After a recommendation from a chef friend, on a recent weekend down in Oxford to celebrate a friends wedding we booked a meal at The Oxford Kitchen for the night before. After a lovely walk around the town centre and the colleges we made our way about a mile or so out of the centre to Summertown. We were surprised to find the restaurant not that busy for a Friday night, so I hope that was just because it was bang in the middle of the summer holidays because food that good, as we were to find out, deserves to be full every single night. The kitchen is headed up by Executive Chef John Footman and Head Chef Gerd Greaves.
Our service was top notch throughout, including a nice and unnecessary touch of them offering us a free glass of wine whilst waiting for our taxi home as it was taking a long time, through no fault of their own. Little gestures like this really make an evening.
I started with a lovely fresh unusual cocktail called Basil Me Up whilst Lee started on our bottle of red, which was pretty reasonably priced.
There was the choice of a small tasting menu or the A La Carte, we went for the latter. Some very good quality bread started us off with some salted whipped butter.
I was excited by the choice of starters, and could have eaten them all, but chose the Cornish Crab, Pink Grapefruit Curd, Coriander Cured Tuna. This was a heavenly start to the meal, with two of my favourite fish. The flavours were so delicate and the citrus cut across the creamy crab so well. Lee went for something equally as delicious sounding, the Textures of Duck, Pickled Nectarines, Almonds. An unusual combination that I hadn’t seen before. The confit shredded duck in a butter sphere wasn’t the prettiest element I’ve seen on a dish but Lee tells me the flavours were fantastic, particularly the duck parfait and the nectarines.
Mains up next, and for Lee, a dish he described as ‘the main course of the year so far’. Roast Suckling Pig, Truffle Macaroni, Pear and Mustard Leaf. The different piggy parts were perfectly cooked, with some amazing rich macaroni cheese set off nicely with the sweet pear. Sometimes a dish just comes together in perfect harmony, and this was one of those. My main of Stone Bass, Roasted Cauliflower, Golden Raisens and Almonds was also fantastic, no complaints at all.
Lee’s dessert was cheese (again, I know!) but he loved the presentation of this one – small slithers of 6 cheeses allowing him to really taste lots of different producers. My dessert of Madagascan Chocolate Cream, Passionfruit Curd, Hazelnuts and Salted Caramel Ice-cream did not disappoint or buck the trend of faultless cooking. A beautiful way to end the meal, and so light given the ingredients!
Two Mango jellies with coffee packed a fruity punch and again showed flawless cooking skills. We loved our meal and hospitality at the Oxford Kitchen and would urge anyone in the area who likes fine dining to check it out.
Disclosure: Paid in Full