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A hidden gem in Summertown, classy but informal Oxford Kitchen produces some of the City’s most accomplished, intricate cooking. John Footman (ex-The Nut Tree Inn) heads the kitchen, showcasing dishes such as slow-cooked beef fillet with braised, pressed shin and truffles, or cured and charred Cornish mackerel atop blood-orange and fennel salad – as part of a six-course tasting menu. Bargain hunters will love the lunch and early-evening set menus (£11.50/£15.50/£18.50 for one/two/three courses), which might include a stunning rabbit and ham-hock terrine followed by pollock with razor clams, roasted salsify, parsnip purée and a hint of curry. Desserts are show-stoppers (don’t miss the vanilla cheesecake with pistachio cream, apple sorbet and compressed apple), as are the signature cocktails: we recommend the Ab Fab Martini (mint, apple, gin). Service is knowledgeable and warm, reflecting a room that’s smart without being showy, and the modest wine list features a few big hitters.
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