Review: SoJo, Hythe Bridge Street, Oxford

Last Wednesday my housemate decided she would celebrate her birthday with a meal at Chinese restaurant in the centre of Oxford, SoJo. We’ve been before but only for small meals with one or two friends. This time, however, there were nine of us and we had booked a large table to celebrate the day. We were seated at a long table in the upper part of the restaurant which I had never sat in before, and it felt cosy and comfortable. SoJo specialises in Shanghainese, Cantonese and Szechuan cusinese.

Braised Shanghai sweet soy duck

We all ordered separate dishes apart from 3 of my friends who decided to share a set menu. Amongst the dishes were sweet and sour pork, chicken with cashew nuts, satay chicken, duck pancakes, prawn stir-fry and many other dishes, which came with either egg fried rice or noodles, or jasmine rice. I had the Braised Shanghai sweet soy duck with egg-fried rice and I can honestly say it’s the best thing I’ve ever eaten! I usually get full really quickly when I eat chinese food but this time I just had to finish the dish. Everyone agreed how goo the food was and how reasonable the prices were (it came to around £220 for the nine of us and that was including quite a few rounds of drinks.)

As they had been on my previous visits, the staff were accommodating and super friendly and bottles and replacement chopsticks appeared almost before you could ask for them. The waiting staff are eager to make recommendations on food choices (this can be very useful as the menu runs to about 10 pages!) There is also a Korean style barbecue option as well as numerous set menus and Dim Sum options.

From the outside you might dismiss SoJo, located near Oxford rail station, as a cheap and in-authentic Chinese eatery, but it is actually Oxford’s best Chinese restaurant with tables booked up throughout the week (they give your table away if you arrive more than 10 minutes late!) and a rave review from The Times’ Giles Coren. For more information on SoJo visit their website at sojooxford.co.uk

Image credit: Braised Shanghai sweet soy duck by Kake Pugh on Flickr

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