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“Democratic Fine Dining”
Review of The Oxford Kitchen

The Oxford Kitchen
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Ranked #33 of 691 Restaurants in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $9 - $67
Cuisines: European, Contemporary, British
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Restaurant details
Dining options: Late Night, Breakfast, Lunch, Private Dining, Reservations
Description: RELAXED FINE DINING IN SUMMERTOWN, OXFORD: In its short history, The Oxford Kitchen has become recognised by diners and critics as one of the most exciting food outlets in the city, with fine modern British menus built around the inspired creations of Executive Chef John Footman. The restaurant's contemporary, intimate and friendly atmosphere is ideal for sampling the range of in-house pre-dinner cocktails, made with fresh, local ingredients. Tasting, À La Carte and Set Menus, designed to surprise and delight are complemented by a carefully compiled wine list.
Reviewed July 5, 2014

First of all, The Oxford Kitchen is definitely a place I will return to. We were in Oxford only for a few hours and therefore chose this restaurant for lunch. So, we haven't had the opportunity to check out the dinner menu. However, the lunch was already very promising.

We had a starters and mains: gazpacho, bream, some lamb and some salmon. The presentation of the dishes was beautiful and very appetizing. While the gazpacho lived up to the standard of this presentation, the bream pretty much failed for me. The fish itself was delicious and well prepared - no doubt about it - but the combination of flavors from the vegetables and some sort of mandarin reduction was not very well balanced. Of course, this is a matter of taste, but I think this certainly wasn't the best way to present bream. The fruity sweetness was not the elegant, subtle company it should be, but the dominante component, overriding the taste of the fish completely.

However, the main dishes (lamb shoulder and pan fried salmon) made up for this "difference in taste". Again, beautiful presentation and this time very well balanced, but still interesting flavors. The piperade was simply brilliant.

Considering that these two dishes come at a price of only £13.50 (!) I think there is no doubt about the outstanding value of this deal. I will definitely come back for dinner one time so that the restaurant can actually earn some money on me.

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4  Thank sgerst
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviewed July 3, 2014

This is quite a find in the Summertown community of Oxford. We had the prix fixe lunch with the 2 plate meal. For starters a bream - fish - flash fried over greens. Very tasty and a wonderful combination. For main course the salmon special. Presentation was as beautiful as it was delicious. There is a lot of attention to detail here. Service was not rushed and exactly what you would expect for a restaurant of this caliber. It is on the higher end price wise but worth the cost.

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4  Thank DOT813
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 30, 2014

This is the best dining experience I have had at a restaurant in a long time. We were staying in Oxford for the weekend and I had put this on my lists of possible restaurants to go to (due to the Trip Advisor reviews) prior to us arriving in Oxford. I prefer to decide where to go and book somewhere, rather than trapsing around with too much choice and not being able to get a table where you really want to go on this ocasion I had left things to rather the last minute.

We had hoped to get a table somewhere within walking distance of where we were staying, which was the other side of the city, but when we tried to book a couple of places they were fully booked so decided that we didn't mind the taxi journey to The Oxford Kitchen, which is in Summertown. Thank god we did or I think we'd have ended up eating in a chain restaurant and would have missed out on this little gem.

The restaurant has been open for 7mths, which may explain why the had tables available on a Saturday night, we booked at 6.30pm via Open Table for a table at 8.30pm. Also, as it is further out from the city centre it isn't on the main tourist routes.

When we arrived we were told we had a table upstairs, I have worked in restaurants that have 2 dining areas and in the past have always felt that upstairs is the overflow area and that the atmosphere and service are not as good, I was concerned and asked if there were other people up there and was told there were, as we had booked so late we decided to chance it. We shouldn't have been concerned at all as the upstairs is beautifully decorated, quite contemporary with no table clothes etc and we, and the other tables, were looked after brilliantly and in no way was the service sub-standard.

We were shown to our table, which was like a private booth for 2 and given the menus (think Modern British fine dining without the pomp and circumstance) as well as the cocktail menu. I love cocktails but don't normally order them when eating but they had so many variations on classics I decided to go for a Fig Bramble (£9). Which arrived quickly and was really refreshing. The menu had loads of choice on it and I was realy struggling to pick what I wanted. Starters range from £5.50-£8.50, mains from £12.95-£28, there is also a Wagyu burger with lobster for £45 which you have to pre-order 48hrs before, sides £3-5 and desserts from £5.50-£8. You get an amuse bouche, which was Tomato consomme with tomato foam (I don't really like tomatoes but this was gorgeous and I could easily have had a whole bowl of it). Once I had finally decided I picked the Mackerel Teriyaki, fennel and apple salad and lemon puree (£7) and my partner had the Duck confit 'Bob-Bon', pickled pear and gingerbread (£8). We spent most the time oohing and aargghing over how good it was. For mains I had Roast loin and crispy belly of lamb, aubergine puree, baby fennel, smoked garlic, tomato and olive sauce (£18) with Parmesan and Truffle Skinny Fries (£5) and my partner had Dry aged rib eye steak, triple cooked chips, wild rocket, béarnaise sauce (£22). The steak was cooked to perfection and the bearnaise sauce had clearly been made fresh. My lamb was cooked beautifully pink and you could taste each of the different flavours. I normally don't go for dessert as don't have a sweet tooth and am normally too full after a starter and main but the desserts that had been taken to other tables looked amazing so thought I'd push the boat out and order one, and I had the chef special which a Chocolate Delice, with orange marshmallow and milk coffee icecream. Again this was mind blowing. The lady on the table behind us had the Trifle, poached figs, almond sponge, amaretto cream (£6.50) and enjoyed it so much she ordered another portion.

The presentation of all the dishes was exquisite and though the portions are not huge (don't read this as meaning you'll finish it in 2 mouthfuls) the flavours are so lovely that you spend time eating it slowly and savouring each element that you do end up feeling nicely full, rather than the kind of full where you wish you were wearing elasaticated trousers.

The service was superb, all the staff just seemed to be very natural and you didn't feel you were being served by a waiter/waitress just going about their job but someone who was passionate about the restaurant. I was initally put off when I was researching the place that 12.5% service is automatically added to the bill (though was pleased to see that it say this went to the staff) but this amount is perfectly justified for the service we received and had we had more cash on us we'd have left a tip on top of this. If you you're not happy paying the service then you only have to tell them.

When we paid the bill (which was £120 including the service and a £20 bottle of wine) we received a 25% discount voucher to be used for Sunday lunch in 2014, and I would happily have booked there and then to return the next day for lunch, but we already had plans. I will be coming to Oxford again (I live 1hr 40mins away) solely to dine at this place again, it really was absolutely phenomenal.

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3  Thank Adrienne T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 26, 2014

On an overnight stay in Oxford, on our way down to Wimbledon we decided to dine here. Plenty of parking behind the buildings opposite made it effortless . The place itself is stylish and not too fussy . The food was absolutely superb. right up our street. Not huge amounts but beautifully presented and sublime in flavour. If we had a restaurant this good near us in Cheshire we would never be out of the place.People of Oxford you have a gem here ,please cherish it !

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3  Thank trev1limoges
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 17, 2014

We really enjoyed the Fathers Day lunch in the Oxford Kitchen, in the Summertown area of Oxford. The staff were attentive yet not in-your-face and the food was excellent with a good variety of innovative dishes combined with Sunday roasts.

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5  Thank Mary B
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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