Restaurant review

Restaurant Review: The Victoria, Oxshott

Published:
21:51 January 24, 2022



When we learned that two former pupils of Heston Blumenthal had taken over a village pub in Surrey, restaurant critic Matthew Williams was eager to stop by Oxshott to find out why everyone is talking about the Victoria.

Pictures: lateef.photography

must know
Victoria
High Street, Oxshott KT22 0JR
Tel: 01372 238308
The Web: thevictoriaoxshott.com

what we ate
Starters
Sourdough bread, £5
Crispy pig’s head, £9
Mushroom parfait, £11

Sector
Seared halibut, £26
Entrecôte aged in a salt chamber, £39

Desserts
Sticky Caramel Pudding, £7
Cheese from Neal’s Yard Dairy, £14

Drinks
Gusbourne, Brut Reserve, England, 2016, £9 a glass
Fiano, Lunate, Casa Vinicola Botter, Sicily, Italy, 2019, £5 a glass
Pinot Noir, Domaine Besson, Givry ‘Le Haut Colombier’ Burgundy, France, 2019, £14 a glass


Matt Larcombe and Simon King met while working for Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck Group
– Credit: lateef.photography

The article
As village pubs, the Victoria in Oxshott has been given the royal treatment in recent years.
After being fully refurbished by The White Brasserie Company in 2016, it’s in new hands again – and the latest chapter is led by COO Simon King and Chief Executive Matt Larcombe, who met while they worked for Heston Blumenthal’s The Fat Duck Group.
For many Oxshott is just the blink of an eye and you’ll miss the parade of shops on the A244 that connects Leatherhead to Esher (or a mysterious maze of mansions and private roads filled with sports stars, musicians and high thieves in search of intimacy).
And yet, a very evident community also exists in the village, as evidenced by the notable success of Surrey Hills Butchers, Surrey Hills Delicatessen, Clay Hair Salon and others.

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It is this world of elevated community that The Victoria hopes to seamlessly engage with. Their raison d’être is to take a “humble pub to glorious new heights with expert passion”.
I was intrigued to say the least, perhaps influenced by the name of this mad professor of British culinary arts, but also by the quality marks on the menu and the obvious craftsmanship behind their dishes.
Despite being an establishment aiming for the top of Surrey’s ‘pub’ market – from stylish interiors to the heavy end of the wine list – they were quick to establish themselves as a dining destination regular rather than as food providers. witchcraft.
And, when you arrive to open fires and a bar stocked with a range of real ales (although there’s also an impressive list of cocktails to remind you that this isn’t an old village pub), one feels like they have done a great job of bottling warmth and hospitality.
A glass of sparkling wine from Gusbourne, which has vineyards in Kent and West Sussex, and fresh bread from Gwyn’s Bakery in Horsham which perfectly balances the crispy crust with the floating crumb quickly presents the best of Britain in a spectacular style.
The menu is short and I suspect they will add a couple more twists in the coming months as it seems like a steakhouse heavy. It’s always hard to choose from a list that just screams “quality ingredients”.
My crispy pig’s head is served with piccalilli, carrots and cucumbers that blast like the horn section before settling into an effortless groove of nose-to-tail perfection.

READ MORE: 5 great riverside walks in Surrey


Mushroom parfait

Mushroom parfait
– Credit: lateef.photography

My wife, Sylviane, opts for the mushroom parfait, sweet and sour onions with brioche – a light and delicately balanced entrée that unfolds by the bite, I am told.
For the main course, Sylviane chooses pan-fried halibut with mussels from St Austell Bay, parsley and potatoes with seaweed butter. It is a rich dish that shows the care and attention this cuisine lavishes on top quality ingredients.


Seared Halibut

Seared Halibut
– Credit: lateef.photography

I love the sirloin aged in a salt chamber with roasted onions, cooked triple fries and bordelaise sauce. I had planned to choose something more adventurous, but having spent some time reflecting on Salt Bae’s puzzling adventures in London earlier today, the steak seems like a pretty good test – and at £39 for the fake -net, he has nowhere to hide.


Steak and fries à la Victoria

Steak and fries à la Victoria
– Credit: lateef.photography

Everything is superb but I have to reserve special praise for these crisps. There’s dark arts going on that no other triple baked fry I’ve ever eaten has replicated. Sorry, where was I…

READ MORE: 5 walks to do in Surrey this winter


Sticky Caramel Pudding

Sticky Caramel Pudding
– Credit: lateef.photography

Finally, a humble must-have: sticky caramel pudding with salted caramel sauce and vanilla ice cream. It ticks all the boxes for your humble correspondent.
Why we review it: Quality ingredients expertly cooked and served by passionate staff in a cozy yet stylish village pub restaurant.


wine and cheese

wine and cheese
– Credit: lateef.photography