Tuesday, 24 January 2012

East Oxford Market, Cowley Road

Once you reach double figures, and if you don't become a teacher or parent of small children, opportunities to visit a primary school, let alone eat your lunch in one, are few. So on Saturday morning it felt slightly odd to find myself sitting in a classroom at East Oxford Primary School, home of the East Oxford Farmers' and Community Market, admiring the pirate artwork that adorned the walls.

Thursday, 19 January 2012

The Rose, High Street (breakfast)

Update (May 2013): The Rose has changed hands since this review was written; the menu is similar but reports suggest the quality may not be the same.

The recession has made people less keen to buy organic food to cook for themselves, but the market for new restaurants that specialise in locally-grown, seasonal produce seems to be stronger than ever, from the much-praised Roganic in London to Oxford's own Oxfork (watch this space for a review of the latter). The Rose, however, is a long-standing fixture on the High Street and must have started serving the fresh and unadulterated fare on which it prides itself long before anyone outside the Bank of England had heard of quantitative easing.

Saturday, 14 January 2012

Red Star Noodle Bar, Cowley Road

As far as Asian canteen-style restaurants in Oxford go, Red Star falls somewhere in between the tamely homogeneous Noodle Nation and the bijou charm of Edamam√©: you don't make up your meal by numbers, choosing a type of noodles and then an accompanying sauce, but it's not a place to go for fresh sushi and daily-changing specials either. Situated as it is deep in student-land on the Cowley Road, Red Star seems to be full most evenings, with would-be diners crammed into the tiny waiting area at the front of the restaurant (beware the draught from the constantly opening door). 

Wednesday, 4 January 2012

Quod, High Street

Unlike its more secluded sister establishments the Old Parsonage and Gee's, Quod is right in the centre of Oxford, ready to catch passing trade from students, tourists, and those like us who find that the restaurant they intended to visit is closed. Accordingly you could say that it doesn't - necessarily - have to try too hard, and indeed I've heard mixed reports of the √† la carte menu from several people. However, I'd previously enjoyed the popular weekday set lunch (£11.95 for two courses, £15.90 for three) and was happy to give Quod a chance again. It was a fortunate decision.