Foodie Revisit Review to 215 Oxford
This is a foodie revisit review to 215 Oxford *formerly known as The Oxford Kitchen* (for full and original review with photos, scroll down).
My first meal out after #Lockdown2 was absolutely fabulous! After a rebrand in the summer I wasn’t sure what to expect at Two One Five but Paul Welburn's menu is just as fantastic as ever. Foodie heaven with everything you would expect from a fine dining establishment.
The menu is a little more flexible so if you just want 1 or 2 courses you can...I wrote a VERY long review in 2019 which is below so check it out for details on the menu and vibe as I’m pleased to say it’s still just as fab and many of the dishes are the same or similar!
I get asked A LOT for fine dining restaurant recommendations and when people are looking for a top foodie experience in Oxford, this is where I tell them to go!
Thanks to Paul for keeping the standard high.
With love & food ❤️🍴
The Oxford Kitchen - Michelin Star Restaurant in Oxford – Taster Menu Review
There are many VERY good restaurants and pubs in Oxfordshire and we are without question spoilt for choice in this wonderful county. There are however, only 3 restaurants in Oxfordshire which have michelin stars. In 2018 The Oxford Kitchen was awarded 1 star by the Michelin guide.
Head Chef, Paul Welburn has a wealth of experience, including a michelin star at W1 which he held for 5 years, plus an appearance on the Great British Menu. The Michelin star is the creme de la creme of restaurant awards and in my experience, those restaurants who are awarded offer a fine dining experience which is a step above the rest. So it goes without saying that I was very keen to go and see what all the fuss was about!
The Oxford Kitchen is based in Summertown, North Oxford. It’s a trendy, quirky little town about 10 minutes from the centre of Oxford. There are lots of independent shops and a few unique restaurants so it’s a great place to go for the evening for food and/or drinks. It will cost you a small fortune to live here so don’t enjoy it too much, just visit for the day/evening!
The Oxford Kitchen is pretty centrally located in Summertown and modern yet understated in terms of styling from the outside. The interior is fairly classic and relaxed but with a touch of formality.
There were 3 taster menus available for our evening meal. This includes a 4 course, 6 course and 7 course tasting menu. This is quite unusual and I do like the fact that you can choose to go for a more affordable version and also a faster version. The issue with a long taster menu is often not just the cost but the time allocated to enjoy it. If you’re in a rush, eating late or on a clock with the sitter then it’s good to have a shorter and more cost effective version available. It also means that you can go back again of course and try something new!
If you visit at lunch time you can choose from an A la carte or a set lunch menu (tues – sat). Menus can change daily or weekly depending on ingredients so there’s plenty of opportunity to revisit regularly.
The menus all looked interesting and consisted of british style dishes with a twist. They have wine pairing available although we chose not to go for it on this occasion. We arrived for an early sitting so decided to go for the chef’s tasting menu which is 7 courses plus snacks and a cheese board at the end (additional supplement for cheese).
Everything within the menu tasted fantastic as you would expect from a michelin starred chef. The dishes were simply but beautifully presented with vibrant colours on contrasting plates. Great attention to detail in matching the food to its origin with shells from oysters, scallops and coconuts used to present their respective dishes. This was particularly fun for me as I had worn animal print and was able to match the food to my clothing (of course I photographed the occasion!)
I often find the most memorable foodie flavours happen when you least expect it. The snacks we were brought at the beginning of the meal had that affect on me. Beetroot meringue and goats cheese bites were a melt in the mouth injection of flavour. Quite unexpected after my initial concern over a savoury meringue! Pork bites with an apple puree were equally delicious and moreish.
My personal foodie favourites were…
Curried Rabbit Croquette, Mango, Puffed Rice – this ball of succulent rabbit was absolutely divine! Coupled with the creamy curry & mango puree, there is an essence of Coronation chicken to the dish however this is far more refined. I could eat these over and over and this was a firm favourite of the night.
Scottish Scallop, Pork, Passion fruit, Caviar – an unlikely and eclectic pairing of flavours but the star of the show was still the big & juicy Scottish scallop. Using a scallop shell was a simple but effective method of presentation.
Beef tea, Caramelised Onion, Welsh Rarebit – unfortunately I only had a taste of this (as it was my husband’s substitute for fish). The mouthful I had was absolutely amazing. I’m a huge fan of french onion soup and this modern take with a mini ball of welsh rarebit was a delight. Next time I won’t be sharing!
I found the service to be a great balance of attentiveness without being overbearing. Our waiter was very knowledgeable on all the dishes and helped us choose the right taster menu for our needs. As mentioned, my husband doesn’t eat any type of fish so this is always a bit of an ice breaker in a fine dining establishment and tends to give an insight to a restaurants flexibility and ability to truly serve the customer. The Oxford Kitchen were extremely helpful in giving him other options and although we had to pay extra for some of his supplemented meat dishes; he was extremely happy with what he was given and happy to pay for the privilege of accessing more meat based dishes!
Favourite Foodie Moment
This would have to be the ‘Pina Colada’ pallet cleanser before dessert. Pineapple granita, topped with a coconut foam and a dried pineapple slice on the side and beautifully set in a coconut shell. So delicious and definitely my favourite pallet cleanser of all time. I’ve added it to my death row meal (a blog post for another day!).
We had a truly brilliant foodie evening at The Oxford Kitchen and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend anyone to go if you’re looking for fine dining in Oxfordshire. It’s clear to me that Paul Welburn has focused on the ingredients and creating sophisticated dishes that showcase those ingredients.
It was great to taste familiar flavours with a modern and intelligent twist. In my opinion, this would be somewhere you could take a few generations for dinner and all would be more than happy.
I feel very lucky to have The Oxford Kitchen on my doorstep and will be returning to get my hands on a full bowl of Beef tea!
Love & food,
The Oxfordshire foodie