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Latest venue reviews
This place is brilliant. I went for dinner last night (beef stew - wow) and it was just lovely. Informal, warm and relaxed.
I think its important to remember that this is a cafe and not a restaurant - hence why there isn‘t 'full' table service. In my experience if you ask for anything you will get it. So if you want your plates cleared as soon as you have finished, or want another coffee, just ask!
Suzygchild (DI User), 19/10/12
Great place & food, one thing though, please ensure service is also great, it can be lacking and given there are only 6 tables (if that) outside, I don't know how their staff struggle to find the correct table when bringing out food/drink, service is essential in this field, you can serve great food all day long but if the service isn't there then no point, ensure customer experience is top please.
Do visit this place, some damn tasty cakes too!
mikec79 (DI User), 19/09/12
I've eaten in Oxfork on about 10 occasions and I've always been impressed. There's a lovely laid back atmosphere, with informal but friendly, helpful waiting staff, and the decor is great - exactly the kind of place east Oxford has been missing and a nice fit with the likes of Atomic Burger and The Magdalen Arms, which are also in the area.
I've tried a few different things from their breakfast menu and recommend both the Oxfork breakfast (great quality sausage and bacon, lovely beans), and the poached eggs plate (with eggs benedict, royale, and florentine all served together). I've also eaten there in the evening a couple of times and really enjoyed a jerk chicken, corn on the cob and salad plate last time out. I think the evening menu changes each week but the brownie seems to be a fixture and it's delicious.
enders356 (Unverified), 13/09/12
I love this place. The menu is pretty small, but everything I've had over ten or so visits has been really good quality, the coffee is very good, and the staff have always been very friendly. It's a really nice environment too, with bags of personality.
oxfordian (DI User), 10/09/12
We went for dinner at the weekend after having heard good things, which was maybe its downfall in my opinion.
The menu was extremely limited. I like a place with a simple menu - it's generally encouraging. There was effectively a choice of 2 mains (the third was really another side) - one meat and one vegetarian. The meat option wasn't very inspiring, and the veggie option less so.
The starter was promising. A well balanced portion of chargrilled courgette and chorizo, served with some tasty bread was a good, erm, start.
There was a strong presence of courgette and beetroot on the menu, which suggested they had just received a batch of the stuff. The optimistic implication being that it was locally sourced. If so, then this is to be applauded.
The main was a let down after the strong start, although it had got off on the wrong foot with us ever since we first saw the menu. We both avoided the veggie option and went for the lamb kebab. The lamb was OK, and the beetroot was a colourful presence, although I thought it was a bit forced. The potato wedges as an extra side, however, were woeful. They were limp, tasteless.
To make matters worse, we were joined by a dog (plus its human owners) at the next table during our meal. Even if the dog had been quiet (which it wasn't) and well behaved (borderline), this is unforgivable.
We didn't hang around to see what dessert was like.
Ultimately, I'm not sure what Oxfork is. If it's a hangout that also does a bit of food, then it's fine. The atmosphere seems very pleasant - dogs aside, and the staff friendly and informal, although I can easily see this sliding into the disorganisation that other reviewers experienced.
If it fancies itself as a restaurant, then there is a lot of room for improvement. They are charging restaurant prices for a sub-standard restaurant experience. There are other places in Oxford that do simple menus well.
Jim (DI User), 10/09/12
Delicious food, never had any problems with service, even on busy weekend mornings. Love having it round the corner. Long live Oxfork!
MsInterpret (Unverified), 15/07/12
The place is a joke, the staff seemed unorganised. There was a long wait for food, it was not worth the wait.
Fabulous new café. I've been a few times now. The goat's cheese salad was lush and my friend loved the egg sandwich. The service was good, the manager is really friendly and the premises lovely. Really different, and so nice to have some alternatives to the Magic Café now (though the Magic is lovely too but Oxfork allows for different foods and environment for a nice change!)
Craftimina (DI User), 06/01/12
This place really is on the up, and as many have noted below, it's the latest in a line of game-changing new cafés / venues in East Oxford. I'm sad to hear that some people have had problems with service: I've been several weekends in a row for their fantastic breakfast and the staff have been friendly and chatty, and what's more, they really seem to care about the place.
Andrew (Unverified), 19/11/11
Supper clubs - where strangers meet for a meal in a private household, like anonymous dinner parties - have long been popular in London. And until recently, a supper club named Oxfork provided paying dinner-party guests with themed dinner parties ranging from Burns Night to Asparagus Night. Then, Oxford transformed into a pop-up restaurant, taking off a disused premises to give a permanent home to the floating house of chefs.
The pop-up restaurant is less formal than a traditional restaurant, and more open (and legal) than supper clubs, which rely on secret locations discovered via the internet and social media to remain both exclusive and one step ahead of licensing and zoning regulations. Like pop-up galleries, the idea is to make use of otherwise abandoned urban spaces, turning empty buildings into temporary, experimental restaurants.
Drew Brammer, manager of Oxfork - now a full-time restaurant with premises on Magadalen Road, East Oxford - says that pop-ups give people another reason to go out for dinner. “At Oxfork, we don’t want people to book tables for 2 or 4 people - we’d rather they share one of our big tables. We want people to mingle, to meet new friends - almost like an eating networking event.” It’s that informal experience that draws people in, just as when Oxfork was a simple supper club. “We wanted to keep the relaxed ambience of eating in somebody’s house”, says Drew.
Pop-ups are clearly popular: Oxfork has gone from supper club to pop-up restaurant to full-time eatery on the strength of its clientele. Driven by social media, through which restaurants can connect with a loyal, trend-setting base of customers, dining out is set to become as relaxed and laid-back as visiting a friend’s house for dinner.
Running a pop-up restaurant or supper club in Oxford? We'd love to hear from you: email@example.com
Alwyn Collinson (Unverified), 11/11/11
We'll go back but the hot choc was a bit watery. Decor etc. is lush. Service is alright. Haven't had the food but i've heard good things. If anything, good to have something like this on the Iffley Road side of East Oxford, alongside the Pegasus and the Magdalen Arms.
raasklaat (Unverified), 08/11/11
We really want to support this local café. During the week it's fine - more than fine - it's a really nice place to hang out, but on four separate occasions at the weekend our orders have been messed up, delayed (up to an hour), forgotten altogether, or badly cooked. At the prices they're charging the service and food should be impeccable even at the weekend. We're still going to give it the benefit of the doubt, but not at weekends and we're definitely not going to risk evening service just yet.
Vocal Local (Unverified), 30/10/11
A real asset for East Oxford, at last a café with nice seating outside. And I am so happy that the extremely delicious bread from the Natural Bread Company is now available in Oxford every day from Oxfork. A larger selection of their breads and pastries would be nice though.
madaboutbread (Unverified), 24/10/11
Great idea, great food, great people together with great atmosphere. Highly recommended.
OEH (DI User), 21/10/11
There is no doubt that Oxfork has a few teething problems with regards to service, but it is a new venture and I totally forgive it as they are really trying to do something great. Oxford has so much potential and yet much of what's on offer is 'stuffy' and aimed at the tourist pound. It is great to see people with great ideas creating a vibrant atmosphere and combined with their music promotion, it's an exciting time in East Oxford. Truck Store, Magdalen Arms, Pegasus and now Oxfork are creating a hub for this community that has so much to offer.
But like I said, the new staff do sometimes struggle, but I am sure they will get there. We are yet to see the best from this place, but given time and the support of the community it will be great.
Wes (Unverified), 20/10/11
We're loving Oxfork! It's refreshing to be in a lovely little café that has paid so much attention to detail in creating a beautiful interior (artsy, vintage, rustic thing going on), even the fab photos on the walls were taken by the manager. Recommend the homemade soup and bread and the friendly staff! The outdoor seating works well. I work on Magdalen Road so it's brilliant to see this area becoming a fab destination point!
TSL (Unverified), 18/10/11
Thought we'd try this place out as it was new and local. The decor is very nice and the place has a nice feel about it. Sadly they messed our order up quite a bit, and served me a cold coffee - which we were willing to forgive - it being new and all, but the waitress was a bit rude. We probably won't go back.
littleredstapler (DI User), 18/10/11
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