Fine-dining takeaway? It can be done!
This is so exciting: Two One Five, Oxford's only Michelin-starred restaurant, launches a takeaway service this Thurs. Check out my review and prepare to salivate.
It’s been so long since I’ve written a food review so this is a sweet moment – not least because it’s also a way to tell you about a super-cool new takeaway service from Two One Five Kitchen & Drinks (formerly The Oxford Kitchen) in Summertown, the only Michelin-starred restaurant in Oxford.
The restaurant, under chef Paul Welburn, realised early in lockdown that would have to pivot to survive so now it has a new name, a less rarefied menu (it now describes itself as a ‘contemporary neighbourhood restaurant’) and is starting a regular takeaway menu from 11 June – yes people, this Thursday!
I was asked to give it an early test last weekend – not much resistance from this end, I’ll be honest – and I have some very good news because OMG you’re going to love this service. At £20 per person for two courses or £25 for three, with wine and cocktails as add-ons, it’s brilliant value and apart from the slight faff of having to warm up bits and bobs on the hob or oven – no way around that unless you want food congealed by the time it gets to you – it’s a fun way to enjoy superior food in a home setting.
So what happens?
You book your time for the food to arrive (usually around 4.30/5pm). Your driver drops it off with a small bottle of hand sanitiser to keep you safe.
It’s labelled carefully so even morons like me can’t get it wrong.
And off you go!
We kicked off with a reviving pornstar martini while I sorted out my bags and worked out what was going in the oven and when, and opened the half-bottles of white and red ready for the main event.
Then I had a bit of fun trialling out the moustache drinks mat, cleverly designed as Instagram fodder (it’s working – I’ve done my post!).
My menu consisted of bread with flavoured butter (it was marmitey – I can’t tell you more than that, but whatever it was it was delicious). Then chicken caesar arancini amuse-bouches, before the official starter of salmon with pickled lemon and shaved fennel.
Main was pork collar, baby carrots and puree, lentils, potato and truffle gratin, and broccoli with hazelnut butter. It was just shy of truly sensational, only hampered by some very dodgy plate presentation from me. Videos on the website on how to prepare and present should be coming soon and that will be super-helpful.
And finally, chocolate pudding with lemon curd and Chantily cream. Eaten too fast to photograph unfortunately. You’ll just have to imagine that one.
The whole experience was basically seventh heaven. It’s been so long since I’ve eaten anything beyond my own deeply average home-cooked dinners that I’d forgotten what professional chefs can do.
Give them a go when takeaway takes off this week and let me know what you think.
twoonefive.co.uk. Tel: 01865 511149