Dinner at Dirty-Bones Restaurant Oxford

Dirty-Bones, described as an American restaurant and cocktail bar started in 2013 after a stint in New York. Sharing high fives and good vibes over some American comfort foods whilst downing beers and cocktails. With already three successful restaurants in London; Carnaby, Shoreditch, Soho and now an Oxford branch.

Prior to visiting the newly opened Oxford branch, I had never heard of Dirty-Bones so was very intrigued. I think I was most intrigued by the name and cocktail menu more than anything else. We set a date for our weekly girls night out and were both excited to meet up for this dinner. Mostly because we know we only have one more month before weekly dinners disappear. As sad as it is, we are definitely making the most of our weekly catch-up sessions which is always fun.

Dirty-Bones Oxford


Dinner at Dirty-Bones Restaurant Oxford

Like most restaurants in Westgate shopping centre, it is advisable to book a table and same goes for Dirty-Bones. My friend is good at finding these restaurants and always makes a reservation for us. I often don’t chose where we eat because she has an extensive knowledge on food so she does the searching. Dirty-Bones booking system is pretty easy, neat and online all automatically managed.

The Service {3/5}

We had a reservation for 20.00, we arrived a couple of minutes early and were seated within 5 minutes of arrival. Not even 10 minutes our waitress whose name we didn’t catch arrived to take our order. We obviously needed another moment to check the menu for what we had wanted. It took another 10-15 minutes before she came back to us, I was pretty hungry and angry to be honest. Upon her return we placed our order, ready to enjoy the meal we’d been looking forward to.

Dirty-Bones Oxford

The Ambiance {4/5}

When you enter the restaurant it doesn’t look like much is happening until you enter it fully. Though we found the chairs unusually high for a place to enjoy food it was great. Many large groups had come out for dinner and the place was buzzing. The music was definitely spot on, the waiters were moving to a rhythm, it was mesmerizing. It was definitely a calm, cool and collected atmosphere, all so zen but exciting at the same time.

The Food {2/5}

Firstly, our waitress came back a couple of minutes later to inform us they didn’t have our choice of food. She explained due to the Christmas period they had run out of items, understandable for sure. But then to make matters worse, they did not have the one cider on the menu in stock either. By this time I was just fed up with the service and hoping the food would be at least good for me to enjoy.

Our first choice for the main was Crab and Lobster roll which they did not have so I opted for tacos. I chose GRILLED FISH TACOS; Grilled stone bass with white cabbage slaw, pickled pink onions, coriander and chipotle aioli. They are served on soft corn tortillas and priced at £9 which is reasonable in Oxford. What is not reasonable was the taste of the corn tortillas as they were more cardboard than soft. The filling of tacos was absolutely on point but the tortillas were a let down for sure.


Side dish from hell

When it comes to trying new places I can sometimes be suspicious so I always order a side dish. This is normally because if I don’t like the mains I can snack on the side dish. Against my better judgement {aka my instinct} I chose the brussel sprouts with bacon and sweat & sour cranberry sauce. My instinct said I should choose lamb fries but I ignored it and chose the brussel sprouts instead. This was a disaster, they came looking all burnt and smelt like seaweed than sprouts and didn’t taste right at all. Definitely was disappointed in this dish, I wasted money on this when fries would have been better.

For drinks I had initially chosen a cider {Cider Boys} but they had none in stock so I opted for a milkshake. Now let me tell you about this milkshake, it was the best I have had in a long time. Probably the only good thing I ate/drunk whilst having dinner at Dirty-Bones Oxford. Butter Baby was the name and it was made from; Creamy butterscotch, vanilla ice cream and milk.

Dirty-Bones Oxford


The Price {4/5}

We definitely thought the pricing was reasonable though that’s because we didn’t have starters or desserts with our meal. Our bill came just over £40 for two which included; 1 cocktail, 2 meals and 1 milkshake. Our usual spend on a night-out is above £65 and that includes; 2 drinks, 2 mains, 2 desserts and often starters.

Final Thoughts

Whilst I can not fault the service much, the ambiance or the price, the food was totally disappointing. After visiting Dirty-Bones I read up on some really good reviews of the London branches which were mostly positive. On reflection we noticed almost everyone there had ordered ribs or burgers and that went down well. I think if I ever visit the Oxford branch again, I too will be ordering ribs or a burger.

Would I recommend the place as a restaurant to check out in Westgate, honestly not sure. I can not base my opinion completely on one meal but what I have seen so far has not been pleasant.

Disclaimer: This is not a commissioned post, all opinions shared are my own and from personal experience.