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Weekend in Oxford - any recent updates?

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I'll be spending a weekend visiting a friend living there now. I've read some of the old threads and there seems be a consensus that Oxford is a bit of a "culinary wasteland". Lol.

So recs include Moya, Chiang Mai (although there was mention that At Thai next door was better now). Le Manoir but that's out of Oxford, how far by car? Doable by taxi? Nut Tree as well, not sure how far that is?

Any additional comments on Jamies Kitchen? I'm not from the UK and have never eaten at one, is it really that horrible or is just because it's a chain? I don't always find that chain food is dreadful, sometimes there are a couple of redeeming dishes.

We're a couple of 30 something gals looking for a fun evening out so any nice pub recs would also be good.

And it would appear that Japanese/sushi and Chinese are total write offs but does anyone have a best of the worst kind of thing? My gf comes from Vancouver, Canada so sometimes so we get a little homesick sometimes.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. People have reported that The Magdalen Arms, a fairly new gastropub, is very good. You could search out that one.

    I've never known anyone who ate at a Jaimie's Kitchen and said the food was good.

    The Ashmoleon Museum, well worth a visit in Oxford, has a nice restaurant on its top floor. It's very casual and a bit pricey, but we enjoyed our lunch there last year.

    1. I'm often surprised how little is mentioned about Oxford by the discussion boards, yet both the main diner-driven guidebooks (Good Food Guide and Hardens) have a range of decent recommendations (7 in the former, 23 in the latter).

      I had to cancel a trip but had certainly planned to eat at the Al-Shami which is listed by both guides and was recommended on another board I use.

      The Manoir is about a 15 mile drive; the Nut Tree 13.

      1. edamame on holywell street is a decent japanese cafe but it is small and opening hours are (were) limited so do your research and you probably need to book.

        2 Replies
        1. re: abby d

          Sojo for excellent Chinese. I went to Oxford last weekend to try Magdalen Arms and it was closed for much of August, but I seem to remember it was opening this week again. Definitely worth a shot.

          1. re: daisyK

            The Oxford Retreat, a sort of gastro pub near the train station is quite good.

        2. Thanks everyone for the tips, will have to run it past the gf, she's a bit less adventurous than I in eating but at least I can leave some good recs for her, should she work up the nerve after I leave.