Oxford is poorly served by restaurants. Not sure why. Perhaps the clientele are dining instead behind college walls, where they can bore each other to death about their latest 'paper' over half-cooked chicken thighs and cheap port?
My Sichuan is big - three rooms, full of large round tables. It's also often full of young Chinese people, busily eating, drinking, shouting, laughing. It is lively, funny, human, generous, inviting - completely unlike Oxford in fact.
Portions are big and good value. This variety of Chinese cuisine is spicy but nothing we've had has been unbearably hot. The chillis in 'pock marked ma's beancurd', for example, were fragrant rather than fiery. Although nothing here is bland. Broccoli and garlic had lots of garlic. Pickled cucumbers are nicely pickled. Lemon chicken is very lemony. Deep fried sweet corn is both sweet and ... corny.
The menu is vast so you'd spend a lifetime working through it. A degree of experimentation and risk-taking is required as the pictures on the menu aren't always clear and the English fluency of the staff is variable.
This restaurant is worth making a special journey to Oxford for - I can't think of another restaurant in the city you can say that about.
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