Tag Archives: Kernel Beer

Back to the revamped Oxymoron at the Royal Oak for food by Marcello

When we first wrote about The Royal Oak on Fitzalan Street, it was Kennington’s mystery pub. Now its mysteries have mostly been revealed, but it remains a magical place, with decor and atmosphere quite unlike any other pub we’ve been to.

Oxymoron at Royal Oak, Fitzalan Street exterior - kenningtonrunoff.com

Marcello is their new Italian chef and since his arrival the pub feels less like a squat and more like the finished article. It’s still highly eccentric, with resident pets and children, and the landlord William temporarily unable to serve because he’s fixing someone’s bike or showing off fossils he has found on the banks of the Thames, but you no longer feel like the flooboards are about to collapse beneath your feet.

Oxymoron at Royal Oak interior - kenningtonrunoff.com.

There’s a lovely beer garden which catches the evening sun:

plants in the garden of Oxymoron at Royal Oak - kenningtonrunoff.com.

If these stacks of animals were at Newport Street Gallery they’d be selling for millions:

Towers of animals at Oxymoron at Royal Oak - kenningtonrunoff.com.

The Dundee Cake is not on the menu sadly, but the wildly diverse clientele did include a large contingent from Dundee, plus some twenty and thirty something hipsters, pillars of the community like the Earl of Bedlam and the queen of the Ragged Canteen, and a few stalwarts who’ve been drinking there for decades.

Oxymoron at the Royal Oak display case - kenningtonrunoff.com

So what is on the menu? They serve food on Fridays, which is burger night with veggie and vegan options, Saturdays, which is fresh pasta night, and Sundays, when we went along. The food has a homemade vibe, with lots of flavour and lots of salt (like the pub and their fliers, come to think of it). They also serve sizeable, slow cooked meat and veggie brunches on weekends from 10am-3pm.

The Oxymoron flier

Starters cost £4. We went for some moist and salty fried courgettes with polenta chips:

Fried courgettes, polenta chips at Oxymoron at Royal Oak - kenningtonrunoff.com.

Mains are £8.45. There were only two options so we had one of each. Chicken breast wrapped in parma ham served with taleggio fondue and braised fennel was creamy and indulgent. And this was a hearty risotto of radicchio & balsamic vinegar, with mature cheddar grated on top:

Risotto - radicchio & balsamic vinegar, with mature cheddar at Oxymoron at Royal Oak - kenningtonrunoff.com.

They have an uninspiring selection of beers on tap including Meantime Pale Ale, but we’ll forgive them as they make a point of serving our favourite Kernel by the bottle.

this is an old photo of the bar, which looks about 10% less chaotic now

this is an old photo of the bar, which looks about 10% less chaotic now

There is so much going on in this pub we almost forgot there was a jazz/blues guitarist playing live. Before the guitarist came on, the music choices included Decades by Joy Division (one of the darkest pieces of music you’ll ever hear, requested by one of the Dundee contingent), and Topknot by Cornershop, which William informed us featured M.I.A. before she was famous, or as he called her in the manner of an old friend, Maya.

As you can probably tell by now Oxymoron is not your average pub, and it might just be our favourite.

Address: 78 Fitzalan St, London SE11 6QU
Phone: 07515 878976

Kernel beer now available at your place

We love Kernel beer. It has only been around since 2009 but it has pretty much revolutionised London’s brewing scene in that time, inspiring other new breweries along the way. They mostly make pale ale, using different hops each week. And the beautifully designed label on each bottle names the hops contained within. So Kernel geeks like us end up buying the beer all year round just to find out how the Centennial hop tastes when combined with the Amarillo – very good by the way.

Kernel Beer - kenningtonrunoff.com

Check out their domination of Ratebeer’s list of the best beers brewed in England. You haven’t tried pale ale until you’ve tried Kernel.

Until recently, the only place you could buy Kernel in Kennington was Italo Deli, but now Hubbub (another of our favourite companies) have added Kernel as one of their shops. Hubbub is a food and drink delivery service like Ocado, but instead of getting all their products from supermarket warehouses, they get them from your local shops. So you can get your Kernel straight from the brewery in the same delivery as some cavolo nero from Ted’s Veg in Borough Market, some comté from Franklin’s Farm Shop in Dulwich, and some general smugness from L’Emporio Fine Foods.

Or, if you a fancy a Saturday morning excursion out of Kennington, you can visit the Kernel Brewery under a railway arch in nearby Bermondsey every Saturday from 9am to 2pm, and sample their latest brews on bierkeller-style seating. Grab a waffle from Waffle On at Maltby Street Market on your way home.

n.b. We have not been compensated for this post but we would like it to be known that we would basically do anything for a crate of Kernel – even be nice about Clapham.