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“Novel and niche - a great addition to the Oxford dining scene”
Review of Arbequina

Arbequina
Ranked #20 of 742 Restaurants in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Restaurant details
Reviewed August 20, 2017

Small, compact and lacking in frills, this tapas bar with its glass-fronted entrance off the cosmopolitan Cowley Road combines well-cooked food with knowledgeable staff to create a memorable dining experience.

We went at lunch time and were not expecting to get a table - given how popular this place has become, and its (apparent) no-bookings policy - so were pleasantly surprised to be seated at the bar. This gave us the opportunity to speak to the serving staff who gave us excellent advice on choosing appropriate Sherries to accompany our small handful of tapas dishes. Try both their Dry Oloroso and Amontillado - great accompaniments to any of the dishes we tried, although I felt the Amontillado had a fuller body.

Olives (£3) are huge, green plum-sized mouthfuls. The Chorizo and harissa tostada (£4) was oily but very tasty, with a hint of coriander. Salt cod croquetas, aioli (£6) came as two huge deep-fried fritters which would have filled any normal stomach (!) Red prawns, aioli (£8) consisted of 4 large (gamba) prawns covered in garlic butter. Perhaps the finest dish was the Ox cheek with cauliflower puree (£8) which was sublime; slow-cooked beef with a filling cauliflower puree.

Would I go again? Yes, definitely and I would recommend it wholeheartedly for what it is - A TAPAS BAR. Remember that!

Date of visit: August 2017
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Thank Michael T
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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69 - 73 of 138 reviews

Reviewed August 16, 2017

lovely tapas, hugely helpful staff, great atmosphere. We thoroughly enjoyed our meal here especially the salt cod croquetas but all the dishes were good and there were also some good wines on the list.

Date of visit: August 2017
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Thank alipic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 13, 2017

I thought I'd just add a small word of reason amongst the gushing excellent reviews of Arbequina if only to avoid you being disappointed.

Yes the tapas is good, yes is it has a buzzy lively atmosphere and we certainly enjoyed our meal (do you hear a but coming?) but it's not cheap and "buzzy and lively" could easy become "cramped and noisy" if you were a bad mood.

Give it a go, but it will don't expect it to change your life

Date of visit: August 2017
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2  Thank Cowshepard
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 12, 2017

Friendly , knowledgeable staff who are very happy to talk you through a focussed menu of delicious treats. Pretty booked up, you may need to compromise and go early in the day.

Date of visit: August 2017
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Thank BMOC61
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed August 5, 2017

Lovely tapas place located at the beginning of Cowley Road! Should you forget to book a table, you'll easily have one after a short wait in a bar next door with a drink!

The food is hands down delicious - the range of tapas is excellent and they often have specials. You can clearly tell the cooks know what they're doing - authentic, original and innovative Spanish tapas! We've had some recipes inspired from the chef's mother back in Spain, felt like we were there...

Now for the best part: the service. The waiters are attentive, friendly and knowledgable - we went 3 times and were lucky enough to be catered for by Merlin, an absolute gem! Prices are reasonable if not below what this place is worth. Go there as soon as you have a chance!

Date of visit: August 2017
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Thank Séverin L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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