IN the ranking of First World problems, having an anxiety attack because you can't finish your eight-course tasting menu must be in the top ten.

At the end of the night, The Fat Frog chef David Wells even comes out and roars with delight: "We filled you up then!"

This is a tasting menu, but not as we know it.

Read also: Celeb chefs and local legends at 10th Oxford Foodies Fest this weekend

It all started so well: the home cold-cured salmon with crab mayonnaise and fried capers was an easy entry, demolished in a few mouthfuls.

The poached duck egg covered in a rich mushroom veloute buried in a nest of microgreens was a flavour and textural artwork which got us huffing and puffing and we devoured that as well.

Oxford Mail:

Smoked salmon with fried capers.

It was the next course that did it: curried smoked haddock porridge with confit egg, raisins and coriander.

These were delivered by our waitress - David's partner, Becky - hidden under two enormous cloches opaque with smoke, which she then flipped off with a flourish to release clouds of woody aroma.

Oxford Mail:

When the smoke cleared we were greeted by a bright yellow bowl of curry-flavoured silky porridge with succulent fish chunks, covered in crisp green leaves and, in the middle, a solid salty confit egg yolk.

Oxford Mail:

The first two mouthfuls were exquisite, then I hit the wall.

Oxford Mail:

My eyes had definitely been bigger than my stomach, but also this is a bowl of dense porridge big enough for breakfast, following two other courses, and the next course was the starter.

I started to panic: David, head chef, manager and proprietor had invited Katie and I to each enjoy a complimentary tasting menu and now I was struggling before the starters.

Review: Real French flair at the Swan restaurant, Tetsworth

Just to fill in the background - the reason I had got in touch was this: for years and years, as many readers will know, the Chequers at Aston Tirrold was home to the beloved Sweet Olive restaurant, which served fine French cuisine.

Somehow I had never got around to going, and then just over a year ago, it closed.

Oxford Mail:

David and Becky moved into the pub last summer, he having previously run a busy restaurant kitchen in Surrey.

He now seems to spend his entire life devising new dishes, changing the menu on a weekly basis, sourcing ingredients and cooking for punishing amounts of time.

Oxford Mail:

His food is exquisite and his love cries out from every plate - including his passion for size.

Thus, when Becky brought out my starter - Thai pork head bonbon with carrot, orange and ginger puree - I had to pathetically explain my plight, and beg that after my main course I would just nibble each of Katie's two desserts.

Review: Oxford's newest Thai restaurant is hot, hot, hot

The bonbon was too much and I managed just two bites along with the sweet and fragrant sauce, but that taste has haunted me ever since.

By the grace of God, the very next serving was a palate-cleansing sorbet of cucumber, mint and chilli.

Anxiety soothed, my main arrived – roasted guinea fowl with celeriac puree, pancetta, black pudding crumb, fondant new potatoes and red wine jus.

Oxford Mail:

And, indeed, it was so rich with salty umami flavour and yet light, I somehow managed to make the most of it.

The first of our desserts - a lemon curd baked Alaska - was a joy to behold: a happy little glob of meringue with mottled caramelisation and a stylish wafer hat.

Oxford Mail:

Our final course was a strawberry panna cotta with lime sorbet and meringue, a silky seduction that tasted more strawberry than strawberries.

It is a testament to David's confidence that even after being told a reviewer had had enough halfway through the meal he still strode out afterwards to meet us with a grin on his face.

Oxford Mail:

The confidence is well-deserved: his pub is an almost perfect combination of rural home comforts and genuinely exciting food. If he doesn't burn himself out in that kitchen, the Fat Frog will grow very fat indeed - book now to avoid disappointment.