Dinner at Oscar’s Restaurant & Bar, Milton Keynes

Oscar’s Restaurant & Bar is the newest addition to the Central Milton Keynes food scene. It has opened in The Hub, taking over the unit where AQUA used to be. Central MK is not really a hub for independents, so I was pretty pleased to find out that Oscar’s is an independent, family-run location. From what I understand, it is backed by investors, however, there is no association with other chains. Good news for The Hub!

The interior has had a glow-up of sorts. I never actually visited AQUA before it changed to Oscar’s Restaurant & Bar but from walking past it, I think a lot of the interior decor has remained similar. It is nicely styled with glitzy glass and some lovely teal seats and stools. The silver vases and dusty pink flowers on the tables were not to my taste but it’s clean, classy and definitely somewhere you feel you could go for a fancier meal for a special occasion. And I’ll say it again – it’s so nice to have another independent destination in The Hub and one that sources local ingredients.

Read more: The best independent alternatives to chain restaurants in MK

My favourite feature was the bar, which is incredibly well stocked and has wooden boxes of wine stacked behind it. The drinks menu is impressive, with a huge range of (good!) gins, wines and beers available. It’s on the pricier side of things, but we are in Central MK people! A glass of wine will set you back around £8.00 so if you’re making an evening of it, best choose a bottle!

The menu is what I would describe as British. If I was to liken it to a chain, it would be Brasserie Blanc (which is across the road) or Browns (also in The Hub) but with more of a fine-dining slant. The menu isn’t extensive, but there is only one vegetarian option for the starter and mains – and I’m not sure it’s vegan-friendly either. We also found the presentation of the menu slightly misleading (and incorrect) as the fish dishes were marked as vegetarian – oops!

Food-wise, we went for a starter and main each and then a shared dessert. To start, Dan opted for the cured pork (£7) which was served with heritage tomato, fig and smoked sage oil. The flavours and textures in this were great, however, we both found the tomato to dominate over the saltiness of the pork and the sweetness of the fig. Tomato chutney or preserve would have perhaps worked better here. A good starter though and beautifully presented!

I was torn between the camembert – a classic! – and the smoked haddock. Eventually, I decided on the fish as it did sound really delicious. The smoked haddock (£7) was topped with English rarebit and served with a tomato and basil salad. Again, the tomato was quite a dominating flavour but the fish itself and the rarebit were absolutely delicious. It was cooked to perfection and the rarebit was soft and salty. A unique slant on a starter but I liked it!

Now for the main event! After much deliberation, Dan decided on the rump of lamb (£17) as this came recommended to us by the waitress. This was served with a potato terrine, broccoli and port sauce. This was a truly beautiful dish – in fact, Dan said it was the best thing he had eaten in a restaurant in quite some time (and we do eat a lot!) The lamb was so tender and perfectly cooked to rare. The potato terrine melted in the mouth and provided a really nice creamy element to the dish. A very, very good plate of food that would be perfect for a Sunday lunch.

After seeing a few photos of the food at Oscar’s on social media, I knew I really wanted to try the duck breast (£18) so had pretty much made up my mind when it came to deciding. The duck was served with a potato apple cake and topped with crispy shredded beetroot with a caramelized green peppercorn sauce. I was *slightly* disappointed with this dish, especially as Dan couldn’t fault his. Some bits of the duck breast was beautifully cooked, other bits were slightly overdone. The potato and apple cake was slightly dry and I definitely felt like I needed a lot more sauce, which was rich and really tasty. The shredded beetroot on top was delicious though! It really lifted the dish. It’s quite steep at £18 a dish so I’d recommend the lamb for sure.

We shared a dessert between us, going for the classic – a sticky toffee pudding with butterscotch sauce and ice cream (£5). This was super tasty and there was plenty of sauce on the pudding. You can’t really go wrong with a sticky toffee pudding can you?

Sticky Toffee Pudding

Overall, it was a good meal at Oscar’s Restaurant & Bar. The food was well presented and really tasty, and the service was friendly and attentive. I’d definitely go back for another meal – it’s a great spot for a special occasion meal or a date night! I can also imagine it being a really good spot for after-work drinks as well as bar is very well stocked and there’s plenty of space.

I’d love to hear your thoughts if you try out Oscar’s Restaurant & Bar! Make sure you share your photos on Instagram and tag #EatandExploreMiltonKeynes.

They don’t have a website yet, so you’ll need to call to book a table. You can also find them on Facebook.

3.5 Lemon Rating

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DISCLAIMER: We received our main courses free of charge as a thank you for promoting Oscar’s during its opening month.

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