On Saturday Pete and I visited Oxford to attend a BBC Food Chat board GTG in Lebanese restaurant Al-Shami.

We had a very nice meal indeed. I always forget how prices are so much less outside London.

For £15 a head (group of 9) we were served a fantastic mix of cold and hot starters (9 different ones plus bread and they took care to duplicate each one at both ends of the table). Starters included hummus, crunchy falafel, grilled chicken wings, pastries filled with a bitter green leaf, little lamb kebabs, deep fried cauliflower, a cold haricot bean and tomato sauce dish, some pale green beans and a lovely leafy tabbouleh. After those we had a nice selection of mains such as lamb and chicken pieces grilled on a skewer, lamb kebabs, a lovely mixed vegetable dish and some more that I can’t remember served with two rice dishes and more bread. The cover charge of £1 per person covered the large serving of un-dressed fresh, raw salad vegetables that came out pre-starter – a refreshing start actually. Drinks, desserts and dark, cardamom-infused coffee were extra but the bill was still very reasonable indeed.

For those in Oxford craving Lebanese (a lot in common with Turkish and most Middle Eastern cuisines) I’d recommend this place.

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