I live within the Oxford ring road and something that has always appealed to me about Oxford is the ease of getting to the nearby countryside, drive, cycle or walk in the right direction and bingo! North Hinksey Village proved this point to me again.
It was a warm dry Friday night in March The Fishes looked lovely, with the surrounding countryside and no hint of the city centre in sight. All be it 10mins around the corner.
I’d heard about The Fishes from various people, never in much detail but enough was said that I wanted to see if I was missing out.
On entering The Fishes you walk into the bar area, it looked comfortable, a good place to meet with friends or family, or coming in from a walk in the surrounding area.
As we walked down past the bar slightly clueless as to where to go for the restaurant area, we were greeted by a staff member who offered us a choice of tables, one in the bar and one in the conservatory.
The Fishes menu includes: free range, organic and sustainable produce. It’s clear from the website and the staff that the food quality is important.
I had the Chilli and Crab in filo pastry with chilli sauce, I love spice and crab so this had my name on it. The filo was fried seep or shallow, I’m not sure but I enjoyed the crunch.
My OH had the steak, standard, but it made him happy. To be fair it’s not something he has much of. Going out with a pescetarian does vary the menu but it doesn’t usually allow for much steak. It was enjoyed at a medium/rare level slightly more on the rare side but I think from the reaction it was preferred.
I really wanted the Tuna when I first saw the menu, however the tuna came with crushed sweet potatoes & chorizo, I’m sure I could have asked for it to be swapped but as I was presented with a specials board full of other fish options, I didn’t need to be picky! (maybe next time!) The specials included Coley options, Hake, Risotto and Chicken.
I opted for the Hake with wild garlic and new potatoes. The wild garlic tempted me to this, and yes it was worth it. The fish was cooked well it fell away easily from the fillet and melted in my mouth.
It had to be the cheese board. We were presented with a chunky block of wood topped with: Four varieties of cheese, Apples, Celery, Chutney and Biscuits. There are never enough biscuits with a cheese board, I think it’s a tradition amongst cheese boards, but more were offered, which was a nice touch.
The specials board was in fact cheaper than my original Tuna option, so a cost saving thanks to chorizo. The Fishes menu has a variety of prices and meals, so you could eat here happily on your own budget and appetite.
Other things to note
We went out for an evening, and due to darkness drawing in we didn’t get a good look at the garden that stretches down to the river. I imagine this would be perfect for a Saturday or Sunday lunch, so I should return again.
I don’t have a dog however if I did I would take him or her for a drink and a bite to eat. There are plenty of footpaths around the area and when we went there were plenty of four legged friends in the bar, looking very comfortable.
It’s definitely on my list to re visit over the summer months, and if you haven’t been I can confirm you are missing out. http://www.fishesoxford.co.uk/