In Review: Pint Shop Oxford
Last week Rosie and I had the pleasure of dinner at the Pint Shop, George Street’s new indie eatery. Situated on the site of the old Chelsea Building Society, the two floors have been completely refurbished in an art deco-ish style with swish new tiles, good looking lighting and over twenty gleaming, golden taps at the bar.
We started with a drink in the relaxed pub area on the ground floor that serves pub snacks including scotch eggs (with runny yokes!), sausage roles and chips and gravy. We headed downstairs into the large, but nevertheless cosy and welcoming, 110 seat restaurant for a Rouge Spruce Gin and tonic – just one of a selection from Pint Shop’s 100+ gins.
We’ll have to admit, the food isn’t what you’d expect from somewhere that specialises in MEAT.BREAD.BEER – it’s more sophisticated gastro pub. Having caught up with Rosie, the woman behind the menu, who has worked with Flo and Tony from the Magdalen Arms in previous years, you can definitely see similar influences to the popular East Oxford establishment. The service we had from Robin and Ollie was fantastic and their recommendations and knowledge of the food – where it came from, how it’s cooked – made us feel really welcome and eager to dig in!
To start, gin cured sea trout with buttermilk pancake and sweetcorn relish and a shrimp pasty with pickled red onions. The starters, though a little on the small side, were lovely and the trout was delicious! The shrimp pasty was gorgeous but there wasn’t enough filling for so much pastry…
For mains, Rosie ordered whole place with beetroot sour cream and dill and I went for venison haunch, squash hash and crispy sage, plus a side of scalloped potatoes to share.
The unique method by which the fish was cooked really shone through. Pint Shop have a wood smoker, charcoal fire on site and the fish and meat cooked using this method has a lovely delicate wood smoke flavour. It’s worth booking a table to try this alone!
Although sated we were easily tempted by the puddings – I had a Warm Camden Ink Cake which was fabulous. Rosie went for a Malt Teaser ice cream sundae that came with divine warm chocolate sauce to pour over the top – could you ask for more!
The look and feel of the Pint Shop is really great, adding a touch of style to George Street. Secondly the knowledge and friendliness of the staff is fantastic. For us, customer service and knowledge of your product is absolutely key – it’s what sets independents apart. Thirdly, their drinks selection is second to none in Oxford. They have a wide selection of beer on tap that changes weekly and an amazing selection of gins and whiskies.
The restaurant is probably a bit too expensive for everyday dining, however it’s a great location for special occasions, with a gorgeous private dining room and separate areas within the restaurant; and the pub on the ground floor definitely covers fast and affordable dining very well.
Rosie and I had a lovely time and would recommend taking a trip there next time you’re after a pint (they’ve got over 20 on tap) to sound it out… Let us know what you think!