To be honest, I expected to be completely deprived of good food during my trip abroad to London and Oxford. Neither places are particularly known for their cuisine. If anything, the UK gets a lot of slack for their most popular dishes, and I was not happy with idea of surviving off of fish and chips for three months. I made it a point to eat all of my favorite foods over the summer before my departure from home, and every chew was coupled with a tear of sadness from the distance that would temporarily set me apart from such amazing dishes. But when I arrived in London, and then Oxford the following month, I was pleasantly surprised not only by the diversity (although the Black American pool is quite shallow in Oxford), but also the food scenes.
In London, directly across the street from where students were housed (Mannequin House), is Yasar's Kitchen. This Mediterranean, "diamond in the rough" restaurant gave me a deep dive into cuisine that I was only slightly familiar with. The first time I ordered food from there was... quite entertaining. The cooks and waiters were nothing short of friendly and hospitable, and they seemed to enjoy the interactions they'd have with myself and other customers. Their hours are wonderful; they open before noon and close a few hours before sunrise. My go-to were the wings and rice. They have the BEST rice ever! There's not too many ways someone can mess up rice, but these people found a way to make it into something I'm still trying to wrap my head around. For me, this place is a solid 8/10.
As a breakfast connoisseur, I quickly found a breakfast restaurant to satisfy my needs for hashbrowns and the smell of syrup-soaked pancakes. The Breakfast Club at Westgate Mall was fun! I loved the atmosphere, but the customer service and food was just okay. In my opinion, it was overpriced, but I am glad that other people had better experiences than I did. 5/10.
Onto Italian food! La Cucina definitely has a place in my heart. Within a month, one of the servers memorized my order. Isn't that wonderful? I'm going to ignore the fact that this reveals how quickly I latch onto restaurants. The first few times, I got their seafood pizza. AMAZING! Especially the first time when I sat in to eat. It was cool to see the chefs cook near my seat. I never had seafood pizza before this, and I'm glad that this was the first experience I had with that. Then, I tried the pepperoni pizza. Can't go wrong with that. I finally ended my La Cucina adventure with the pepperoni, bacon, and red onion pizza. Decent pricing + great food = 8/10.
Last, but certainly not least: RAMEN KULTURE! This is the best food I've had since I've been in both London and Oxford. From here, I get the spicy tonkatsu ramen... this dang on bowl is nearly perfect, I'm telling you. They're a fairly new location, but they came out arms swinging. It's a pretty small restaurant, but they pack a big punch! The staff is friendly, the chefs are fast, and I feel comfortable in the environment. 9.5/10!
Before I leave, I will be trying an African restaurant. I am extremely excited for this, as I have family in Nigeria and have been wanting to taste the food they're so proud of. I am finally taking the chance to experience a different element of my culture. Thank you, Oxford, for these gifts of food.
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I am Timaira Mya Hinton, a lady of many passions and missions to fulfill. Defined by the carousel of my mind, I am embarking on the journey of life that is saturated with adventures, love, writing, violin, and (of course) the Sims.