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“Very good” 4 of 5 bubbles
Review of Brookes Restaurant

Brookes Restaurant
Ranked #132 of 622 Restaurants in Oxford
Cuisines: British, Contemporary
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Large groups, Special occasions, Dining on a budget, Business meetings, Families with children
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Full Bar, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Didcot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
31 reviews
19 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Very good”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2014

The staff are attentive and polite, nothing is too much trouble for them. Remember that often the serving staff are training and they do a very good job.
I have been numerous times and always had very enjoyable meals - the set lunch menus and the Christmas menu in particular are very good value for essentially fine dining meals.

  • Visited April 2014
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 3 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
Thank mdf500
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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115 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    93
    19
    1
    2
    0
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Loughborough, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 32 helpful votes
“One we shall remember for a long time”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed May 24, 2014

Ignore the setting of the building, which is attached to a pretty hideous piece of what looks like 1960-70s “architecture”. Once inside, we found the welcome was warm and the dining room very attractive, with well-spaced tables. The waiting staff are from various years in a 4-year course and, in our case, were delightful and efficient.
We were a group of 4, and chose several things in common with each other, so not many different dishes to comment on. We all enjoyed our meals very much indeed. In some dishes e.g. Gloucestershire rump of lamb and salmon en croute, the quality, presentation and flavour were outstanding by any standard. The wines we had (Joel Delaunay Sauvignon Blanc, 2012, France and Le Versant Pinot Noir, 2012, France) were also good, especially the red.

  • Visited May 2014
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 4 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank Lboro
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
UK
Level Contributor
4 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 19 helpful votes
“Stale bread and 3rd year staff with poor etiquette”
2 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 20, 2014 via mobile

We had our first lunch here this Wednesday, we got there early, they were very accommodating and took us to our table right away.

Menu looked great - well described and quite 'fine dining' in description, front of house looked very clean and smelt of a floral oil diffuser. A little masking but no complaints.

We placed our order of makeral fish cake with crab bisque and crispy calamari. My partner ordered a sweet potato soup.

The crab bisque I expected was not really that (wasn't even served with a spoon) it's no lote than a couple of table spoons of sauce accompanying the makeral fish cake. The fish cake really didn't have a distinctive makeral flavour at all. And I have my own food business so I know a little about food.

We were offered "fresh" bread at the start of our meal. We opted for the wholemeal. Let me tell you, it was definitely not fresh, in fact, it was refreshed in the oven (day old bread placed back in the oven to allow it to warm and take on the texture of fresh bread - this practise is fine if done properly). Is was refreshed in a hurry, not evenly warm and cut into slices prior to refreshing - a huge no no! It was hugely dry and quite stale.

I was more disappointed with this then I was with my starter so I raised it with one of the two third year attentive waitresses that were seeing to us. She insisted it was baked fresh that day and then quickly retracted and said it may have been done the day before.
No apology but she said she would check with the kitchen. We waited for her to get back to us. She never did. We witnessed them later on bringing fresh bread out to other guests sitting either side of us but not even the common courtesy to ask us.

For mains we ordered the spinach and goats cheese lasagne which came with a side of salad and root vegetable chips.
My partner ordered a fillet if pollock which came with braised cabbage, red wine sauce and aubergine fritters. He did not want the red wine sauce and was therefore politely offered something else in its place. He chose the parsnip dauphinoise.

Our meals arrived, apart from spilling a number of my root veg chips on the floor near our table (for which there was an apology but no common courtesy in offering to bring more - perhaps our waitress was afraid to be seen making mistakes to her peers, certainly seemed that way) and messing up my partners sides (he was looking forward to the aubergines fritters, but what he received was a totally different side accompanied by the dauphinoise instead, this wasn't explained to us) there's little to report in terms of flavours.

During clearing up, one of the waitresses yet again dropped a slice of bread onto my partner. This of course was a genuine mistake and required only an apology. Which was given promptly.

Overall:
Food - was bland, no depth of flavour to anything I tasted. The menu definitely scores ten out of ten for showing willingness, but I'm afraid the food really didn't match up.
Staff - friendly, assistive, but really lacking true customer service when there's a problem. Seemed to us that they were terrified of being seen to make mistakes.

Would we go back? Definitely not anytime soon, far far better places in Oxford. However if you just want polite inexperienced staff, clean environment and mediocre food then it's a must visit place!

Helpful?
5 Thank NotesFromOurHolidays
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level Contributor
61 reviews
26 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 43 helpful votes
“Great food at an amazing price”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 25, 2013 via mobile

Been to the Brookes Restaurant a few times now and I always have a great experience. The food is consistently good & delicious with lovely service.
The cost is extremely reasonable. Will definitely be back.

Helpful?
4 Thank Rjw332
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Oxford, United Kingdom
1 review
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 1 helpful vote
“A lovley meal”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 19, 2013

This was our 2nd time eating at the Brookes restaurant and we have already booked to return for the 3rd! This is a testament to the high standard of food and service. It's the little touches which make it a great experience such as, the bread was still warm.

We chose the spicy lentil soup which was amazing and the right sized portion for a starter and the cannelloni which wasn't something we would usually choose but it was delicious. Both main courses of pheasant and steak were really nice and tender and came with good accompaniments such as roasted vegetables and mushroom butter. For the dessert the rice pudding served with deep fried chilli banana was excellent. The homemade ice creams and sorbets were really good, particularly the mandarin sorbet which was lovely and refreshing.

The waitresses were friendly and helpful and attended to all our needs. They looked well-presented and dressed smartly which adds to the atmosphere of the restaurant. Overall an enjoyable lunch and looking forward to our return.

  • Visited November 2013
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Value
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Atmosphere
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Service
    • 5 of 5 bubbles
      Food
Helpful?
1 Thank ggoodgame
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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