Oakwood’s location on the east side of Jiaogong road between Wensan and Tianmushan roads sports two different restaurants: one of Chinese and one of western style, each with an adjoining bar. In our western-style Oakleaf restaurant, we were more than relaxed in their large sofas in a setting that was more of a semi-private lounge than a restaurant. Our gracious service manager Allen assured us that theirs is the only whiskey and international beer bar in a hotel and that their aim is to provide a service above any other restaurant (as they are in the hotel business). They really hit their mark.
“Easily the best T-bone steak I’ve had in Hangzhou!” was the unanimous uttering from everyone at the table after lovingly masticating on char-grilled 348RMB Australian beef. The Garden Salad (58RMB) was presented like an arranged floral fountain, and we were a bit unsure how to tackle it, but hunger took over. It is indeed rare to come by a red-leaf lettuce vegetable salad with olive oil in these parts. An International Cheese Plate of Edam, Gouda and Camembert with delicious olives and nuts was the table’s delight at 108RMB and would easily pair with their wide selection of wines. But, we stuck with whiskey and beer, both decently priced: a Chimay Blue for only 55RMB, and Samuel Smiths’ Stouts and IPA and Chocolate for only 75RMB. For a 5-Star Hotel you wouldn’t expect their whiskeys to be matching prices with the whiskey bars in town but they do! We all enjoyed Glenmorangie for only 55RMB a glass. The 78RMB Oakwood Beef Burger was unlike any I’ve ever had. If beef jerky were a burger, this would be it; it’s not a greasy hunk of meat but a crisp patty packed full of flavor with avocado and bacon to accompany it. However, it was the Spaghetti Bolognese andBeef Stroganoff of Fettuccini and a Russian Beef Stew that really gave us the flavor of the kitchen. There were no exaggerated flares or spices. After finishing our feast, the international table (representing four different countries) all agreed that it is your mother’s cooking thatbrings you back home, so we shall return for the whiskey and steak but above all the home cooking flavors.
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