Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Restaurant Review - The Marsh Harrier

Location: 40 Marsh Road, Oxford, Oxfordshire OX4 2HH, UK
Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour

With The Marsh Harrier being one of MrF's favourite locals (within 15mins walking distance), he was bitterly disappointed when, on taking me there for a Sunday lunch early last winter, I reported back that I thought the food was utterly rubbish! Think Aunt Bessie's roast potatoes (other brands are, I'm sure, available) and overcooked beef - not my 'thang' at all.

When I heard the pub was under new management and that they had revamped the menu, I hoped for the best. So, almost a year since my last visit and a mere 5 days after the birth of MiniF2, we went to find out if the Harrier could finally become a favourite local for the entire Foodie family.

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour
Pimm's O'Clock

Arriving on a sunny day with the whole clan, we weaved our way through the mid-redecoration bar and headed straight for the back garden; shaded in parts and sunny in others, with plenty of space to get comfortable (or run around, in MiniF1's case), the garden is a very pleasant place to relax. Celebrating my new found ability to drink (some) alcohol, I immediately ordered myself a big old glass of Pimm's - ahhhh, all going well so far...

I'd already heard the Harrier were serving up Black Pudding Scotch Eggs and had pretty much pre-ordered it in my head, so this immediately jumped off the page as we perused the short, but perfectly formed, menu. To accompany my Scotch Egg: Triple Cooked Chips and a Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Hazelnut Salad, with Honey & Mustard Dressing - well I had to sample a few things and 3 starters/bar snacks for a tenner is a good deal in my book! MrF unsurprisingly went for the Handmade 6oz Beef Burger, topped with Bacon and Blue Cheese, served with Triple Cooked Chips and Coleslaw.

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour

A little sun worshipping and running after MiniF1 later, the food began to arrive. MrF's burger first - standing proud on the plate, next to some fresh looking coleslaw and thick cut, if a little pasty looking, chips. My trio of bar snacks next - the Scotch Egg first (looking flipping amazing!), closely followed by the Triple Cooked Chips and Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad. Nothing gets my taste buds going more than a selection of tasty treats, so I was genuinely as happy as a kid in a candy shop at this point.

MrF dug on into his burger - the feedback: "It was nice, but I'd prefer to swap the blue cheese for a different type of cheese. Really, really good triple cooked chips, but just not enough of them".

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour
Handmade 6oz Beef Burger, topped with Bacon and Blue Cheese, served with Triple Cooked Chips and Coleslaw

For me, the big question was where to start first?! I'm usually a fan of leave-the-best-till-last, but on this occasion, the Scotch Egg was freaking callin' to me. And O...M...G... it was glorious! Thin, crispy shell; salty, tasty, black pudding layer; followed by a bright yellow, soft centred egg. Paired with a flick of brown sauce this was very, very, sexy food.

Next up were the Triple Cooked Chips and the Beetroot & Goats Cheese Salad. The chips were indeed excellent, well-seasoned and crispy, maybe a little paler than I personally prefer, but tasty nonetheless. The salad delicious - a traditional pairing of ingredients, somewhat unable to fail. Each of my starter/bar snack dishes was just that, a snack; but eaten together, just enough for a main meal.

Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour
Black Pudding Scotch Egg with Brown Sauce
Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour
Triple Cooked Chips
Oxford Restaurant Reviews FoodieOnTour
Beetroot, Goats Cheese and Hazelnut Salad, with Honey & Mustard Dressing

Overall we were hugely impressed with the new menu and even more impressed with the quality of it - everything tasted superb. Great food, a big glass of Pimm's, sunshine AND a pub garden... I think I've found my new favourite local, MrF will be happy! I look forward to seeing the finished result when the refurbishments are complete - until then, I'm sure I'll be back for more.

Overall Score: 8.5/10

The Marsh Harrier
40 Marsh Road
Twitter: N/A
Facebook: @marshharrieroxford
Phone: 01865 718225

The Marsh Harrier on Urbanspoon

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