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Nov 16, 2008 04:56 AM

Oxford - dining alone

Hi-- I'll be in Oxford for a few nights this week and was hoping for some recommendations for good dining-alone places for dinner. I'm staying at the Old Bank, so can get to just about anywhere in the city. I've spent some time in Oxford and have been to a lot of the standbys: Gee's, The Old Parsonage, Chang Mai, Quod. Haven't tried Jamie's Italian yet, so will try to get to it this trip. Interested in all cuisines. Thanks!

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  1. I didn't make it on my recent trip, but Loch Fyne (yes, a chain) is supposed to have solid food. Check its website has it has several lunch and dinner specials.

    Edamame for Japanese is supposed to be pretty good too.

    3 Replies
    1. re: y2000k

      i'm a fan of edamame but getting in can be a bit hit and miss.

      1. re: abby d

        I liked Jamie's Italian - good bread and ingredients and a relaxed vibe. It would be perfect for dining alone as it has an open kitchen (at least downstairs) so their is plenty going on to look at. Gets really busy so you may have to queue or get there early.

        1. re: nerdgirl72

          I was happy to see that Jamie's newest Italian has just opened near me in Kingston. I'll definitely be giving it a try one of these days. His empire is really spreading out.. soon there will be one in Cardiff and Cambridge, too.

    2. You have to try Chiang Mai-for my money,the best Thai in the country,and easily the standout restaurant in Oxford.Agree with everything Nerdgirl wrote about Jamies-good food,but be prepared to queue.

      1. I agree with all the recommendations for Chiang Mai Kitchen. Quod used to be okay-ish but came under new ownership about two years ago and became dire; I haven't been back recently so perhaps it's improved. Gee's has always been a solid performer. My favourite restaurant in Oxford is Moya, which serves outstanding Slovakian food. Moya looks a bit bland in an `All Bar One' sort of way but I think that's what it takes to survive in Oxford; the cognoscenti sit in the rear dining area and order from the amazing specials on the blackboard.

        Other than those places, Oxford is mostly a culinary wasteland. There are a few decent pubs with food, but, other than that, dining in Oxford is mostly an exercise in damage limitation.

        Chiang Mai Kitchen Ltd
        130 High St, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX1 4, GB

        97 St Clement's St, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 1, GB

        Gee's Restaurant
        61 Banbury Rd, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 6, GB

        6 Replies
        1. re: Peripatetic

          Thanks everyone for the recommendations. As it turned out I got there late on Monday so just ate at Quod as it's in the hotel I was staying at. The meal was good but I noticed over the days I stayed there that they seem to have a problem with ventilation from the kitchen. the diningroom always smelled like roasing meat, even at breakfast. Ended up having dinner one night with colleagues at an italian place called Cibo. It was OK, but nothing to write home about. Had drinks beforehand at a place called the Wine Bar (I think).

          1. re: corgimom

            That would be the Summertown Wine Cafe. I've not been for a while, but at least when they first opened they would let you bring in pizza from the Mama Mia Pizzeria across the street, who make very decent pizza. This made for a perfect evening.

            Summertown Wine Cafe
            38 S Parade, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX2 7, GB

            1. re: Peripatetic

              I moved to Oxford just 4 months ago, so I don't know if Chiang Mai has declined, but it's definitely not good now -- to put it mildly.

              Right next door, AT THAI is easily the best Thai restaurant in Oxford, and maybe even the best restaurant in Oxford, period. Even by Los Angeles standards, their versions of various Thai standards measure up. All of the noodle dishes are excellent. I would especially recommend the duck basil. I eat at At Thai at least once a week. Very reasonable $, er I mean £.

              1. re: DPhil

                I wish you had posted this a couple of months ago. I had a very disappointing lunch at Chiang Mai, I would have loved to try At Thai. As I mentioned in another thread, Moya, which serves Slovak food, is quite good.

                1. re: Malik

                  Agree, Moya is outstanding. I used to eat there at least twice a month and really miss it.

                2. re: DPhil

                  Chiang Mai could well have gone downhill. I left for Oxford for Los Angeles over two years ago so haven't had a chance to try it recently. Even at it's best, Chiang Mai was never up to the standards of, say, Jitlada. At Thai is new since I left, but I will definitely check it out next time I'm out that way.