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“A first class Sunday Lunch” 4 of 5 stars
Review of The Black Boy

The Black Boy
91 Old High Street, Headington | OX3 9HT, Oxford, England
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Ranked #103 of 498 Restaurants in Oxford
Cuisines: Contemporary, British
Dining options: Reservations
Restaurant details
Dining options: Reservations
5 reviews 5 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“A first class Sunday Lunch”
4 of 5 stars Reviewed October 28, 2012

Given some of the recent reviews for The Black Boy on Tripadvisor, we wondered what sort of experence to expect. We booked online and arrived 10 minutes early, to be received by an extremely friendly member of staff, who showed us to our table and asked for drinks orders. He explained that the daily menu changed regularly (daily perhaps?!) and we ordered from that. My tomato and basil soup was tasty and hot, served with lovely fresh bread and my wife's lobster tail and broad bean rissotto was descriped as "excellent". Our roast beef, with yorkshire pudding and crisp, nicely cooked veg was scrummy - 3 thick slices of beef, cooked pink but not bloody. We shared a chocolate brownie served with a delicate mint ice cream, which was scrummy too.

Good choice of wine, plenty of choices by the glass; fresh bread plus tap water quickly offered; excellent service from all 3 members of staff; not too expensive (good value in fact) and a pleasent ambiance will ensure we return.

Visited October 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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147 reviews from our community

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Rating summary
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • French first
  • Any
English first
Oxford, United Kingdom
Senior Reviewer
6 reviews 6 reviews
Reviews in 5 cities Reviews in 5 cities
10 helpful votes 10 helpful votes
“Black day at the Black Boy”
1 of 5 stars Reviewed October 25, 2012

My children, both students, treated me to a birthday meal at the Black Boy, Headington.
After reading some good reviews and hearing on the local radio that chef Raymond Blanc recommended it I persuaded them to try this restaurant rather than our favourite Jericho, Oxford restaurant where top quality food and excellent service are guaranteed.
I ordered the fish and chips, my diet forgotten for the day!
There was some confusion among the staff whether they were serving cod or haddock and that was the start of a very disappointing meal.
Anyone liking McDonald's type chips pretentiously placed upright in a small pot and a piece of tasteless fish covered in soggy uncooked batter would have been very pleased.
The prices being charged at this restaurant led me to expect a good quality meal.The only plus was the pea purée which was very tasty. The staff could have gone some way to making amends if they had asked if we had enjoyed the meal instead of hurriedly taking away platefuls of soggy chips and questionable fish with the underside of the batter uncooked.
Small portions and definitely over priced.
This was one experience I will not be repeating any time soon.

  • Visited September 2012
    • 1 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 1 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Cambridge, United Kingdom
3 reviews 3 reviews
Reviews in 3 cities Reviews in 3 cities
5 helpful votes 5 helpful votes
“Promising start, disappointing end”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed October 16, 2012

We just had our second meal at The Black Boy - we live locally and were glad to find what seems like a good restaurant around the corner (first meal there would have got 4*). We were impressed to see two vegetarian main meals on the specials menu, the crayfish risotto starter was delicious and the service seemed friendly at first. We bought a reasonable bottle of good red wine. The main courses were mixed, however: the mushroom lasagne (from the specials menu) was tasty and rich, but the polenta (from the regular menu) was extremely disappointing. Dry, bland and lacking in ingredients advertised on the menu (crispy sage). Worse, our table was poorly placed in the corner and we sat with our finished plates in front of us for what seemed a very long time as all the tables around us were attended to (not a particularly busy evening). When the plates were eventually cleared, we were not asked how the meal was - we were now being served by the main patron rather than the initially friendly waitress. He brought the bill and card reader and barely made eye contact as he waited for us to pay. Frosty service at best. We would probably give this experience 2* but have increased our rating because of our first meal. We might give this place another chance as the options in Headington seem rather limited!

  • Visited October 2012
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 4 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 2 of 5 stars Service
    • 3 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 3
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Glasgow, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
39 reviews 39 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 16 cities Reviews in 16 cities
38 helpful votes 38 helpful votes
“Not worth the money.”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 29, 2012

Limited menu, especially when on a tight NHS budget! Staff were ok. Nice location and enjoyed the walk through Headington on a late summer evening.

Visited September 2012
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This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
A W, Owner at The Black Boy, responded to this review, October 19, 2012
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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Banbury, United Kingdom
Senior Contributor
47 reviews 47 reviews
32 restaurant reviews
Reviews in 25 cities Reviews in 25 cities
23 helpful votes 23 helpful votes
“Mixed experiences - rude to indifferent service”
3 of 5 stars Reviewed September 18, 2012

We ate here as a couple late last year and then I joined a larger party for a meal in the spring. The first time I was offended enough to say I'd never darken their door, but as the second occasion was arranged by a friend and not at a venue of my choosing I went along and had a very enjoyable evening. First I should say that the venue is a tricky one - the parking in front of the pub is very limited and you will get a ticket if you park anywhere in the residents areas. Inside the decor is elegantly boutique restaurant, but the layout is a problem. A small and comfortable lounge after the entrance works well, for pre-dinner drinks, but is on the thoroughfare to the gents and quickly gets crowded if two tables are waiting to be seated. The main restaurant room is also a bar so gets quite a bit of 'traffic' standing next to the dining tables. Service to begin with was friendly and efficient, both times and the landlord is cheerful and helpful. On the first occasion, we sat in the further part of the pub beyond the bar, which is better for couples who want to be in a quieter area. However, whilst we were still eating our desserts a waitress started rearranging all of the tables and chairs, dragging them noisily across the floor to create one large table, clearing all the tablecloths and candles and making it clear that she was waiting for our table to be able to finish the job! We complained immediately and she replied that she had to do this now as her shift was finishing - with no apology! We escalated to the manager and he was still less than apologetic, even though the whole atmosphere of the evening had been ruined for us. He simply offered to move us to another table and we received no discount off the bill - though we should have received a free meal for the insult!
My second visit in a group was far more successful and I have decided to give them one more chance and will book again as a couple. Watch this space.

  • Visited October 2011
    • 3 of 5 stars Value
    • 2 of 5 stars Atmosphere
    • 1 of 5 stars Service
    • 4 of 5 stars Food
Was this review helpful? Yes 4
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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