Tel: +44 (0)1865 200111
Address: 97 St Clement’s Street, Oxford, OX4 1AR
Cuisine Type: Slovakian
Moya claims to be the only Slovakian restaurant in the UK. It’s certainly the only one in Oxford anyway and an evening there is an absolute treat. Situated on busy St Clement’s Street, it’s just 10 minutes from the centre of town by bus – you won’t want to drive for reasons which will become obvious later…
The front half of the restaurant is a bright, modern and funky cocktail bar. The long and varied cocktail menu is supplemented by a chalkboard of daily specials. I had a Raspberry Caprihina and my companion a Blackcurrant Martini and they were delicious (and strong). It’s impossible to stop at one, particularly during the Happy Hour (evenings until 7.30pm) when a tempting 20% discount is given on all cocktails.
After all that alcohol you really should linger and experience the restaurant itself. There are relatively few tables in the light and elegant dining area, and it can get busy, so I’d advise making a booking to avoid disappointment.
The menu is fairly short, which makes choosing all the easier, and definitely has a strong feel of Eastern Europe, which means that vegetarians may be limited to one or two choices at most. For starter (£3.50 – £4.95), I chose Devil’s Toast, a delicious rye bread toast topped with a spicy salsa and melted goat’s cheese. My companion had rum-battered aubergine with goat’s cheese, which was accompanied by a horseradish sauce. We ordered a bottle of white wine from the reasonably priced list (house wine £10.95/bottle, £2.70/glass) and were delighted with our crisp Australian unoaked Chardonnay.
The service was impeccable – our main courses arrived swiftly, and our wine glasses were topped up at the same time. My goulash (£7.75) was just the right side of spicy, and was accompanied with sautéed potatoes. My companion’s venison medallions (£10.95) were tender and the knedla (Slovakian bread dumplings) were perfect for mopping up the rich bacon and red wine sauce. Both came with a fresh side salad.
Too full to move far after dessert of pancakes in chocolate sauce (£3.75) and a selection of ice cream (£3.25) we chose to retire to the cocktail bar where we polished off more delectable cocktails. All in all, Moya is a great night out. Just don’t take a vegetarian teetotaller – they won’t get nearly as much satisfaction as we did!