In the DIY steaks, The Oaks is a keeper

Scott Bolles
Meeting place: The Oaks, Neutral Bay.
Meeting place: The Oaks, Neutral Bay. Photo: Janie Barrett

Landmark Neutral Bay pub The Oaks will unveil the first stage of a $4 million facelift by designer Paul Kelly early next month, but the alarming rumour doing the rounds of the lower north shore is it will also ditch the cook-your-own steak, a signature of the pub since 1975.

Already on the endangered species list of Sydney eating, the DIY steak is surely a dish for the times. It trims kitchen costs, and overcooked steaks aren't going to be sent back to the kitchen.

Well, relax, DIYers: The Oaks will take a bet each way. A pub spokesman confirmed customers will still be able to cook their own steaks in the beer garden but will also have the option ''for the first time'' of having it cooked by the hotel's kitchen. Kelly's design includes a ''meatorium'' - an ode to steak, whereby customers will select their favourite cut.

And the news only gets better for the rest of the food. Innovative chef Danny Russo is working on a new collaborative menu with Oaks chef Denise Brinson.