We came to Oxford, living nearby in cheltenham for a change of scenery, and are quite knowledgeable in the gastro world, so thought we'd give this a try based on its ranking on here (and the fact all the other top ranking places are Indians!!)
The restaurant itself is quaint and lovely, however if you are on the ground floor, wear layers, as its freezing when the door opens and shuts! This obviously doesn't matter depending on the time of year.
Waiters were friendly and attentive - no fault here.
Starters we had salmon and crab parcels, was okay, lacked seasoning and the crab meat was almost definitely tinned. I had the swordfish, which again was okay, not seasoned and definitely left me underwhelmed.
Mains, my wife had the seabass which was fine. The risotto accompanying the dish was destroyed. The texture was like rice pudding where the rice had boiled away to nothing. Was like a bland watery muck. I'm not one to complain, but as a chef, or even at home, I would never send something out like that!!! I mentioned it to the waitress, who agreed it was dire, and apologised after asking the chef. He agreed too.
I had the pork with plum and apple jus. Again was dry, unseasoned and just standard food. Mash was cold and tasteless.
Puddings, sticky toffee pudding was okay, and the ice cream was very nice. My wife had the poached pear in mulled wine. With mulled wine, you would expect it to be warm. It wasn't. It was cold, intentionally, which was a bit strange. Tasted okay, but just weird with it being cold. The chantilly cream was over whisked so tasted like butter.
We did have an okay time. Saved by the building itself and the good waiting staff - they did take the puddings off the bill, and offered free coffees and a digestive liqueur. But we refused.
£50 for it all wasn't too bad though in the end. Just average.
Really don't like moaning for the sake of it (as per other reviews) but just always want to give an impartial opinion. The food simply isn't as good as it should be.
I find it crazy that here is the 5th best restaurant on here in oxford, and all the others are Indians/chineses. Seems like a little niche here for someone to take hold of in oxford!
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