It was only a fortnight ago when we visited The Oxford Hotel for their Revival Launch. We were so impressed, we wanted to come back and have a proper dining experience. Head Chef, Symon Conway-Lyden, is the genius in the kitchen and has revamped what was once a standard pub menu, into something fresh and exciting with international flavours.
We started with the classic Korean Bibimbap and were impressed that it arrived in a hot stone bowl. Gochujang sauce was also provided to add a bit of excitement to the dish. All the elements in the bowl were mixed together to be slowly cooked. Surprisingly, we thought this version of the Bibimbap was better mainly due to the better cut of meat used. The beef was well marinated, lean and tender, and the flavours in the dish were spot on.
We love our burgers at Adelaide Food Central so we couldn’t go past the Oxford Burger. The beef patty was a decent thickness and had the same diameter as the bun. The meat was well seasoned, juicy and succulent with slight pinkish centre. The cheddar cheese was nicely melted over the patty and the bacon was crisp, which is just the way we like it. The egg was cooked sunny side up and the gooey yolk really captured the essence of a great burger. The tomato and lettuce were fresh and crisp, and the natural sweetness of the beetroot relish prevented the burger from being too dry. The Turkish bun was freshly baked and firm, and did well in holding all the ingredients together. A great burger that was topped off with perfectly cooked chips.
The Lamb Cutlets dish were middle eastern influenced as they were served with a chickpea tagine, citrus labne and dukkah. The lamb was tender and succulent, with a nice pinkish centre. The chickpeas were firm and the savoury flavours of the OMNOM sauce were well infused. The labne was smooth and creamy with subtle hints of acidity, while the dukkah added a lovely nutty element to the dish.
Now who doesn’t love ribs? The Sticky Pork Ribs were marinated with bourbon and cola to create a distinct Asian flavour. The ribs were meaty and had no trouble coming off the bone. On the side was some crunchy slaw that was a tad overdressed for my liking.
One of our favourite dishes was the Pork Cutlet. Like all the other meat dishes, the pork was perfectly cooked and was well complemented by the sweetness of the pineapple pear relish. On the side was a colcannon gratin, which is similar to a layered potato lasagne filled with bits of bacon.
The most beautifully presented dish goes to the Luv A Duck Breast. The duck was tender and succulent, and the skin was nice and crispy. There were a lot of sweet elements that complemented the meat such as the beetroot, beetroot relish, raspberries and gastrique.
For dessert, we began with the Orange and Almond Cake with berry coulis, chocolate soil, vanilla bean ice cream and orange syrup. Like most sponge cakes, it was soft and moist towards the centre, and a little dry on the outer edges. This was alleviated by the orange syrup that was absorbed by the cake. The ice cream had a smooth and creamy texture, while the chocolate soil added more crunchiness to the dessert.
Last but not least was the Cherry Ripe Cheesecake. We usually prefer baked cheesecakes but this cream cheese cheesecake was amazing! It tasted exactly like a Cherry Ripe chocolate bar and the bits of cherry in each bite were exactly what you would expect. A great way to end the lunch!
The new Winter menu at The Oxford Hotel is impressive to say the least. The presentation of some of the dishes is what you would see at a fine dining restaurant and their execution was exceptional. The staff were friendly and accommodating, and the service was fast and efficient. Our visit was during the day and the atmosphere was fairly relaxed. We loved the dishes we had and felt it was very much in line with all the other positive changes at the pub. The Oxford Hotel is now better than ever and we can’t wait for our next visit.
WHERE: 101 O’Connell St, North Adelaide