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My vindaloo tasted like a madras.That's all I have to say about it.
louise (Unverified), 22/10/11
I'm from London and I went to Oxford for my wedding anniversary. We stopped at Qumins for a meal. For starters I had chicken tikka, which was very succulent and bursting with juices. My husband had a shish kebab. For main course I had my old time favourite - king prawns bhuna with pilau rice, together with a Indian style seabass with boiled rice. I also had garlic naan bread with meat bhuna. As the manager knew it was my anniversary he gave us dessert on the house, which made us feel special. The staff were pleasant, the food was great and service was excellent.
Mr and Mrs Bisping (Unverified), 07/08/10
We have ordered Qumins' food to be home delivered about once a week for the last two years or so. We have always found the food to be of an excellent standard: fresh, tasty and very well-balanced in its use of flavours. I have long been a particular fan of their jalfrezi and biryanis. It's true that Qumins is a little more expensive that many other Indian restaurants in Oxford, but the quality makes it excellent value.
Matt (Unverified), 30/07/10
Having previously given Qumins a glowing review (below) I feel I have to write this. Sunday evening proved to be a complete disaster when using them for a delivered meal. I completely understand that they get busy, and it sounded like they were, but I still feel that is not a good enough excuse for the poor service and quality of food that we received that night. To start with, the gentleman I spoke with to place the order seemed disinterested and hurried my order along as the other telephone was ringing while I was speaking. This would have been fine had he managed to write the order down correctly: unfortunately he did not. Our food arrived over an hour after we’d placed the order, my partner's dish was missing and I had the wrong Naan bread. We called to inform them, and, as we use them so frequently, quite expected them to respond pleasantly and to apologise for their error. We did receive an apology but when my partner asked if they could redo his part of the meal (thinking that his rice and Naan bread would be stone cold by the time his curry arrived) they responded extremely curtly and although they agreed to do this, their manner was really quite hostile. Apparently they hung the phone up on him pretty brusquely! Now, I’m not sure what others may think of our request but I think it was perfectly reasonable – we had not asked them to redo the entire order so that we could eat together, which would have been the nicest solution.
My food was tepid, due I presume to the long wait for it to arrive and as I said, I had the wrong naan bread. I had decided to try the Tandoori Chicken and one piece of it was completely burnt, no other description for it and I couldn’t eat it. Although nicely flavoured, the meat was pretty dry and I would think twice about ordering it again. The Saag Aloo was, as ever delicious, though again, it wasn’t warm enough.
Anyway, moan over. I have no doubt that we caught them on a bad day and their food and service is usually very good. Problem is, it’s left a bit of a sour taste in our mouths and we have already decided that this weekend we will be taking our business elsewhere.
Dr Mukti (DI User), 02/03/10
My partner and I use Qumins for a takeaway, on average, once a week. We are always very impressed with the food that arrives and both of us are enjoying sampling many different dishes from their menu. My partner recently ordered the Vindaloo and we were kindly warned that it would be very hot. It was, but he thoroughly enjoyed it and said that as well as being very spicy, it had a very good flavour. The Korai, Tikka Massala (has to be done!), Bhuna and Rhogan are all very good and actually differentiate in flavour and ingredients, unlike some takeaway establishments. I thought the Madras was too oily, and we had to drain quite a lot of it off before eating it, but once drained it was very nice. My personal favourite is their Chicken Sag, which is incredible; buttery and delicious with lashings of spinach, it is by far the best I have ever had. I’m afraid neither of us eat much red meat and we’ve never ordered anything other than Chicken in our curries, so I couldn’t comment on the quality of their other meat or seafood, but the Chicken is as good as I think you can expect from a takeaway and not like the horrid reformed stuff that some places use. The vegetable side dishes are good, with the vegetables arriving fresh and in good health. Nice little touches like including a thin slice of lemon on top of their Sag Aloo to add another dimension to the flavour is what makes Qumins stand out for me. Their Nan Breads are very good and the Peshwari Nan always comes bursting with a gorgeous sweet filling.
Qumins isn’t cheap, and compared to our previous favourite, our meal usually ends up costing around £30 instead of £20-£25, but the food is that much better that it’s a luxury we’ve decided to afford ourselves. Delivery is usually around 45 minutes, again a little longer than we had been used to, but I like to think that perhaps that’s because they’re taking the time to prepare our food properly. They accept card payments and are always very nice on the telephone. I happily recommend them.
Dr Mukti (DI User), 05/01/10
Me and my partner decided one night that we would try Qumins food (delivery), and we were both very delighted with the service and the food and value for money. We ordered a few dishes and every single one was very nice. We are going to order from here again and maybe one night go there for dinnner in the resturant. I would def recommend to friends and family. Well done to the staff and manager - keep up the good work!
Curry lover claire (Unverified), 12/12/09
Best Indian restaurant I have been to in a while in Oxford: the food was served warm unlike other restaurants. Food tasted great with the unique flavours of the dish, not the onion gravy which most indians use! Superb service with the waiters speaking English which you could understand unlike other indians that you can barely understand. Definitely reccomended to all the curry lovers like me. 10/10 in all areas, thanks Qumins.
Matt (Unverified), 04/12/09
My girlfriend and I love Indian food, and as a result we have been to quite a few of Oxford's Indian restaurants. Qumins is one of our favourites. The food is delicious, done just how we like it: the ingredients taste fresh, it's never greasy, and they don't try padding out the portions with a random tomato taking up half the box. We have eaten in and taken out and its been consistently good.
Alex (DI User), 12/10/09
What a refreshing change to find an Indian restaurant with something a bit different on the menu. All the standards are still there, boosted by lots of more unusual dishes, too. For example, kuddo ghost - lamb with pumpkin, which I have never seen on a menu before in many years of dining out in Indian restaurants, and it was delicious! A great selection for vegetarians, also. Four of us visited on a Friday evening and were glad we booked because people were being turned away at the door. Good food, not overpriced by Oxford standards, reasonable wine list, and friendly service. We will certainly return.
Nets (Unverified), 01/08/09
Average food and overpriced, with the only bonus being that the ingredients seemed reasonably fresh. People must rave about Qumins because there's such a paucity of authentic, south-Asian food in the shire. Decor is 'aspirational', namely dull and aimed at people with more money than taste - disappointed.
LF (Unverified), 12/01/09
Previously we've been very impressed with Qumins for takeaway and eating in the restaurant, but that changed recently!
I had booked a table for 8 and unfortunately two members of the party were unable to make the meal due to illness. On arrival at Qumins I informed the Manager who was very rude in shouting at me that he turned away business that evening, I apologised and he told us we would have to wait whilst he moved tables - this appeared to take a lot longer than needed! Some other friends than arrived and we suggested that we could now make up a table of 8, which he grudgingly agreed. Due to the manner of the Manager our friends decided that eat elsewhere and then we were told that the Manager didn't want to serve us in his resturant and that we were to leave.
We'll be going elsewhere in future for better customer service!
B (Unverified), 24/11/08
If you're after decent Indian food, and not the cheap oily curry house fare that the UK seems to specialise in, then Qumins does the best Indian food I've had in Oxford. Their paneer isn't fake and rubbery. Their vegetables are fresh. They actually make some of the main Indian curries that are missing from other places' menus (they're one of the few places around here that do Paneer Makhni). If you're vegetarian, then those are the important things taken care of. My only suggestions is that they could add more to their vegetarian menu - a Rajma, or another Daal - and make the Malai Kofta more flavoursome, it was too plain.
A (Unverified), 14/08/08
Qumins does a very, very good takeaway service. Having never eaten in the restaurant I can only really comment on the food, which is definitely above average.
My partner and I have tried a wide variety of meat and vegetable dishes and have never been less than satisfied. Hot curries are genuinely hot without burning where it shouldn't, and mild ones still have all the flavour you would expect from a good Indian dish. Have not tried any seafood but this is Oxford so I don't intend to.
I would refute Russell's (29/06/07) claim that this is the best Indian restaurant in Oxford however. Some other venues are distinctly better in a number of areas.
Stuart (Unverified), 16/02/08
My husband and I regularly order take-away from Qumins and have always been delighted with the service - they really go the extra mile! Our house is quite hard to find but we've had no problems with them, and the food is wonderful. Really recommended, particularly for the wonderful service which I find makes such a difference!
Han (DI User), 10/02/08
We tried a take out from here and left with overpriced, oily food. The staff and chef were inflexible about minimising oily-ness - this isn't and shouldn't be a big deal for Indian restaurants.
Qumin's is overrated.
Both times I have been to Qumins I have enjoyed an excellent meal with friendly service at a good price. The vegetarian food is particularly good, both in terms of taste and choice, with many 'non-standard' dishes on the menu, and I would particularly recommend the saag paneer. The only thing I've eaten there which was not excellent was a paratha, which was a little too salty, but this really is splitting hairs.
Probably the best Indian restaurant in Oxford.
Russell (Unverified), 30/06/07
Went to Qumins for the first time the other night and very pleasantly surprised indeed. Would rate it higher than the Aziz at this moment in time and that's saying quite a lot. I had a wonderful sea bream goan curry which brought out the lovely fresh taste of the fish without overpowering it in the sauce. Husband had tikka mixed grill, which was done to a lovely crispness and colour. Will definitely be visiting again soon... Compliments to the chef!
Monkey Queen (DI User), 30/06/07
"The Brunette" and I decided to opt for Qumins for a quick dinner on a rainy night primarily because it wouldn't be too much of a walk to get to Moya, our favourite place for a drink afterwards. It turned out to be a good choice - the dips for the poppodums were the best I've had in Oxford - very fresh and generous (lime pickle was punchy, just sour enough and warmly spicy). Even though it wasn't particularly busy, the atmosphere was pleasant, and just what you want from a good Asian restaurant - plates of sizzling, smoking, fragrant food flying past at great speed as you wait for your mains. We shared a few dishes, which arrived promptly and piping hot. All were, like the starters, fresh and very well done - a lovely vegetarian main of chickpea flour bhajis in a spicy coconuty sauce with smoked chillis was a real highlight, and the saag dahl wasn't too garlicky and pungent, sticking again with a fresher, subtler approach. We didn't opt for wine (reasonably priced import beer and spirits etc), but the wine list was actually very good and appeared to have some crazy special offers by the bottle. All they need is a little tweaking on the decor front (whilst less is more, there really isn't anything much at the moment) and I'm sure it'll be a hit. We'll be 'qumin' back for more...
beanlover (Unverified), 11/05/07
I highly recommend Qumin on St. Clements. My husband and I have eaten dinner there twice and have received fantastic food and attentive service both times. Everything that we've eaten has been great and the menu is incredibly extensive. The relishes that come with the pappadums are the best I've had, particularly the lime pickle. Last time I was there I ordered the Lamb with Okra which is on their house specialties list and it was terrific. The spicing is exactly how I would like it too. Warm and spicy without sending you running to the bathroom to blow your nose. The atmosphere at first seemed a bit high end to me, but in fact it's quite warm and welcoming and people come in all types of dress. It's the kind of place that makes a rather normal weekend meal out seem like an occasion after all. The prices are very reasonable and the portions have always left me full. I've never managed to leave with leftovers!
My one wish is that they would offer more Indian desserts in place of the British/European offerings, but that's a small point against them and I'll definitely be back for more.
Quinn (Unverified), 12/08/06
We arrived at about 8pm on a Thursday and were greeted pleasantly. A couple of other tables were occupied. We accepted poppadoms and drinks and settled down to examine the menu. This took some time, as there was an abundance of choice. There were separate pages for soups, starters, specials, chicken/lamb dishes, seafood, vegetarian dishes, and extras. The descriptions were thorough and accompanied by spiciness ratings which proved usefully accurate.
The waiter was agreeably patient as we ate poppadoms and deliberated. For starters we finally chose Tom Yum Soup, a spicy Thai concoction with prawns and mushrooms, and Tandoor Mushroom, whole mushrooms coated in pink Tandooriness and served with salad. Both were excellent, with special mention going to the large and succulent prawns in the soup, and to the fact that the salad, often just decorative in such circumstances, was actually fresh and nice and not full of onion.
For mains we had Duck Ralsha, lean pieces served in a sauce of honey and tomatoes, and Navaratna Korma, no fewer than nine fruits and vegetables in a mild coconut sauce. We ordered pilau rice with both, and a side of Sag Aloo. The high standard was maintained, generous portions well-presented. The Korma sauce was subtle and not too creamy, and the Ralsha was likewise not too heavy or oily.
Reasonably full, we passed over the more luxurious deserts, (lemon brulé, chocolate mousse etc.) and decided to share a Pistachio Kulfi (Indian ice cream). We couldn’t quite decide how it differed from “normal” ice cream, but as with the rest, it couldn’t be faulted.
Just a further cup of tea and we were ready to stagger bloated into the night. The total cost for two people with drinks was just under £50. Starters and desserts were £3-£5, mains £6-£12 (without rice etc), and sides £2-£5. This is marginally more expensive than many of Oxford’s “Indian” restaurants, but with the consistently highly quality, attention to detail (even the poppadom condiments were noticeably above average), pleasant atmosphere, and relaxed and friendly service, it’s well worth it. Highly recommended.
P.S. Be aware of a £5 lunch offer available at the time of writing.
Su Jordan (DI Staff), 12/05/06
If you are looking for Indian food without the crowds or craziness of Cowley Road or the city centre, Qumin on St. Clements is a great choice. Their warm earth-toned décor is soothing, the staff are attentive, and the food is excellent.
The first time I went to Qumin it was quite late in the evening, and we were starving. The host seated us immediately, and since Qumin is rarely overcrowded, our food was promptly served. I had a delicious sag paneer for £5.15, which thankfully was more cheese than spinach, along with a large, pleasantly oily and chewy nan for £1.70. My friend had the chicken biryani, and ate every bite (which was a considerable and filling amount of food!). Although the other chicken dishes on the menu are £5.25, the chicken biryani was £7.25, probably because it comes with a small side vegetable curry. After dinner, they gave us those cute chocolate squares, flavoured with orange (which, like the orange bit in Jaffa cakes, is absolutely smashing).
The most impressive part of my first visit to Qumin was that they let us stay past closing time without complaint, so that we could finish eating and talking at our leisure. Needless to say, we tipped well. And even though we added a couple of extra pounds for their kindness, our expenditure was reasonable - about £25 for two to eat, with sides, drinks and tip.
In the many times I have eaten at Qumin since then, I have always been happily surprised by the service. Once, we arrived with a group of ten and no reservation, and instead of greeting us with incredulity or rudeness, as often happens in other Oxford restaurants, the host moved tables so that we could all sit together. Furthermore, the variety of menu options allowed us all to eat whatever we liked, from vegetarian to mild curries to spicy adventures. In fact, my friend from Goa remarked on the spiciness of the chicken vindaloo! I was also pleased that they didn't make a fuss when we paid with a mixture of cash and credit on several different cards.
I would only offer a few cautions: first, the chicken tikka massala I had once was an alarmingly bright red. It still tasted completely normal, however, so if you don't have a problem with unnaturally coloured food, I wouldn't worry about it. The massala dishes are also slightly more expensive, with chicken and lamb tikka massala costing £6.50 and tandoori king prawn or duck massala priced at £9.95. Also, the pillaw rice is not significantly different from the boiled rice in appearance or taste, and they cost about the same - £1.80 for boiled, £1.95 for pillaw - so if you want special rice you might as well go for the aptly named "Special Rice," which is fried with egg and veggies for £2.25.
So if you are tired of being treated as if buying food is a privilege you must earn, and you'd like to enjoy a range of well-made north Indian fare, I highly recommend Qumin.
Lindsay Oishi (Unverified), 04/08/04
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