Out with a Bang
Oxford’s Jericho quarter is synonymous for its quirky, independent restaurants, bars and shops. However Jericho has recently lost a row of independents including The Big Bang: an Oxford landmark that served the finest sausage and mash to the masses. The Big Bangs owner, Max, took on the restaurant with a 5month tenancy but after 7 years The Big Bang has been forced to close it’s to make way for new development.
After meeting Max at an Oxford Brookes Slow Food event I was desperate to try out his fine British fair. I booked a table for my 22nd birthday celebration in mid December sadly the snow, and living in a village outside of the city centre, scuppered my plans and I reluctantly had to cancel. Not long after that I embarked on my around the world trip and before I knew it it was June and I was home. It was then that I heard the sad news about The Big Bang’s imminent closure.
Third Time’s a Charm
I persuaded my work friends to join me on an after work sausage outing the week before the planned closure, but we arrived to find that The Big Bang was yet to open. My heart sank and I feared that I would never become a part of The Big Bang’s rich history. Luckily it turned out that 3rd time really is a charm! I managed to secure a table for the 3 of us on The Big Bang’s closing night.
The atmosphere was like nothing I have ever experienced before; the place was buzzing and it was fantastic! We received a warm welcome from the very charismatic, if slightly hyperactive, Max. The Menu’s were pieces of card stuck in the middle of old books and arty magazines, what a great touch.
We found that even though we were sat next to a fairly large birthday party group the service we received was not affected and we noted that everyone was treated the same there were no VIP’s because everyone was a VIP.
My work friends and I started with a Pint of Cotswold Lager: delicious and local. As for the food it was faultless, good simple grub. I had the ‘Big Bang Trio’ with an Oxford Sausage, a venison one and a Pork and leek. To accompany my sausage fest I had garlic and rosemary mash, Red cabbage, peas and a red wine jus. Every mouthful was an explosion of flavours, sheer pleasure. The only thing I would say is that the portions were definitely man sized but we all managed to clean our plates.
Sausage and mash isn’t something I really cook at home and it’s definitely not something I would order at a restaurant or gastro pub. But curiosity drew me to The Big Bang and I am glad it did. It’s not often you find great quality, simple, locally sourced food, served up by a charming independent restaurant owner at a price to suit all pockets; add to that the odd quirky touch and you have a winning formula
Oxford has lost a great independent establishment. Whatever replaces The Big Bang’s shabby chic may shine but it certainly won’t sparkle!