St Giles Cafe by The Brunching Barber

I recently heard on the grapevine that there was a new management team at St Giles Cafe who had been given a one star rating by the Oxford City Council food hygiene team.

Things have obviously been going amiss in the ‘caf’, either that or the new owners have been very unlucky. So I took this as my cue to wander in of a Monday morning.

Walking into this once famous ‘greasy spoon’ I was surprised at the quaint atmosphere and warm welcome. The décor is nice and simple, nothing too pretentious or try hard, which is a good thing in Oxford where it seems every other place wants to milk being an historical landmark.

We were served by the manager, given a couple of menus, some juice and one of the best coffees I have had for long while.

I ordered the Eggs Hebrides (£9.95) which for the untrained eye (myself included) is Eggs Benedict served with black pudding rather than ham. The eggs were cooked to perfection, almost bursting at the seams as I pressed my fork down.

It was a very enjoyable dish, but the mix of lovely hollandaise and pig’s blood was a tad rich for my taste, although my partner loved it!

The second dish was smoked salmon and scrambled eggs (£8.95) which wasn’t the best I've seen. A nice portion of good quality smoked salmon failed to disguise a fairly ordinary tasting and unattractive portion of scrambled eggs which the large pieces of fennel and parsley failed to camouflage in what should be such an attractive dish.

Later however I saw another plate of eggs going out which did look a lot better; creamy fluffy and beautiful.What a shame I couldn’t taste them!

It is clear however that there is some proper talent in the kitchen with just a few rough edges to sort out, whatever state it is in.