Oaka Group to make London debut with real ale and pan-Asian dining pub

By Peter Ruddick

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Beer, Public house, Alcoholic beverage

Real ale and pan-Asian dining pub Oaka at The Mansion House will launch in Kennington next month
Real ale and pan-Asian dining pub Oaka at The Mansion House will launch in Kennington next month
The Oaka Group, which operates four hospitality businesses in Peterborough and Birmingham, is to open its first site in London - a pub and restaurant combining real ale from Oakham Ales and pan-Asian cuisine. 

Oaka at The Mansion House will launch on Wednesday 6 March in Kennington, south London. It will be the first of several planned venues in the capital for the group led by the husband and wife team of Paul Hook and Patcharee Shaweewan who founded the company in 2008.

Hook also runs Peterborough-based brewery Oakham Ales which will be supplying several of its 'hand-crafted' real ales to be served alongside dishes from countries including Thailand, Japan, Malaysia and China.

Oaka

Speaking to BigHospitality, Shaweewan said the 160-cover site marked the culmination of a long-held plan to operate in London after the couple spent time searching for the right freehold to acquire.

"In 2006, we started to think about bringing Oakham Ales beer into London," she said "We were looking for pubs and restaurants for a while until we found this one. We like to buy freehold property and to develop it.

"The Mansion House is a very handsome building. We would love to open another one, we would like to have the same concept duplicated elsewhere in different parts of London - that is in the future," she added.

Hook and Shaweewan first met in 1998 when the brewer was opening The Brewery Tap pub in Peterborough and, keen to serve Thai food, brought the restaurateur on board.

The pair then collaborated on Charters and East, a pub and restaurant on a barge near Town Bridge, also in Peterborough. They also run The Bartons Arms in Birmingham.

Ale matching

The menu at Oaka at The Mansion House will be designed to recreate the balance of craft ale with pan-Asian dishes which the group is now known for. "A lot of old-fashioned real ale is sticky, a lot of our beer is fresh and vibrant," Shaweewan said.

"Gap glam is a Thai phrase meaning beer food - you would generally have it with beer and alcoholic drinks - it is light with varied flavours. It complements the beer and the beer complements the food."

The menu has been developed with Thai head chef Siam Pukaokeaw and includes fried slices of air-dried beef marinated in palm sugar and coriander, Thai curries and black cod marinated for three days in miso before being grilled and wrapped in hoba leaf.

"In time, I think it will become a destination restaurant," Shaweewan explained. "I hope that our food will be very special and people will come from some distance. We want it to feel comfortable so anyone can just pop in - like a pub," she concluded.

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