Food & Drink Editor Ben Walker reviews Red Chilli, a sometimes overlooked establishment at the heart of the Oxford Road campus
You are welcomed by two bowing red gentlemen, statues that is. Don’t be too surprised if this friendliness does not extent to all the staff, yet we are here, first and foremost, to eat—an experience the Observer noted as ‘joyous’.
The dark interior is a warren of booths, small tables, and banquet spaces, stylishly divided with carved wooden screens.
At £5.50 for the Lunch Menu, there are few places that can compete on delivering this quality and quantity. We had ginger and spring onion chicken, shrimp fired rice, and beef in black pepper sauce. The sauces had subtle flavours, the meat was succulent, and the rice was light and fluffy. However, if you’re feeling a little more adventurous, ask for the a la carte menu and a recommendation for something a little quirky and more authentic that you haven’t tried before. The salt and pepper squid are guaranteed to tickle your taste buds, with the Szechuan pepper adding a fiery Oriental note to your classic ‘calamares’.
Though located at the heart of the University campus, this is not just an excellent weekday-lunch time destination. Red Chilli Oxford Road is a haven for Beijing and Sichuan cuisine for all occasion.