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“What's happened?”
Review of Arbequina

Arbequina
Ranked #37 of 712 Restaurants in Oxford
Certificate of Excellence
Restaurant details
Reviewed 6 April 2018

We loved Arbequina the first few times we went. But, after a gap of about three months, on our return we were left wondering what's happened. The food no longer tastes as vibrant, flavoursome and fresh as it used to (I'm glad I didn't order the prawn dish as they actually smelt off as they were being cooked. The bream we ordered certainly wasn't at it's best either) and the servings have become miniscule. Where you used to receive three decent sized pieces of njudja on toast, we now received one small piece to share. With fish and meat dishes, you used to receive two pieces (i.e. one each person as a couple) and now had to cut up one tiny fillet or order another serving to actually have enough to taste it. Glasses of wine were always on the small side, perhaps a 125ml serving but I'm fairly sure it's now less than 100ml. Having booked an early table, we also felt rushed. One waitress kept coming over and asking if we wanted to order something else while we were in the middle of eating the current dish. She was really quite rude and you would think it was 'Waitressing 101' to wait until diners have finished eating to come over and ask if we want another dish? Also, how would we know what else to order if it seems a hassle to hand us back a menu? It's a real shame that Arbequina has gone downhill so quickly and we'll have to cross it off our list unless it improves.

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Thank Michelle_Darren
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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23 - 27 of 126 reviews

Reviewed 5 April 2018

Excellent tapas (in stark contrast to another, well known, local establishment). Beetroot borani and confit chicken with romesco particularly good. Nduja also very nice but that is just innate.

Not cheap but you won't end up with some tiny 'faux-rustic' microwaved dishes of chorizo or potato floating in a sea of red grease.

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Thank Sam_Aber
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2018 via mobile

Tried it for the first time last week. The place is small and bustling. Think it’s the place to be at the moment.
Service was friendly and efficient. Food was overall very nice. Recommend the cauliflower or beetroot dishes as well as the Nduja toast. I was expecting more pata Negra for the £11 mixed deli. I would not bother next time.
Also the wine was way over priced. £37 for an average bottle which I later found for £6 on the Vivino wine App. Agree with previous comments about service charge added by default.... A bit cheeky.

So will go back and overall good experience, but a little pricey, particularly despite being in Oxford, it’s still. Only the Cowley road...

Thank Frederic L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 1 April 2018 via mobile

The tapas food is reasonable quality but very pricy. For example,a very small “sample” of pork belly is £8:50. The cheapest cava is £36! A standard bottle of Spanish “standard” larger is £4. The tables are small and the seats are very basic “school” stools. Then the % service charge on top! Sorry, it might be trendy at the moment but long term- not going to last. Staff are pleasant and accommodating but cannot paper over the feeling that you are being overcharged. It is Cowley Road! Plenty of other options.

Thank FatBoyTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 23 March 2018

Had a fantastic dinner and tried six different tapas. Everything was super tasty and fresh, including the organic cider. It is a shame you cannot try everything but that is definitely a reason to come back for more. A bit pricey but highly recommended and worth it!!

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Thank Federico Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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