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The Oxford Kitchen

7 Apr

215 BanbOxKitchenury Road
Oxford OX2 7HQ
Phone: 01865 511 149 or

Since the demise of The Lemon Tree, Oxford has sorely missed a restaurant that can be remotely called ‘fine dining’. We have plenty of great restaurants, but nothing that really fits into this ‘elite’ category. The Oxford Kitchen seems to fit the bill. I have only been once (4 April), but was mighty impressed by everything. The food was exactly that, fine dining. I had duck bonbon as a starter and a main of ox cheeks. My husband opted for crab starter and a surf & turf wagyu burger & lobster tail. Yum! On top of that we were offered a small appetizer of chicken duck liver on the house. Everything was sensational and looked as pretty as it tasted. The staff were great. I can’t wait to go back!

Menu Highlights: Still testing it out – and so far everything has been excellent. Can’t wait to taste more, so watch this space. It ain’t cheap, though….


Update : This place is now a Michelin star holder as of 2018. Knew we loved it for a reason!


The Black Boy

31 Mar


Address: 91 Old High St, Headington, Oxford OX3 9HT
Phone:01865 741137


Located in the heart of gorgeous Old Headington, this is a gastro pub with a great reputation (lots of rave reviews from the likes of Jay Rayner (The Observer), The Guardian etc). We’ve been several times and have always walked away happy. Our most recent visit was Mother’s Day lunch yesterday and it didn’t disappoint. Even with fussy eaters (one in our party is), there’s always something for everyone. The prices are mid-range of what you’d expect. Not cheap, but not over the top either. The quality is good/great.

I guess my only question is the ‘seasonality’ aspect of it. There’s a lovely broad bean/crayfish risotto on the menu, and in March, these are definitely not in season. Seasonality being a big buzz word at the moment could be a bit of a let down. But that’s it really. Everything else is very good indeed!

Menu highlights: Strangely enough I haven’t picked out any favourites at this place. I tend to ask what’s on the specials board and/or follow recommendations from the staff. My husband had their Moules Mariniere yesterday and raved about it. His scallop starter was exceptionally good as well. My sister really enjoyed their roast beef lunch and said it’s the best she’s had out ever (high praise indeed!).


La Cucina

22 Mar

cucina40 St Clement’s St, Oxford OX4 1AB
01865 793811

OK, I’m going to go out on a limb here. I’m a real foody and I can’t think of anything I enjoy more than going out for a meal. I am also a keen home cook and Italian is probably where my general inclination lies (split with Thai, possibly). BUT if I had to pick my absolute favourite restaurant in Oxford, it has to be La Cucina. We absolutely love going to this place. Their food is always amazing. Whenever possible I tend to go for one of the specials because they’re usually sensational.

Menu Highlights: Apart from the specials: duck pappardelle (yum!) and my hubby really loves how well they cook the steaks to order (he’s medium/rare).

Tip: Make sure to book in advance as it’s reasonably small – particularly weekends. Request the back of the restaurant. You will feel you’re almost part of the kitchen. Quite cool.


22 Mar


152 Oxford Rd, Oxford OX4 2EA
01865 777402

Oxford has an abundance of amazing curry houses, but I have to say this is my favourite. Karma offers all the ‘normal’ curry dishes that you would expect, but the highlights are really their chef/house specials.

The best thing about this place, though, is the staff/customer interaction. In some places serving staff are either ignorant, disinterested or told not to recommend a dish. Not at Karma. I brought my family from northern Sweden (among which my 10 and 12 year old nieces), and asked them for a great way to introduce them to curries, as there weren’t really used to spice or heat of any kind. They were brilliant. They served a mix of spice degrees and flavours + took the time to explain the dishes too. My family walked away loving this style of food.

Fortunately for us it’s around the corner from our house and, in my opinion, there is no curry house even being close to this one!

Menu highlights: Me: Murgh Xacuti (chicken, medium/hot). Hubby: Goa Maachli Curry (medium, fish)

Cote Brasserie

21 Mar


A French bistro style restaurant chain. Went to the one in Brighton a couple of years ago and was really happy to see the Oxford branch opening up in late 2012. It’s a very popular restaurant even on weekdays. This is partly due to its location on George street next to the theatres, so pre-theatre is particularly busy. But it’s also because the food is really good! Their Plats Rapide are extremely good value and perfect if you’re in a bit of a hurry. Their specials are usually very good as well.

Menu highlights: Seafood Linguine, Roast Duck Breast + any exciting item on the specials menu…

Pierre Victoire

21 Mar
PVAddress: 9 Little Clarendon St, Jericho, Oxford OX1 2HP
Phone:01865 316616
Last visit: 16 March 2014

This restaurant is ALWAYS busy. It’s situated down ‘little trendy street’ just as St Giles meets Jericho and is popular with people of all ages. This is my husband’s favourite restaurant, so whenever given the choice, this is where we’re heading. It’s crowded, busy, (sometimes) loud and very atmospheric. The staff tends to be all French and always extremely friendly. The food is very typically French and rarely strays from that. Their set menu lunches on Sundays are a real bargain!Vegetarians may struggle…

Menu Highlights: Moules Mariniere (my husband’s fave – swears he has never tasted any better than here!), rabbit and confit duck.