Review kupp, westgate, oxford – enticing smorgasbords, but is it really worth the hype oxford mail temperature to bake bacon in the oven

Boasting some incredible views stretching out over oxford, the terrace outside is begging for some sun, wine and al fresco dining. But as this was february, it was going to be a long wait, so instead we sat ourselves inside in the beautiful, if self consciously scandinavian, themed restaurant – a lovely, cool, airy, contemporary space.

The menu was equally as enticing – huge smorgasbords, lots of fish, rye bread , pickles, crispbreads, meatballs, eggs, radishes, bacon and strange sounding cheese, with wonderfully nordic names, that require a lisp and a lot of spit to pronounce.

It summoned up images of clean living, wooden chalets and bearded men beating each other with twigs, diving into holes in the ice for fun and catching fish with their bare hands. Is it any surprise that I married a dane?

So we began with a selection of rye bread served with wonderfully yellow, salty butter and some soft, mild, whipped goat’s curd, and then a sliver of smoked mackerel with the skin still on, with horseradish and sliced beetroot, both yellow and purple.Blue cheese


The softy oily fish was a marvel, the potted rabbit with nutmeg butter, pickled vegetables and toasted sourdough such a success that my father-in-law went uncharacteristically quiet, lost in some schoolboy reverie – a nostalgic treat.

But it was the smorgasbords that were undeniably attractive, their countless offerings requiring sharing, the price a very reasonable £25 as a starter for four, or a main for two.

To be honest it was pretty hard to read the individual details because the lighting was so bad it was hard to see anything at all, one of my bugbears, and the acoustics were terrible, meaning that you could hear everyone else in the restaurant except the person sitting right next to you.

Having already tried the mackerel, we opted for one meat and one veggie smorgasbord. The carnivores immediately began salivating over the meaty offerings which included special house smoked pork meatballs; more potted rabbit; chorizo sausage roll, carpaccio of hot smoked venison; va?Sterboten cheese; kupp potato salad; pickled vegetables; spidska?L (scandislaw); mustard mayo, leksands kna?Cke crispbread and more toasted sourdough.Blue cheese

For the veggies; tiny wild mushroom and taragon tarts; oven baked quinoa, kale and butternut bites; chilli, lemon and goats curd dip; smashed avocado and dukah; soft boiled egg; danish blue; roast beetroot and smoked red onions, and the same breads and pickles as above.

Until this point we had been crushing on a high, weaving down the fjords of our culinary trip, but the cracks began to appear. As the room filled up to bursting, the service became less attentive and the gap between courses lengthened considerably, the kids reaching the end of their tether when the boards finally arrived, the children’s meals following soon afterwards.

And while they are a fun way to eat, wonderful to behold, and plentiful, enabling one to try a bit of everything, the components weren’t consistent enough.

While some, such as the mushroom tarts had my danish mother-in-law in raptures, memories abounding as she bit into the flaky pastry and its soft blue cheese sauce.Chorizo sausage roll “this takes me right back. My mother used to make them for me,” she said.

But the chorizo sausage roll on the meat platter was a travesty, so dry it was like a peperami in a sock. And yet the smoked venison was a highlight with its complex flavours.

While one end of the veggie board was decent if earnest, with a lovely potato salad with gherkins and dill, the other was too mushy. And since when has smashed avocado been a scandinavian delicacy? Accompanied by lumps of blue cheese and a spoonful of goats cheese and chilli, it was more nursing home than hygge.

Boasting some incredible views stretching out over oxford, the terrace outside is begging for some sun, wine and al fresco dining. But as this was february, it was going to be a long wait, so instead we sat ourselves inside in the beautiful, if self consciously scandinavian, themed restaurant – a lovely, cool, airy, contemporary space.

The menu was equally as enticing – huge smorgasbords, lots of fish, rye bread , pickles, crispbreads, meatballs, eggs, radishes, bacon and strange sounding cheese, with wonderfully nordic names, that require a lisp and a lot of spit to pronounce.Blue cheese

It summoned up images of clean living, wooden chalets and bearded men beating each other with twigs, diving into holes in the ice for fun and catching fish with their bare hands. Is it any surprise that I married a dane?

So we began with a selection of rye bread served with wonderfully yellow, salty butter and some soft, mild, whipped goat’s curd, and then a sliver of smoked mackerel with the skin still on, with horseradish and sliced beetroot, both yellow and purple.

The softy oily fish was a marvel, the potted rabbit with nutmeg butter, pickled vegetables and toasted sourdough such a success that my father-in-law went uncharacteristically quiet, lost in some schoolboy reverie – a nostalgic treat.

But it was the smorgasbords that were undeniably attractive, their countless offerings requiring sharing, the price a very reasonable £25 as a starter for four, or a main for two.

To be honest it was pretty hard to read the individual details because the lighting was so bad it was hard to see anything at all, one of my bugbears, and the acoustics were terrible, meaning that you could hear everyone else in the restaurant except the person sitting right next to you.Chorizo sausage

Having already tried the mackerel, we opted for one meat and one veggie smorgasbord. The carnivores immediately began salivating over the meaty offerings which included special house smoked pork meatballs; more potted rabbit; chorizo sausage roll, carpaccio of hot smoked venison; va?Sterboten cheese; kupp potato salad; pickled vegetables; spidska?L (scandislaw); mustard mayo, leksands kna?Cke crispbread and more toasted sourdough.

For the veggies; tiny wild mushroom and taragon tarts; oven baked quinoa, kale and butternut bites; chilli, lemon and goats curd dip; smashed avocado and dukah; soft boiled egg; danish blue; roast beetroot and smoked red onions, and the same breads and pickles as above.

Until this point we had been crushing on a high, weaving down the fjords of our culinary trip, but the cracks began to appear. As the room filled up to bursting, the service became less attentive and the gap between courses lengthened considerably, the kids reaching the end of their tether when the boards finally arrived, the children’s meals following soon afterwards.Blue cheese

And while they are a fun way to eat, wonderful to behold, and plentiful, enabling one to try a bit of everything, the components weren’t consistent enough.

While some, such as the mushroom tarts had my danish mother-in-law in raptures, memories abounding as she bit into the flaky pastry and its soft blue cheese sauce. “this takes me right back. My mother used to make them for me,” she said.

But the chorizo sausage roll on the meat platter was a travesty, so dry it was like a peperami in a sock. And yet the smoked venison was a highlight with its complex flavours.

While one end of the veggie board was decent if earnest, with a lovely potato salad with gherkins and dill, the other was too mushy. And since when has smashed avocado been a scandinavian delicacy? Accompanied by lumps of blue cheese and a spoonful of goats cheese and chilli, it was more nursing home than hygge.