107-108 Walton Street
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Latest venue reviews
Jamals has now been refurbished and rebranded as "Arzoo", as of a couple of days ago. Just picked up a takeaway menu; apparently it claims the chef has won "UK Chef of the Year" in 2011. I'm looking forward to giving it a try to see if it has improved!
It's about time Jericho got a properly good Indian restaurant...
JMac (Unverified), 06/09/12
Since my review of Jamals in Novemeber last year I decided to give their online ordering system another try. This time it worked flawlessly, the delivery was prompt and the food splendid.
I hope they can keep up the standard because we do love their food
SMB (DI Reviewer), 25/09/11
When I order online, the drinks seem to be missing. I have to phone to order the drinks. If you could include the drinks it would be very helpful and easy.
suzie (Unverified), 13/12/10
After reading of the management change at Jamal's we decided to give their delivery service another go after several lapses in the past. We used the online service, which resulted in email and text confirmation. Delivery was quicker than promised and the starters were delicious, although the portion of onion salad ordered to go with popadoms was meagre and our raita was missing. Our main course had a wrong dish too - chickpea dansak instead of chicken. I could understand this if the order had been phoned in, but this was an online order, so supposedly no room for error. I phoned to ask for the dishes we had ordered to be sent asap, then had to wait 50 minutes for the food to be delivered by a surly man who knocked on the door, thrust the bag at me and stomped off.
Admittedly, the food itself is very good, but it's clear that their online system (and maybe the way they deal with complaints!) needs some attending to :(
SMB (DI Reviewer), 03/11/10
I went to Jamals a few weeks ago and had a great evening and lovely food. The service was good and having tried most curries in Oxford I would say this was top of the list. Looking forward to going back.
Katy (Unverified), 25/05/10
I just ordered a king prawn madras, must say it was the best madras I've eaten so far!
Helen (Unverified), 02/05/10
A message from the Management Things at Jamals have changed! The Restaurant has been run by a new team for some time now since the comments below were posted. Come and try us out and see the difference. We'll try our best to look after you.
We've also just launched our super online-ordering service at www.jamalsoxford.com. It's really easy to use and we deliver over a wide area or, if you prefer, you can pre-order for quicker collection.
It's true that in Term-time we're popular with Students and it can get lively at times. We try to balance the needs of parties and quiet diners as best we can. Like any venue, our customer base is wide. You're just as likely to have a quiet dinner with us too.
We're very proud of Jamals long history in Oxford and we care passionately about our many customers and friends from the the Town, from afar and from University.
Looking forward to seeing you soon.
Ali Hydar, Jamals (Unverified), 08/04/10
Personally, I love the food at Jamals. Most of all - they have a great online ordering service for delivery or collection (still quite unusual, even in today's web-savvy world). They even confirm the order to you by text from the restaurant.
I've never eaten-in when there have been very rowdy students, but others have mentioned it does happen occasionally.
trevorid (Unverified), 15/03/10
This has to be the worst ordering experience I have had in Oxford. The order took 1 hour and 40 minutes. The driver who came did not know how to get to Marston Road so was lost for another 30 mins. I was then told by the restaurant to call him myself and figure out where he was. He could not speak a work of English so I was completely unable to comminucate. When I finally guided him, he demanded that I to come to him (sitting at the traffic light) and get the food as he refused to deliver it! So I walked down to where the driver was to pick up my delivery dinner.
If you want an antagonizing evening with awful food, and a driver who might give you a secret location to pick up your food.....I recommend Jamal's wholeheartedly.
Ad (Unverified), 11/03/09
Terrible service. When I first phoned up I was put on hold and then cut off. The staff seemed very unhelpful and it seems that home delivery is only an option when they can be bothered. They do not deliver to the top of Headington. [Well the restaurant is in Jericho... Ed.]
For what it is, the food is very highly priced. Only go here if you are not in a hurry and only order from here if you live within two streets.
Songe (Unverified), 11/03/09
Unless you are part of a big group of students going for a night of drunken rowdyness, thennever ever ever go to Jamal's!
There were at least three very big groups of students, singing, shouting and irritating others throughout. I went to the toilet to find one with his head in the bowl waiting for the next wave of vomit.
The staff offered us a different table, we thought this was to make things quieter for us but it soon turned out it was beacause they wanted our chairs. They asked the 3 of us to sit in a line along a bench! Have you ever been asked such a thing in a restaurant in your life?!
The food was awful and took ages. The beer was almost as bad despite being draught Kingfisher. It wasn't cheap either.
I woke up in the night feeling distinctly unwell, but not because of the beer I hasten to add!
tomb (Unverified), 16/10/07
I have eaten at Jamal's on and off for over 45 years and have never been disappointed. It's 'the' Oxford curry house of Walton Street: the food is always excellent and the staff hepful and polite. The only possible downside is the occasional presence of parties of over exuberant students.
Richard G (Unverified), 11/02/07
Out of Oxford University term, Jamal's is a whole new world. The spaciousness, pretty decor, attentive yet unintrusive service and soundtrack of modern Indian music creates a calm and relaxing environment in which one can enjoy a range of tandoori and karahi dishes and beyond. Within term, however, Jamal's is very popular with teams of University sportsmen, so beware of this during peak dining hours. If, on the other hand, you are of the sporting persuasion - or you're just seeking a venue for a celebration party - then you've come to the right place. Catering for groups is one of Jamal's specialities, and you are are likely to be able to try several special dishes not on the standard menu.
Jamal's are proud of their awards for culinary and hygiene excellence (they were finalists in the 2001 National Curry Chef Awards after winning the Oxford round), and rightly so. I consume curry in Oxford fairly often and must say that the quality of the fare here is the best I have eaten locally in some time. If you get the chance to try the panir and potato balls in breadcrumbs with mint sauce, or the chicken tikka pancake finger rolls, then you must. Such crossover cuisine manages to be cleverly reminiscent of both Italian and Chinese cooking without smothering its Indian heritage. As a lapsed English vegetarian, I tend to judge curries on the basis of the amount of oil involved, the freshness (and cookedness) of the ingredients, the moistness of meat (I did say lapsed) and the presence of subtly different flavours. On all these points Jamal's scores highly. All this, and presentation is excellent (not something you often note at the curry house), and they can cook okra so it's not slimy - I wish they'd tell me the secret!
Jamal's have a bring-your-own policy, and corkage is cheap at 50p each, so it's more than possible to dine here on a budget (speaking of which, the massive £8.95 Sunday lunch sounds perfect). If you're forgetful, they do have Cobra beer, house wine, lassi (thank goodness - so often these days it is sadly absent) and other soft drinks. If you're having anything from an Indian wedding to a school fete and you're stuck for cuisine, give Jamal's a call, as outside catering is another of their impressive list of fortes. Recommended.
Su Jordan (DI Staff), 04/07/06
Went to Jamal's last night for Valentine's Day with a good friend, as we were both dateless and the Walton Street restaurants were packed to the brim with lovers. It was my first and last time in the restaurant. They seated us next to a bunch of fresher boys who were playing drinking games at the opposite table. In between their comments of "Man, I hope I don't get sick on this table," we managed to get some poppadums with chutneys and pickles. All preserved, pre-made condiments, but I wasn't complaining as I was starving and the poppadums were hot and fresh from the oven. The garlic naan was fine, but the chicken korma sauce of my friend tasted strangely sweet and contained nothing other than a few pieces of chicken.
While I did manage to eat some of my prawns bhoori out of hunger, they were pretty horrendous - they had the gummy, fishy taste of prawns that have been around for too long and which have been overcooked (also, why do hardly any stores in the UK serve uncooked prawns? If you reheat cooked prawns, obviously they'll get overcooked and rubbery in texture). Their fishy taste masked any of the coconut or coriander flavours of the actual sauce. Our waiter did give us a free dish of ice cream for putting up with our loud neighbours and the service was fine in general, but drinking parties and ice cream aside, Jamal's had nothing in the culinary vein that would ever bring me back for more.
lotusmoss (Unverified), 15/02/06
You will never be far from a curryhouse in Oxford, no matter where you try to hide. But there are unwritten reasons other than mere taste for visiting any one in particular. For example, Jamal's is along Walton Street and is distinctly not somewhere I would go for a posh or romantic meal, despite the elaborate decor. For a start, it's not expensive enough to warrant posh - a reassurance to the student regulars. And, rather more pressingly, it has just that; a group of student regulars. They may not be the same ones, but go to Jamals on any given evening and you will find at least one large party of bevvied up sports teams, drinking societies or birthday revellers taking advantage of good cheap food and a Bring Your Own policy on alcohol. With Threshers Wine Shop and the Co-Op only a stagger away, booze flows freely and spirits are high.
As well as this attractive set-up, the food is simply really great. The chef won Best Curry Chef 2001, and he deserves it; in addition to the 'classic' range (for those who only ever go for vindaloo or korma), there is a selection of less usual curries such as mirch masala to sate the need for heat, Murgh Makhni (creamy tandoor chicken) for lack thereof, and some fantastic vegetarian dishes (the Aloo Gobi - cauliflower and potato curry, is particularly good at £2.85 and the lentil curry Dall Tarka is filling on its own, but complemented by a selection of other vegetable curries. Ever a big fan of Karahi, I force myself to try new things when I go there and have rarely been disappointed.
Or, if you really can't decide, want to try it all and get flustered when it's time to order, go to the Sunday buffet. If you need to eat off a hangover on Sunday, or even if you don't, the buffet is highly recommended. Between 12 and 6 you can eat as much as you like for £8.95 - £4.95 for kids. There is a variety of bhaji/pakora type starters, with shish or chicken kebab. Three meat and three vegetarian curries are always on offer, and there's rice, poppadums, salad and pickles. There's even an (admittedly unexciting) dessert - but who goes to an Indian restaurant for a pudding. Unlike many eat-as-much-as-you-like buffets, this one doesn't run out, get all messed up with people using the wrong serving spoons, or rely on cheap ingredients. It's a great chance to try out different things from Jamal's menu without feeling the chef is in bargain basement territory.
Abby Chicken (Unverified), 31/12/02
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