around us) the Cheese and Truffle Toastie ($10). You may be thinking how special can a toastie be? Well, let me tell you this is one amazingly special toastie and if you only go for one thing on the menu, ensure it is this. The golden and lightly toasted bread envelops a generous amount of soft oozing cheese which has distinct truffle tones, producing a delicious result. This is a must try!
There were a few dishes that did not make the rounds unfortunately as we were intrigued by the sound of The Ribwich with Slaw ($12) and the Meatball Parmigiana ($10) .
Accompanying Danny Russo’s bar menu is a winter warming drinks list which includes a Hot Chocolate for Adults ($10). A mix of Baileys, Amaretto, Frangelico, butterscotch Schnapps or Grand Marnier topped with fresh cream and marshmallows. Now that is one potent hot chocolate, which we didn’t try, but I imagine would go down a treat on a cold winter’s night.
Cabin Fever will grace The Oaks Hotel until August 31st, so take the opportunity to gather some friends and warm up with some well-priced comfort food in a cosy, winter atmosphere. (They even have a snow machine!)
photos by Alex
*Forfoodssake were invited to the Cabin Fever Launch party by Wasamedia and the Oaks Hotel. All opinions however are our own*