Food in Oxford

On the hunt for the best place to eat and drink in Oxford? If you’re looking for the best food in Oxford, look no further.

A night of American-inspired food at Dirty Bones Oxford 😋

Dirty Bones Oxford review - cocktails | The LDN Gal

Dirty Bones Oxford review

If you are looking for some American-inspired food with a New York City twist, Dirty Bones Oxford is the place to be.

Walk inside and you are welcomed to a sleek interior, with moody low-lit lighting, plush seating and quiet corners aplenty. The perfect venue for an intimate evening with your other half or friends.

Grab a drink from the gorgeous cocktail bar and sit down to a menu embellished with traditional and exotic pairings – with many a twist to be discovered.

The menu offers quite the variety, with a fantastic selection of vegetarian choices and a vegan option to boot. As a fussy eater (and a vegetarian), I am always delighted when I have a few options to choose from!

To start, we sampled the mac and cheese balls and gyoza dumplings filled with mince and cheese. Who doesn’t love a starter oozing with cheese?

Dirty Bones Oxford review - interior | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - cocktail bar | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - interior dining area | The LDN Gal

So, what did I think of my dinner at Dirty Bones Oxford?

For my main, the vegan mac daddy burger, lovingly loaded with espresso-spiked BBQ sauce and vegan mac and cheese. I removed the ‘smoky mushroom short rib’ due to personal preference. Regardless, this main was a dream, held together in a soft bun and messy as they come.

My other half opted for the 12 hour braised beef short rib. These were anything but ‘short’, the monumental short rib is garnished with espresso-spiked BBQ sauce, crispy shallots and spring onions. They must have been pretty moreish, as the plate was left bone dry.

Alongside our mains, we sampled the cheesy truffle and crispy lamb topped fries. The cheesy fries garnished with aged cheddar, Parmesan cheese sauce and white truffle oil. The lamb fries, loaded with succulent crispy lamb, sweet miso, red chilli and jalapeño.

Dirty Bones Oxford review - starters | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - mains | The LDN GalDirty Bones Oxford review - desserts | The LDN Gal

To finish, we indulged with the peanut butter cookie cup and the stickiest toffee pudding. I have to admit, the pudding did not quite reach the bar compared to the rest of the meal. Of course, it was delicious, but seemed to just miss the sparkle that the starters, mains and sides had offered.

Overall, would I return to Dirty Bones Oxford? You bet! However, next time, I might have to skip lunch and breakfast that day…

You can book a Dirty Bones Oxford reservation for your next brunch, lunch or dinner date.

Have you been to Dirty Bones before? What would be your go to main?

 Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter Instagram Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This dining experience was exchanged for an honest review 

Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu 🍜

Shoryu Ramen Oxford Exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu review

When Shoryu Ramen announced a Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu, it was safe to say, I was pretty excited over it. I love Gudetama. Gudetama is probably the best thing to happen to Sanrio after Hello Kitty herself.

The new Gudetama themed Autumn set menu offers a delicious three course meal, drink and a limited edition Gudetama coaster to take home with you. There is vegetarian, meat and even a vegan main option.

Your drink arrives in a Gudetama cup with a choice between Mango Iced Tea and Calpico. Calpico is a milk based beverage with a sweet taste – which reminded me of Yakult in a lot of ways.

Gudetama menu exterior - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Shoryu Ramen Oxford Sake Decor - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama tote bag - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

 

So, what did I think of the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

To start, you will devour steamed buns with a choice between BBQ Pork and Pumpkin Croquette. These are plentiful, embellished with lettuce and cucumber, finished with a dash of Japanese mayonnaise and hirata sauce.

I found the pumpkin croquette to be utterly sublime, something I would buy again and again, be it as a lunch or delicious snack. I have to say, I preferred it to my main. The hirata sauce really brought the bun to life, alongside the crispy coating on the pumpkin croquette with its deliciously soft and fragrant interior.

Ramen came along next for the mains, naturally. You could choose between the famed Shoryu Gatsu Tonkotsu with pork or the vegan White Natural (it can be requested with an egg on the side, if desired).

The White Natural broth is made from a combination of soy milk, miso, konbu and shiitake mushrooms. It is then decorated with ramen noodles, atsuage tofu, spring onions, menma bamboo shoots, nori seaweed and kikurage mushrooms.

Gudetama Steamed Buns - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018Gudetama Ramen Noodle Mains - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

The ramen was nice, but without the added kikurage mushrooms (at my request – I am not a fan of mushrooms), it felt a little weak. Saying this, what I did really like, was the condiments available alongside your dishes.

These allowed you to get creative with your ramen. With a sprinkling of sesame seeds, soy and garlic, you can really customise to your taste. It proved a nice touch and made the dishes very flavoursome.

For dessert, a mini mochi icecream in a moody Gudetama paper cup. you can choose between matcha and yuki and both were lovely. Be warned, if you haven’t had mochi before, you may find the texture a little odd. It’s almost like the skin of fruit, with a vibrant ball of flavoured icecream inside.

Gudetama cups - Gudetama X Shoyru Autumn Set Menu October 2018

So, would I recommend the Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu?

Overall, the themed menu was fabulous and oh so fun. Flavour is big at Shoryu Ramen and the selection of condiments really added to the dishes, allowing for a more personal experience. Once your food is devoured, there is even cute Gudetama merchandise to buy instore or online!

The Gudetama X Shoryu Autumn set menu is available exclusively at Shoryu New Oxford Street, Shoryu Manchester and Shoryu Oxford from October 1 – 14, 2018. You can take a bite with Gudetama for £22.

Have you been to Shoryu Ramen before? Would you like to try the new Gudetama X Shoryu set menu?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter| Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This post is in collaboration with Shoryu Ramen 

Homemade eats at the The Nosebag Restaurant Oxford 😋

Nosebag resturant, Oxford review

The Nosebag restaurant Oxford review

Surprisingly, I have never been to the Nosebag restaurant in Oxford. Located up a flight of stairs on Saint Michael’s Street, this restaurant has an incredibly homely feel with wood furnishing, quaint décor and carafes on each table. The environment is welcoming and relaxed – it has even been around since the 1970s.

With a ton of seating inside, it is perfect for groups and a fab stop for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as offering cakes and alcoholic drinks. The Nosebag restaurant offers a limited but varied main menu which also caters for vegetarians and vegans.

You order at the till, choosing your dish and salad or sides as you wait for your plate to be made up. If the item needs a little preparation, you pay and leave and sit with a number. I personally really like paying beforehand as it makes the dining process that little bit swifter.

So, what did I think of the Nosebag restaurant Oxford?

For my first visit, I devoured a homemade vegetarian quiche with two side salads. The salad bar selection at the The Nosebag is quite simply amazing, with a creative mix of fresh, delicious and vibrant side dishes. I have to be honest, I would come in for salad alone.

The following week, I savoured a jacket potato with cheese and beans – I am a giant child you see. My boyfriend had the burgundy lamb with seasonal vegetables and thought it superb.

Both occasions, these simple and wholesome dishes were great and the fresh salad bar really is such a fabulous addition to the restaurant.

I will be returning to this charming little eatery again. I think I may have just found my new favourite place for lunch within Oxford.

Have you been to the Nosebag restaurant, Oxford? Do you like homemade cuisine in restaurants? 

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter Instagram Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

Scandinavian dining at KuPP Oxford 😋

KuPP Oxford review - cocktail bar decal

KuPP Oxford review

KuPP Oxford is a beautiful new Nordic-inspired dining venue atop the top floor of John Lewis, Oxford in the new and shiny (and very much improved) Westgate Shopping centre. You can also access it via a lift just to the left of the John Lewis store entrance.

KuPP Oxford is bright and bold, with an edgy design and a gorgeous rooftop location. It has a quirky nature-meets-industrial feel, with revealed copper pipes, cosy faux fur lined or floral print seating, tree trunk features, potted plants and roped lighting decorating the interior.

The optional outdoor seating presents the perfect summertime dining opportunity. Alas, on the final day of January, we were much better off in the warm interior of this beautiful restaurant.

KuPP Oxford review - cocktails on the barKuPP Oxford review - cocktail syrupsKuPP Oxford review - interior

So, what did I think of KuPP Oxford?

The restaurant offers Scandinavian cuisine morning, noon and night with a healthy and wholesome menu embellished with classic Nordic dishes and incredible cocktails infused with a variety of homemade syrups.

We were lucky enough to sample a variety of different starters, their famed smörgåsbords and indulgent mini deserts – order the cheesecake. I repeat, order the cheesecake! 

What I love about KuPP is that it encourages you to share and try new and interesting foods you may not otherwise have thought to. The smörgåsbords are simply so much fun, with a variety of nibbles to drag you in.

As someone who is far too fussy with food, it really made me step out of my comfort zone, as I sampled an array of chicken and vegetarian dishes. The västerbotten cheese and pickled vegetables are simply to die for.

KuPP Oxford review - steak, egg, kale and parsnips crisps

KuPP is perfect at any time of the day, be it breakfast, a simple coffee stop, brunch, evening meals or a quick cocktail. They even have a store onsite where you can purchase their delicious coffee, jams and even some Nordic home decor!

Everything on their menu is fresh and bursting with flavour. It’s truly refreshing and you can see the chefs, bartenders and waiters whizzing about hard at work perfecting the dishes and experience.

I will be returning to KuPP within the next week for brunch with my mother –  I am fighting between the smoothie bowl and pancakes currently.

I am sure I will have many more visits in the near future. It is simple, if you are looking for incredible dining in the heart of Oxford, look no further than the oh so welcoming KuPP!

Have you been to KuPP Oxford yet? How about visiting the Westgate Oxford for a spot of shopping?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter Instagram Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This dining experience was exchanged for an honest review

Enjoying sourdough pizza at Franco Manca Oxford 🍕

Franco Manca, Oxford pizza and review

Franco Manca Oxford REVIEW

Oxford is the latest city to be blessed with a shiny new Franco Manca restaurant. If you’ve not heard of Franco Manca yet, then you’re in for a treat. If you’ve already been lucky enough to dine there, I know you’re head-over-heels anyway.

Franca Manca appeals for two reasons. Firstly, it’s affordable. Most importantly, it’s delicious. The menu offers a choice of seven sourdough pizzas. As well as a selection of starters, organic drinks and tempting desserts. Have no fear though, the seven pizzas are customisable with a selection of additional ingredients and a specials board for meat eaters and vegetarians.

These sourdough pizzas are made in store, in a smoking wood burning oven. This allows for a soft and fluffy crust (known as the cornicione) which can be accompanied with a selection of dips. We had the stilton. it was a wonderfully tangy experience.

My initial thoughts when entering Franco Manca Oxford was how welcoming, friendly and attentive the staff were. It’s truly refreshing and had a lovely atmosphere.

The restaurant interior is beautifully decorated, with a rustic yet stylish edge. Expect mirrored back walls, mosaic floors, lights in pendant holders, marble-esque topped tables and 1950-60’s classroom-inspired chairs to compliment. The wood burning oven is placed lovingly in the right-hand corner. 

Franco Manca, Oxford exterior and review

So, what did I think?

We took our seat knowing full well what we would be having. A number three for myself (courgettes, basil, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, franco and cantarelli grana – without tomato) and a number seven for my partner (spicy lamb sausage, mozzarella, buffalo ricotta, yellow piennolo tomato and fresh basil – he added the tomato sauce as an extra).

The pizzas are simply delicious, with super fresh ingredients, a smoked and blistered base, and the fluffiest of crusts – it’s so fluffy, I’m gonna die. Franco Manca is sublime, the pizzas are ginormous (I am yet to finish one yet) and the delivery is super speedy.

It is the perfect place for a lunchtime treat, a more affordable date night or to head to with friends. Even my sceptic Italian friend was delighted – and she is a difficult little lady to please when it comes to ‘Italian’ dining.  

If you’re looking for an authentic Italian pizza experience in the UK, Franco Manca’s the place to be. Expect quality and affordability at this wonderful chain restaurant.

Unfortunately, we were far too full to comment on the desserts. They look delicious but you will have to sample these yourself and revert back to me!

Take a peek at the Franco Manca menu. In addition, they offer a takeaway service for those on the go – you can even order online! 

Have you been to Franco Manca? Which pizza takes your fancy?

Stephanie xox

Looking for more food in Oxford?

Please follow me on Twitter Instagram Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin

This meal was exchanged for an honest review

Enjoying the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea 🍰

Scones at Patisserie Valerie Oxford, Afternoon Tea at Patisserie Valerie review

A Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea review

Afternoon tea is one of the numerous pastimes that makes me rather proud to be British – it is a fabulous tradition. After a busy week at work, what better way to unwind than with good company, deliciously quaint sandwiches, and a selection of delicious treats?

The best thing about Patisserie Valerie is that it offers quality afternoon tea for two, nationwide – they are literally everywhere. Being my thrifty self, I indulged in a Groupon voucher (please, stop presenting me with so many good offers) and saved myself over 20% off the original price!

What is included in the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea?

So, what did we get in our Patisserie Valerie afternoon tea for two? Check out the menu below:

  • A selection of finger sandwiches: cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and cress, ham, spinach and mustard and chicken, pesto and sunblazed tomatoes
  • Two mini vegetable quiches
  • A selection of mini cakes: mini Victoria sponge, 2 mini chocolate éclairs, mini carrot and walnut cake, mini mixed berry mousse slice and mini chocolate mousse slice
  • Four homemade scones (two plain and two fruit), clotted cream and a selection of preserves
  • A pot of tea or two hot drinks of your choice

Cakes at Patisserie Valerie Oxford, Afternoon Tea at Patisserie Valerie review(1)

So, what did I think of the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea?

My initial reaction was how wonderfully it was all presented, there is such an array of food on offer so it is all pretty indulgent. A nice touch is that sandwiches are made to order and there is also vegetarian options available.

However, I will truly be impressed if you manage to finish it all. There was far too much there for us to eat, and our lovely selection of mini pastries were beautifully packaged and taken home with us to indulge in later.

I found the staff to be a little brash, but this may have just been the Oxford branch. Some venues even cater to bubbly-fanatics and offer a glass of prosecco alongside your afternoon tea – go on, treat yourself.

Have you tried the Patisserie Valerie Afternoon Tea? Where is your favourite place to have afternoon tea?

Stephanie xox

Please follow me on Twitter | Instagram | Facebook for more updates from The LDN Gal

Follow my blog with Bloglovin