I and countless other people have been saying for years that Bicester needs a proper English restaurant serving good English food. Now there is nothing wrong with the proliferation of Indian, Chinese, etc takeaways and restaurants - most people enjoy those things, but variety is good, and basically there has been nowhere in this town where you can go out and enjoy a decent English meal. And don't even get me started on the Hungry Horse, you may as well, as Basil Fawlty once memorably said "Put out a huge tray of baked beans and garnish it with a few dead dogs".
So Maba opens - on the corner of my street. What could be better? Impressive looking menu, nice concept. Let's give it a try. So having returned from Legoland on Wednesday, a quick shower and shave later and in we go for our meal - the four of us, that's Duncan, Claire, Lynda and myself.
Nice little cocktail menu to peruse and also a wine list as we waited for our table, booked for 8pm. They were extremely busy as is to be expected for a new place, and as we did not have anywhere else to go that night I did not mind waiting for a table. Whilst the girls ordered cocktails, us red-blooded males ordered up a nice full bodied bottle of red. And off to the table we went.
At this point something rather bizarre happened. A strange looking man came got up from a neighbouring table, came over to us and said "Which one's Lynda Sharp?"
Now I was wondering, what on earth's going on here? This is either some assassin hired by some past enemy, or possibly a stripper. But then he explained - apparently Bestie is famous for being top of the Bejeweled Blitz rankings on facebook and news of her arrival in the restaurant had reached him and he had come over to pay his respects.
The red wine we ordered, was lovely, a rather nice Malbec. Now with the restaurant being rather busy, it took a while for our orders to be taken and for our starters to arrive, but let me assure you, I consider this a good thing. When I am in good company, in a restaurant, I don't want to be rushed in and out within an hour. So the wine and the laughter flowed, and before the starters even came, the bottle of red was diminishing fast. Well Duncan was enjoying it very much, and I was rather drunk on the atmosphere so was thinking we should order another! Unbelievably, Bestie, who has this odd notion that I misbehave on too much drink, subtly tried to tell Duncan "Don't let him order another bottle!" but I was wise to this move and our second bottle arrived along with the starters.
And what of the starters! Wow, I had chicken liver parfait and it was absolutely gorgeous - to die for in fact, Claire had the same. Both the Sharps were also very pleased with their choices. As for the mains which followed, well Bestie and I both had steaks, though I think she had the better option at the prices with the ribeye fillet whereas as you know, my meat always is served best "on the bone". Duncan's liver and bacon and Claire's pork belly were also excellent.
Now the chips, we did receive only 6, but they were the largest chips I have ever seen, and quite sufficient for my needs. I have never required a huge amount anyway, not for me the pile it high, undercook it and sell it cheap mentality of the Hungry Horse. No, these were "par excellence". And so, on to delicious chocolate torte and Irish coffee and a large bill - but quite frankly, with the company, and the time spent (3 hours) who cares?
Maba? Huge thumbs up and back in a couple of weeks for a revisit, without a doubt. They also do lunch, so may have to pop in for a sneaky one!
Well only 3 days behind with the blogs now, action packed life at the moment, but that's all good!
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Jason x x