Although I'm always keen to check out new openings as soon as I can, my long list of recommendations often means that I don't get around to it for longer than I'd like. There's no reason why you shouldn't, though, so I've decided to post details of new openings and refurbishments in and around Oxford every few months. If you visit any of them, be sure to let me know how you get on!
Le Kesh – 180 Cowley Road
Formerly Café Nour, this little place relaunched as Le Kesh towards the end of 2011. Describing itself as a 'Lebanese and Moroccan fusion restaurant and lounge', it certainly sounds intriguing, but I find the neon blue low-lighting visible slightly seedy-looking. As I prefer not to dine in the half-light, it's not high on my list of priorities, but its menu of mostly Lebanese meze and kebabs and tagines looks tasty enough.
Turl Street Kitchen – Turl Street
This site on the corner of Turl and Ship Streets hasn't been successful for most of its former occupants, but given the buzz of Turl Street Kitchen at almost any hour of the day, the building's luck looks set to change. A student- and family-friendly café, bar and restaurant with a small, daily-changing menu, Turl Street Kitchen is a welcome addition to the city centre. It's busy, so booking's advisable at weekends – even for lunch, as I found out. Review coming soon.
Trichy Dosa – 209 Cowley Road
I've heard great reports of the friendly welcome and great food at this South Indian restaurant (formerly Dil Dunia), which serves up bargain dosa, idly and curries. If you're looking for a take away, you'll be pleased to find that home delivery is free. I'll be visiting soon. You can find their menu here.
Crisis Skylight Café – Old Fire Station, 40 George Street
Part of the revamped Old Fire Station, this bright, welcoming café not only serves tasty meals and snacks, it also provides on-the-job training and a way back into work for homeless people.
Yeti – 237 Cowley Road
Another interesting addition to the Cowley end of the road, Yeti is Oxford's second Nepalese restaurant. I've heard positive accounts of fresh, flavoursome food at decent prices.
The Oxford Blue – 32 Marston Street
Reopened last year by the folk formerly behind Bottega in Jericho, this revamped pub has a tasteful interior and an interesting menu. My review was a bit mixed, but they assure me the carpet issue is now sorted! Worth a visit even if just for a drink.
If you've dined at any of these or know of any other new/refurbished places worth a mention, drop me a line.