The Victoria, Oxshott, review
The Victoria, Oxshott, review
A new venture from The Fat Duck alumni
Having previously worked for Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Group, the duo that have taken over Oxshott’s The Victoria are quite the team. Chef Director Matt Larcombe was previously head chef of Heston’s The Crown at Bray, and Simon King was formerly operations director at the group.
The ethos behind The Victoria is to champion food of the British Isles, and offer an upmarket take on classic pub dishes. There are hints of The Fat Duck empire such as atomised vinegar spray for the fish and chips, as well as the much-lauded triple-cooked chips you’ll find at Heston’s pubs such as The Hind’s Head.
Snacks are also a cut above your usual pub offering, with the menu including the likes of beer battered oysters with seaweed mayonnaise. Guests are welcome to pop in for a pint as much as they are for dinner – or perhaps a cocktail, with a master mixologist giving classic cocktails a twist as well as a top sommelier sourcing wine from up-and-coming and boutique producers.
The pub makes the most of original features such as the old fireplaces, while updating the look with leather banquette seating and panelled walls, giving it a traditional clubby feel in the restaurant and offering a welcoming parlour in the pub area.
We settled in with a G&T and excellent home-made bread while perusing the menu. Provenance is a key feature and the ingredients have been carefully sourced.
My dining companion went for the mushroom parfait, with sweet and sour onions, and brioche – it was light, flavourful, savoury – “like eating a mushroom cloud,” she said. I absolutely loved my starter from the specials that day – beetroot topped with goats’ curd and pretty curls of golden beetroot. It looked beautiful and tasted incredible.
For mains, we had to go for steak – we wanted the triple-cooked chips, of course, and couldn’t resist the promise of the salt chamber aged beef from HG Walter. My favourite is always a rib-eye and this did not disappoint, perfectly cooked and with the unctuous trademark marbling of fat – a tasty cut, indeed. My friend likes the tenderness of the fillet and here it was another excellent cut. The chips were fabulous as expected and an accompanying roasted onion and Bordelaise sauce added richness.
The fish dishes sound incredible so we will be back to try the halibut with St Austell bay mussels. Bigger appetites could also choose from sharing dishes such as whole Dover soul with potatoes cooked in seaweed.
A dessert list features the usual favourites such as sticky toffee pudding but we were persuaded by a dessert on the specials – how could we resist a Bakewell tart with crème brûlée cream and salted caramel ice cream?
We finished with a fresh mint tea – it is such a lovely and convivial spot, with genuinely warm and friendly staff, that we didn’t want to rush off. A great addition to the local area, while also being one to recommend as a destination for a special occasion.
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Images: (c) Lateef Photography