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“Slow service despite being empty”
Review of The High Table Brasserie & Bar - CLOSED

The High Table Brasserie & Bar
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions, Business meetings, Romantic
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Description: Welcome to The High Table, Oxford’s undiscovered tranquil lounge bar and restaurant. Formally Merton’s bar, it has been transformed and modernised into a stylish and comfortable restaurant and lounge with access from the High Street and Mecure Eastgate Townhouse. Themed with great authors in mind the lounge bar offers competitively priced choice of wines by the glass, a great selection of mixed drinks and single malts and an even better selection of classic cocktails. Ideal for that well earned drink after work. Whether it’s a romantic meal for two, a family gathering or a large party our restaurant suits all. Enjoy dishes such as traditional haddock and chips, homemade soup or check the skill in the kitchen and order from our A La Carte Menu.
Reviewed January 17, 2013

This restaurant was virtually empty when I went, and my friends who have been tell me the same. Despite this, the service is remarkably slow - I waited 45 minutes for my order. The food itself was OK, but nothing special.

I would certainly recommend going elsewhere.

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Thank Laurelin_23
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerOxford, Manager at The High Table Brasserie & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded January 28, 2013

Dear Laurenlin_23,

Thank you for your feedback. At the time of your visit in October 2012, we were experiencing operational problems. They have now been rectified by the employment of a new kitchen and restaurant team. We have also introduced a new a la carte menu and have had excellent feedback from our other guests.
I hope despite your experience in October 2012, we would be able to welcome you back to the High Table Restaurant in the near future.

Kind Regards,

Karin Snoek
Deputy Manager

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviews (106)
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52 - 56 of 106 reviews

Reviewed December 16, 2012 via mobile

Went here on Friday night for our work christmas do & had the Christmas set menu. We had a fantastic time, the hosting was excellent they were so accomodating & absolutely nothing was too much trouble. We were given the private dining table which was lovely and the food was outstanding, we were extremely impressed by the standard & attention to detail. Overall we felt really well looked after and had a wonderful time. I would strongly recommemd this place to anyone!

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Thank Jessieshake85
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerOxford, Manager at The High Table Brasserie & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear Jessieshake85,

Thank you for posting such a positive review of your Dinner with us. I will be delighted to share your positive feedback with the team. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon at the High Table Restaurant.

Kind Regards,
Karin Snoek
Deputy Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 12, 2012

Had a very good meal here, eating with a large party. The presentation and imagination with the menu were very impressive. Each was built upon 2 or three other items that were interesting and creative in the way they were constructed. My venison was served with a smoking cinnamon stick which has to be the most unique thing I’ve ever seen in a restaurant. Meal ended with a strudel that wasn’t really a strudel but it was delicious nonetheless. Service was good, the private room were seated in was nice.

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1  Thank Scott M
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerOxford, Manager at The High Table Brasserie & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear Scott Mr,

Thank you for posting such a positive review of your Dinner with us. I will be delighted to share your positive feedback with the team. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon at the High Table Restaurant.

Kind Regards,
Karin Snoek
Deputy Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed November 2, 2012

We tried to get into another restaurant in Oxford for saturday lunch but there was a 25 minute wait for a table so we gave up. I remembered the High Table and so we gave it a try.
Very good value set menu and the service was polite and efficient. Not massive portions, but still very good value.
Also as it is quieter than a lot of other restaurants, at least you can have a good conversation over lunch. I will be back....

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Thank SFWOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
ManagerOxford, Manager at The High Table Brasserie & Bar, responded to this reviewResponded January 5, 2013

Dear SFWOxford,

Thank you for posting such a positive review of your Lunch with us. I will be delighted to share your positive feedback with the team. We look forward to welcoming you back very soon at the High Table Restaurant.

Kind Regards,
Karin Snoek
Deputy Manager

Report response as inappropriate
This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed October 6, 2012

Bit of a mixed bag really. Having been twice for lunch in the last couple of months I was rather surprised at the difference in the experiences.

First time around me and my companion ordered from their well-priced set lunch menu (around £10 if I remember correctly) and I enjoyed a huge portion of very good, salty whitebait. He ordered the terrine which also looked generous in size and very appealing and we both opted for the smoked haddock as our main course which was traditionally served with a perfectly poached egg, spinach and some potatoes. We very much enjoyed it and actually compared it favourably to our usual choice on the High.

Second time around, sadly, was not so great. We were a party of six and, two of us having Taste Cards, had forewarned them that we would be taking advantage of the 50% off of our food deal. This quite rightly meant that we were unable to order from their set lunch menu, so I don’t know if they are still offering this or not.

What immediately struck everyone in the group was that their menu is really quite limited with about four or five choices for each course. This wouldn’t really matter if everything appealed but sadly, it just didn’t strike the right chord for the majority. Soup of the day was potato and leek, which apart from being a little boring, actually looked delicious from my side of the table. The crispy baby squid to my right looked plentiful in portion but was served with a rather odd orange sauce all over it which I’m sure must have detracted from the ‘crispy’ side of things…

The men in the group both ordered the tortellini which looked fab and appeared to go down a treat and, along with the final person in our group, I ordered the potted smoked mackerel. It arrived, rather disconcertingly, under a layer of crème fraîche, which wasn’t really a problem, though I had expected it to be on the side (I’m not a big fan of anything creamy so this would be very much each to their own…) and while the mackerel underneath was very good it was impossible to reach without digging through a substantial amount of creamy goo. Having said that, it was plentiful and well beyond my limits for a starter, which delighted some of the group who polished off what I was unable to finish.

Main courses were more disappointing than the starters. We had two fish of the day (Rainbow Trout), one steak, one duck, one pork and I chose the baked hake rarebit. I always think it’s quite mean when restaurants choose not to offer any substantial sides with a main course, forcing you to buy them, which was the case here. My colleague had to order chips to go with her steak which, priced at £17ish for the steak, was not cheap to begin with. Everyone else made do with what they were given, but it was a pretty poor offering and those of us who had chosen fish dishes simply had a small amount of veg (in my case) or a salad which came with the fish of the day.

I wasn’t overly impressed with my hake feeling that a proper rarebit dish should have a bite to it (Worcestershire sauce and mustard being key factors) and the decision to accompany it with a basil pesto wasn’t a good one. It left it feeling very much like a plain piece of fish with a slice of cheese on top which isn’t quite what I’d had in mind.

The duck to my left looked very well cooked but unfortunately, my colleague didn’t receive her steak as rare as she had requested. The chips looked quite bizarre, almost as big as roast potatoes, but there was no complaint made and I can only assume they tasted better than they looked. To my right, the pork arrived with rather flaccid shavings of ‘crackling’ which not only looked horrid but were also described as tasting ‘like eating pork fat’ which isn’t really the point of crackling.

I am fortunate to work with people who adore cheese as much as I do, so, with the exception of one, the majority of us decided to opt for cheese for desert! We decided to share two small boards which I think cost about £6 each and included a selection of five cheeses. I remember that the menu said ‘a choice of five…’ but we were just presented with a board which was fine, but not technically correct.

The cheese was okay, if dull. I suppose the most interesting thing on the board was a Manchego, which you don’t often see, and I did like the fact that they served it with quince. I’ve no idea what my colleague’s desert was like (or indeed what she ordered); I was busy with the cheese. We lingered over coffee and digestifs and along with several bottles of wine the bill came to around £210.

For six this would be remarkable but it is worth remembering that all of our food was half price. I suppose that really sums up my opinion of the High Table: the food is alright but I might describe it as good if it were half the price it is.

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Thank DoctorMukti
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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