The Travelling Gourmet GourmetTM checks out one of Oxford’s noteworthy restaurants on the High Street…
Story & photos by Dr. Michael Lim the Travelling GourmetTM
Photos are of real food with no photoshop
MY travels around the world in search of delicious food and tasty wines have found me in many Brasseries from the famed Brasserie Lipp in Paris to the more obscure Brasserie le anciene Trocadero, also in ‘la ville lumiere‘. Quod Brasserie & Bar in the center of Oxford has a raucous, boisterous atmosphere, and is loved by locals and tourists and Oxford University students. For lunch today, I tried the poached pink Jersey Prawns with fresh Spinach, Avocado, simply dressed with zesty Vinaigrette and served with a dollop of mayonnaise. The prawns with shell on were naturally sweet albeit not that big in size. However, the crunchy, fresh taste of the ocean more than made up for the size. Piotr, the Polish waiter who is 192cm tall brought me a finger bowl with a slice of lemon without my having to request for it. That was nice. Chefs always say, ‘Food always tastes so much better when you eat it with your hands!’ When it comes to shellfish and Mussels for example, I could not agree more. The Mussels in a buttery, creamy white wine sauce with onions Julienne were also very good.”La scarpetta” as they say in sunny Italia..had me peeling off macho hunks of the warm bread buns to dip in…and soak up the lovely sauce. Divine to pop it in your mouth and let the bewitching savoury flavours dance on your tastebuds… head Chef Vince Langton’s style is simple but pleasing. No weird and wonderful molecular gastronomy here with foam and reverse spherification but honest to goodness food that looks and tastes good. When you come to the nitty gritty, that is what matters.
My main was fork tender Rofford Farm Pork Belly with an ueber-crispy Crackling that made loud sounds when I bit into it! Lovely layer of tasty fat with juicy meat and the stupendous size of it! It was 40mm thick and at least 300g! The side was mash potato and baby Chantenay carrots. Chicken Breast with Polenta drizzled with olive green Pesto is also not to be sniffed at.
Bread & Butter Pudding was invented by Chefs to use up leftover stale bread but the presentation here is very chic. The Pudding spiked & rippled with chocolate swirls has been made in a pudding mould, and floats majestically in an island of milk & chocolate sauce. Yum! Yum!
Quod Brasserie is in the comfortable Old Bank Hotel; practically an Oxford Institution. As the name implies, the premises used to be a Bank, many moons ago. As I relished the food, Ben Truesdale, the cheerful General Manager dropped by and said, ‘How nice to see you again!’ I like to dine and relax here. Well cooked, tasty & wholesome comfort food will energise you for more sightseeing and shopping in the University town of Oxford!! Enjoy!
Old Bank Hotel
92-94, High Street
Oxford OX1 4BJ
Tel: 01865 202505
Open daily for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner
The intrepid Travelling Gourmet’s ratings:
Ambience 3.5*** Cuisine **** Service ****