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dining out with special needs in Oxford


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I am going to visit a dear friend who is studying for a year at Oxford. I'd like to take her out to dinner. Problems: she is vegetarian, and verrry lactose intolerant. Because of this (and monetary considerations) she rarely, if ever dines out. I'd like to surprise her by taking her out to eat somewhere flexible enough to accomodate her, and be tasty. anyone have a suggestion?

thanks

M

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I'd recomend a place called Le Manoir, ownded by a chef called Raymond Blanc.

I'm sure they will treat yourself and your friend to the perfect meal......

In saying that I'm no expert in the Oxford county, but I reckon they'd be the best.

Let us know where you choose,

Cheers,

Paul

I went into a French restaraunt and asked the waiter, 'Have you got frog's legs?' He said, 'Yes,' so I said, 'Well hop into the kitchen and get me a cheese sandwich.'

Tommy Cooper

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my mouth is agape, but that place'll break my piggy-bank. That, and it is way out of town--she's got a bike, and I"m taking the train in to town.

i suppose that would have been important information. oops.

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Helen and I ate at an Indian vegetarian restaurant on the outskirts of Oxford called

"Moonlight" on Cowley Street (Sorry cannot remember the actual address). They should be able to accomendate your needs and the price was reasonable by CDN dollar standards.

Cheers,

Stephen

Vancouver

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

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Oxford dining options are pretty limited, for some weird reason. But there is also Chiang Mai Kitchen , a pretty decent Thai restaurant in a beautiful building just off the High Street: http://www.chiangmaikitchen.co.uk/.

For something more European, Italian eaterie Branca on Walton Street isn't too shoddy : http://www.branca-restaurants.com/. But whether they'll be able to cater for your friend is another matter.

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Another place you might want to consider is Kazbar on the Cowley Road. Its a tapas bar, with helpful friendly staff (at least they were when I went there).

There's a bit of a review and description of some of the vegan options at The Vegan Guide to Oxford.

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Don't know Oxford, but Mrs. W and I are the chef's nightmare. I'm recovering veggie so stick to fsh, she's wheat and dairy intolerant. We've found that if you ring beforehand most everywhere is fine about both (well, they might swear when they've put the phone down).

Tasting menus have even been done at places we're known like Anthony's (though it did cause chaos).

It no longer exists, but it was lovely.

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I'd consider making her a really nice dinner if I were you.  :wink:

From talking to a chef at the weekend, they hate people warning about allergies and intolerances - it's potentially a legal nightmare for them. Personally, I think it's an unfair burden on the chefs.

are you serious? I think that's a pretty unfair thing to say--what's next, expecting paraplegics to stay home because their wheelchairs are an inconvenience? it's the service industry--some places are popular enough to not compromise, some are happy to do so.

It's not like we plan on demanding an allergy-specific menu; I'm asking about restaurants at which ordering per her specific allergies would be easy to do straight from the menu.

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are you serious?  I think that's a pretty unfair thing to say--what's next, expecting paraplegics to stay home because their wheelchairs are an inconvenience?  it's the service industry--some places are popular enough to not compromise, some are happy to do so.

I am serious - but for you to compare it to a paraplegic situation is unfair and uncalled for and I'm offended.

Think how chef's feel - you get a diner that say's they have a nut allergy,as far as the chef is concerned they have not used nuts in the preparation - but unknown to him one of the ingredients has been produced in proximity to nuts. Diner goes into shock, has near death experience, and sues restaurant.

Good luck with finding a restaurant.

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are you serious?  I think that's a pretty unfair thing to say--what's next, expecting paraplegics to stay home because their wheelchairs are an inconvenience?  it's the service industry--some places are popular enough to not compromise, some are happy to do so.

I am serious - but for you to compare it to a paraplegic situation is unfair and uncalled for and I'm offended.

Think how chef's feel - you get a diner that say's they have a nut allergy,as far as the chef is concerned they have not used nuts in the preparation - but unknown to him one of the ingredients has been produced in proximity to nuts. Diner goes into shock, has near death experience, and sues restaurant.

Good luck with finding a restaurant.

Diner's with special dietary needs are a nightmare for any chef anywhere. A chef cannot have 100% providence on every food item that is purchased by his/her kitchen.I would agree that if special menus or price is an issue it is much better to stay home and prepare something nice and save yourself some money and potential issues with your health. The service industry tries it's best but the common denominator is to please as many people as possible and still make a living. Getting sued by a diner is a sure bet to going out of business.

Stephen

Vancouver

Edited by SBonner (log)

"who needs a wine list when you can get pissed on dessert" Gordon Ramsey Kitchen Nightmares 2005

MY BLOG

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I've penned more than one sarcastic response, but I'm not sure anything is strong enough. I'll just leave my flabber gasted.

Welcome to the service industry.

Quite. Although I would just comment on the doom-laden scenarios of near-death experiences: the friend is lactose intolerant - ie it will do her health no good if she eats food containing it but no, she won't go into anaphylactic shock. While it is certainly a nightmare dealing with, eg, peanut allergies where food contaminated by traces of nuts but not actually containing them can trigger a potentially fatal reaction in extreme cases, here it's a question of knowing if the food contains the problem ingredients. Much easier and surely something that restaurants should be able to advise on or organise.

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I believe the freind in questions was verrry [sic] lactose intolerant.

That would have my alarm bells ringing.

Very or slightly, the key word is intolerant rather than allergic. (Lots of people say 'allergic' when they mean 'intolerant', but just about nobody gets it wrong in the other direction).

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We had a nut allergy sufferer in recently who had thier "Pen" injector laid out on the table "Just in Case".

I have to say it was the most stressful night ever for us, but we only had to deal with it for one night. I can't imagine going through that every time you went to eat.

I have to honestly say that I was relieved when they left still alive!

(as I'm sure they were!!!!!)

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As has been pointed out, Oxford isn't exactly a fine dining mecca; I think your best bet is to go with cheaper student-y places (which sounds like it fits your budget better anyway). Here are a few places that I've been to (I'm a vegetarian), or have heard good things about:

Chutney's: Indian restaurant, supposed to be quite good, and vegetarian-friendly. 36 Michael's Street

The Rose: This is more a tea shop than a restaurant. They do nice (but not very veggie-friendly) breakfasts and lunches, so I wouldn't recommend it for a meal, but they do lovely afternoon teas, with nice (meat free, obviously) sweets and a pretty good selection of leaf teas. 51 High Street.

Vaults & Garden: This place is great: veggie friendly, organic, and a nice location (if it's a nice day, try and snag an outside table). Go after 2:30 for a 20% student discount. Radcliffe Square.

Aziz: I haven't been here, but I'm dying to try it - it's supposed to be one of England's best curry houses. Being Indian, it has fairly decent vegetarian/lactose-free selections. 228 Cowley Road.

Kazbar: Another place I haven't checked out, but have heard good things about. Tapas, so food meeting your requirements is probably available. 25 Cowley Road.

Red Star: Ok, maybe it's not haute cuisine, but I love this place. It's a noodle bar, and although it doesn't have a great vegetarian selection, the stuff I've had there I've liked alot. I recommend either of the two vegetarian noodle soups in particular. 187 Cowley Road.

Along with these, there are a lot of cafés and sandwich shops in the city centre that do vegetarian sandwiches and salads (check out the Alternative Tuck Shop in particular)

Cutting the lemon/the knife/leaves a little cathedral:/alcoves unguessed by the eye/that open acidulous glass/to the light; topazes/riding the droplets,/altars,/aromatic facades. - Ode to a Lemon, Pablo Neruda

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"Think how chef's feel - you get a diner that say's they have a nut allergy,as far as the chef is concerned they have not used nuts in the preparation - but unknown to him one of the ingredients has been produced in proximity to nuts. Diner goes into shock, has near death experience, and sues restaurant."

Happily in this instance, everyone can dial it down a notch. The OP wrote "lactose intolerance." That's not the same as a true food allergy. If a lactose intolerant person eats something containing lactose, the gastro-intestinal symptoms are painful and not-fun, but they're hardly life threatening.

Indy 67

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