So it’s true, after 7 years, the time has finally come around that the Big Bang will be closing. I was lucky enough to have an excuse to go last night. (Not that you need an excuse!) If you’ve not been already then I can’t belive it, but if for some bonkers reason this is true, then you now have until the 30th August 2011 to give it a go. It’s on Walton Street and currently looks like the Union Flag!
Last night it was heaving, like a great Friday night restaurant should be. Top floor, street level and the basement were full with hungry sausage fans. In the Basement, where we were located there was a great vibe. It was like a game of sardines, (one where you get a table and elbow room mind), other tables were encouraged to move up to make room to seat our table to sit down.
Another table had a birthday party and when they started to sing, Max Mason flew down the stairs to present the birthday girl with a free drink! His enthusiasm certainly makes you enjoy your evening even more.
Our service was speedy but our evening was relaxed, there was no rush to eat up and go, which pleased the birthday girl in our party. Our table selected their sausage combos. You can have what is suggested on the menu; which is 2 sausages, a particular mash and a well matched gravy. Alternatively you can mix it up and select exactly what you want, mixing your sausages, the variety of mash and your choice of gravy.
There were two vegetarians in our group, myself and the birthday girl there are 4 choices for the vegetarians, which is pretty good, especially when you know that they are all full of flavour and taste of the contents that you expect. A few others opted for ‘the ‘big bang trio’ due to wanting to try as much as possible, and some of our group went for an option straight from the menu with no mix ups.
The plates arrived: sausages, Mash, Gravy, Cabbage and Peas. x 7.
I had chosen 1 walnut and Stilton sausage (warning contains nuts), 1 garlic and mushroom sausage, a mustard mash, and a Stilton gravy. The garlic and mushroom sausage had a good boost of garlic. My favourite one of the two that evening was the walnut and Stilton sausage, it had a great Stilton flavour, possibly helped by my Stilton gravy too, the walnuts were most definitely inside, giving the sausage a good strong flavour.
I don’t think anyone is missing out here by picking the vegetarian sausages, but the meat sausages here are great quality. (You don’t have to eat them to say that, you can see it for yourself!).
Max Mason’s The Big Bang, shows no sign of slowing down, despite having less than 2 weeks to go in the current venue and currently nowhere else to go. The energy that Max has for this place will, I hope, get The Big Bang re opening in Oxford very soon, his website ‘news page’ has talked about this: ‘There are currently no sites in this darned costly town where we can afford to move back in, so if anyone knows of anyone who has pots of money and would like to invest, please send them for a sausage in our final week.’
If when The Big Bang has gone you fancy doing a DIY sausage and mash feast of your own, head down to the Covered Market in Oxford. I would suggest going to ‘David John Butchers’ they sell similar sausages that you find on the menu at The Big Bang, both Meat and Vegetarian. It’s not a replacement idea, but a useful to know temporary filler, until the restaurant revives somewhere else in Oxford.
We finished our evening at Raouls bar, a short crossing of the road was all that was needed. This bar is a favourite of mine it’s always buzzing. It sits on two levels the basement and the street view. It’s well-known for its coctails and has a menu/book of cocktails, which if it wasn’t for the desire of having a very tasty drink as soon as you get in there, it could take you a while to read. I find the best tactic with Raouls is to ask the bar staff if they know your favourite tipple and see if they can recommend an alternative slant, that they think you’d like. You might surprise yourself.