36 Oak & Barley is the new place in town (well fairly new) in Kemps Corner. An all day restaurant and also watch out for the sign board cause you may miss it!
It is a cosy restaurant started by 2 partners along with well known chef – Nachiket Shethye . We also had the pleasure of dining with Mr & Mrs Nipoon Agarwal, who suggested the dishes and made sure that we almost tasted their entire menu :).
They have a decent range of cocktails and I ordered a glass of sangria. The sangria was a little too citrus and adding sweet lime to it kind of ruined it for me. I did ask the chef to change it and he did make it less citric but wasn’t a perfect for me. The restaurant welcomes you warmly with their in-house cheese straws and sprouted salad. The salad is a little spicy and gives you a welcoming zing.
It is a restaurant set in a contemporary style with a jaguar dropped from the ceiling. The tables are set in with nice solid wood and designer plastic chairs. The idea to introduce the chairs was for light weight and blend into the interiors but I somehow feel that they don’t add any character to the place. The section is divided into three- fine dining, a bar and the last section with high tables and chairs with a projector screen. The place has tried to provide a little detailing like a thin rail to hold the runner across the table which is so convenient. The glass jars in which they serve water has also been well thought of (in picture above) though I did not like the red caps to top the nice idea.
We started off with a wide variety of apperizers and salad which was more than fillling. A Warm Salad of Grilled Zucchini & Tomato with Katsiki Cheese and Roasted Beets, Arugula & Goat Cheese Salad with Orange Dressing. I liked both the salads and the combination was something that you can’t go wrong with too much. Katsiki cheese is made from goat’s milk and is of Greek origin.
Moving on to the appertizer, you will also find a wide range favouring the vegetarians. I must say that I was partly convinced to order veg dishes because of the variety that they had to offer.
Hummus with pita crisps. The pita crisps were made in house like their bread. They were a little sweeter than the usual but not overpowering.
Baked Asparagus & Cream Cheese Phyllo Triangles with a Chive Cream Cheese Dip – I liked the triangles but found the dip a little not balanced. The dip being an enhancer should have been made a little spicier.
Honey Chili Glazed Chicken Wings – Traditionally the wings are juicy and a little sticky in texture which I found to be missing in the dish.
Shrimp & Calamari Ajillo with Ciabatta – It’s a stew based dish and quiet filling. I tried the calamari stew for the first time and loved it! A must try and I would highly recommend it.
The highlight would be the Tomato & Basil Soup. I imagined it to be the regular soup and to my surprise came in with a dollop of orange sorbet. It’s more like a cold soup.
Cheese fondue – too cheesy :).
They also have chocolate fondue on their menu
Imported Basa Filet with Parsley Lemon Butter
Barramundi Filet with Mustard Kasundi Cream
Seared Fish Filet with Braised Onions & Pineapple Salsa
I tasted almost all the seafood available on their menu and wasn’t much impressed with either of the dishes. The seared fish filet was a big disappoint. It seemed to me that the flavours were not blending in to tickle your taste buds at the right spot. I guess the seafood section needs to be improvised for seafood lovers like me.
I must admit that after reading couple of reviews about them, I was tempted to try their vanilla and berry panna cotta and I liked it too. It’s light and not very sweet like the way it’s supposed to be. Fresh Fruit Pizza with Apricot Glaze & Cinnamon Whipped Cream was the second option that I would go for if you are in a group. It’s made with all seasonal fruits.
The best part about this place is that they also make their own breads and are good too. I found that the portions are big and that some of the dishes can easily be shared amongst your partner. The menu is not highly priced and the owner also wanted to introduce large portions keeping in mind the value for your meal.