TRYING to give people directions to Tap Social is amusing to say the least.

However you describe the location, they always end up saying: “Really? On an industrial estate behind McDonalds on Botley Road? Isn’t that full of plumbers and builders merchants?”

Yes, and the coolest new venue Oxford currently has to offer.

Because not only is it a wonderful brewery, cafe, concert venue and general community space, but Tap Social was set up in 2016 by Paul, Amy and Tess to rehabilitate offenders, desperate to turn their lives around, whose criminal records often dissuade employers from hiring otherwise eligible candidates.

Many of the employees have spent time in prison, struggling to access education, training and employment, drawing them back into a life of crime.

Tap Social Movement is doing a great job at changing this vicious cycle by providing long-term fulfilling employment. It’s also seriously hip.

Certainly cool enough for Native Feasts to climb on board, the pop-up restaurant company which tours the provinces, visiting Tap Social once a month with their eclectic seasonal food, taking over the kitchens and producing some really fun, original fare.

In this case, it was five courses plus a cocktail for £25 a head, great value in any guise.

Explaining its whereabouts to my companions was more complicated, but we eventually amassed outside the Tap Social warehouse building of a Wednesday night, recognisable by the natty tables and chairs outside, a young crowd gathering with the cocktail of the night – a strange mix of gin and beer called Rosso Bosso that I’m not keen to repeat. It reminded me of a glass of booze left out overnight in the rain after a good party.

It was a sunny evening, and the al fresco format brought out everyone’s better natures, as we waited to be called into the mezzanine level upstairs.

The tables were laid and people sat where they fancied, meaning we chatted with some young Australian haematologists, who were far more likely to explore Oxford’s kookie corners than its smug residents.

First up Chiltern’s wild garlic cashew hummus and crackers, which sounded indecently healthy and earnest, but was actually tremendous; silky smooth, soft, subtle with ultra thin artisan biscuits.

Wine, and of course beer, could be bought at both the upstairs and downstairs bars and they had some great bottles to choose from.

Then a tray of majorly tasty tarts and frittatas made with British goats cheese and Ewelme watercress.

The problem with sharing a table with strangers however is that everyone becomes terribly polite – “No really, you have the last piece” – when secretly you are desperate to stuff your face. How English. So we doled out our portions as minutely as possible.

Cue a long wait, where more wine and beer was consumed, and finally a plate of koftas emerged with Tims Dairy Yoghurt, some soused radishes and a big bowl of salad in the middle.

We decided that ‘soused’ meant gently pickled in urban-foodie-dude speak, rather than drunk, and tucked in.

While the meat was tasty, it was a rather mean, lean portion. Some pittas, tahini or babaganoush would have been nice to bulk it out a bit.

The vegetarians fared better with a plate of the first asparagus of the season, which were so al dente they snapped like glow sticks, but delicious and still a real treat.

Another favourite was the next course, new season potato and wild garlic empanadas (like tiny pasties) with lemon mayo, whose soft pastry and hot pressed, herby filling were perfectly offset by the sharp tang of the citrus sauce.

Filling up fast, we all still managed the ensuing square of toffee date pudding with a toasted peanut and banana ice cream, which was exceptional, the ice cream a masterpiece on its own.

That’s £5 a course for the kind of amazing food, interesting conversation, fantastic vibe, new acquaintances and a sense of adventure absent from most of central Oxford.

If you don’t fancy dinner, there is a mobile van outside all Tap Social events, so if you’re attending a gig in the Tap Room there, you can enjoy a constantly changing array of fish and chips, Georgian Street Food, Indian Chaat street food or The Smokeyard Kitchen, so check out their extensive schedule. Either way it’s a win win.

The next Native Feast visit to Tap Social is on Tuesday, June 12.