Harden's survey result
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“Go once and – if you like Sichuan cooking – you’ll be hooked” on this “really interesting”, if “slightly Spartan” old schoolhouse, near the Ashmolean, which is “always bursting with diners”. “It’s not for the faint of heart” – “dishes are heavy on grease (as in China), and definitely heavy on chillies too”, and include “unusual” ingredients (duck tongues, pig tripe, frogs legs), but if you can take it, results are “brilliant and exciting”.
“For taste, wow… just wow!” – “amazing” dishes “with lots of exotic items like frogs’ legs and ducks’ tongues” are all part of the “unabashedly in-yer-face” culinary style (“some stuff you’ll need to pluck up courage for”) of this centrally located, former school house, next to the bus station. “It’s not a good option if you don’t appreciate chilli heat”, but “it’s the closest thing to Chinese food, outside of China” and “the clientele are nearly always over 50% Chinese”. Top Menu Tip – “the cumin ribs are really, really good”.
“Volcanically authentic”, the Sichuan cooking on offer at this centrally-located former schoolhouse makes “no concessions to European tastes”; service is “not brilliant”… but “the fact that the majority of diners are Chinese is always a good sign”.
“Super-authentic, vivid and clean Sichuanese flavours” gives “no concession to non-Chinese patrons” at this former school building, by the bus station, where often “the conversation of diners and waiters is predominantly in Mandarin”; service an be “slightly flakey”.
The Old School, Gloucester Grn, Oxford, OX1 2DA
Last orders: 11 pm