Al-Andalus Tapas Bar

Price guide: Mid-range

10 Little Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX1 2HP

Price guide: Mid-range

Al-Andalus Tapas Bar

By Adrian Mourby, your Oxford expert

I write for Classic FM, Evening .... Read more
#21 of 27
expert-rated restaurants in Oxford
Expert overall rating:3.8 out of 5
Food and drink:
4
4.0
Ambience:
4.4
4.4
Service:
3.7
3.7
Location:
4
4.0
Value for money:
4
4.0
Recommended for:
Backpackers / Students, Couples, Families with teenagers, Families with younger children, Stag / hen parties, Live entertainment, Nightlife, No fuss

Expert review of Al-Andalus Tapas Bar

Oxford's only genuine tapas restaurant.

This cheery, colourful tapas bar is part of Little Clarendon Street’s 'Walk of Food', which manages to be fairly chain-free. Despite its Turkish owner, Al-Andalus can claim with some authority to be Oxford's only genuine tapas restaurant. The full Spanish experience is on offer with copious amounts of sangria and Sevillan dancing most Friday and Saturday nights.

The opening hours are distinctly Spanish. The official line is that the bar stays open "till late". “We stop taking orders for paella at 10 and stop serving tapas at 11,” says Mr Tanyeri, “But we’re not going to throw anyone out who’s still drinking”. He's an amiable man and the bar takes its tone from him.

Food and drink: 

As you would expect the menu consists of cold and hot tapas, paellas, salads and extras like pan con salsa Catalana (bread with tomato sauce) and marinated olives. I’d recommend the gazpacho Andaluz (£4.75) and the grilled chicken strips with blue cheese sauce known as pollo calabrese (£5.75). Monday to Friday mixed tapas is available at £7.95 per person. There are also some more Anglocentric dishes on offer – soup, sandwiches and the Al-Andalus burger (£6.50).

The range of Spanish wines is impressive. Not just Rioja but La Mancha, Rueda, Monterrei, Rias Baixas, Navarra and Valdepeñas.

Ambience: 

The saffron walls and red seats lend a lively Sevillan feel to the narrow interior. Everyone is friendly and the long table, which can take a booking of 32, can get noisy. Anything that is not tapas can take a while to be served, but the menu warns you about that. The back garden is a calmer refuge but only available in summer.

Service: 

Friendly, if not always prompt. The waiting staff are knowledgeable and very willing to give advice if tapas is new to you.

Location: 

Little Clarendon Street is a very narrow cut-through between St Giles and Walton Street, which is where Jericho proper begins. The Duke of Cambridge pub and Oddbins do a good trade here and there is a tight bunch of restaurants – the Pierre Victoire and Café Rouge chains, the George & Davis ice-cream parlour and Al-Andalus as well as Richard’s, the hair stylist that has kept Oxford groomed for many years. Further down you reach art galleries, vintage clothing and a very outlandish furniture shop.

Price advice: 

Cold tapas costs £3.95 - £9.95 per portion; hot tapas from £3.95 - £5.95; paellas from £10.95 (portion sizes serve two).

More information on Al-Andalus Tapas Bar:

Price guide:
Mid-range
Type:
Tapas bar
Food:
Spanish, Tapas
Address:
10 Little Clarendon Street, Oxford, OX1 2HP
Telephone:
01865 516688
Website:
http://www.tapasoxford.co.uk
Serves:
Lunch, Dinner
Opening times:
Mon–Thu noon-3pm, 5pm till late; Fri–Sun noon- late; closed: 24/25/26/31 December.
Accepts Credit Cards:
Yes
Reservations:
Essential at peak times

Have you been to Al-Andalus Tapas Bar? Would you recommended it?