I've been busy recently so I thought I'd do a quick review of somewhere well known to me and to many other people who regularly pass through Gloucester Green. With its crumpled newspapers, genuinely friendly staff, and the lowest and squashiest sofas in Oxford (from which you have to peer up at the person opposite you), Combibos always has a pleasingly familiar feel.
There are various snacks and cakes on offer but this isn't a café masquerading as a restaurant. The only full menu covers breakfast, and is an varied selection of traditional egg-based dishes and transatlantic pancake and waffle options, each of which comes with tea or coffee (I think most other places have stopped that). The Photographer and I stuck to the eggs.
A Full English (£6.99) was a good and filling specimen, with a finely-cooked egg, decent mushrooms that were clearly fresh, and plump (if perhaps a bit fatty) rashers of bacon, although the Photographer felt the beans were too 'puréed'. My 'Combibos Special' (£5.99: scrambled eggs, toast, bacon and potato rosti) looked rather stodgy on the plate but I had no trouble finishing it, although I didn't need to eat until the evening. The hash brown-like rosti was crisp outside, tender inside and very moreish, and was topped by a block of scrambled eggs that immediately contended for the 'best in Oxford title': not overcooked, not too buttery, not microwaved, just delightfully eggy. The toast could have been slightly crisper, however, and I'd have preferred to butter it myself.
On a later visit I had some cookie dough cheesecake (£2.99: see first photo), a childishly delicious combination of sweet dough, light cheesecake and plain, crumbly base. The baked goods at Combibos are always good, not dusty and tasteless in the way that cakes in a café can sometimes be. I also recommend the refreshing Turkish apple tea.
93 Gloucester Street