Gee’s Restaurant | Oxford (UK)

The perfect backdrop to a menu of well-prepared rustic Mediterranean grills in a beautiful and trendy Victorian greenhouse!

Situated in the heart of the conservation area known as Victorian North Oxford, we find Gee’s. Originally a greengrocer and florist built in 1898, this Victorian conservatory was only listed as Grade II in 2010. Jeremy Mogford bought the lease from the Gee family in the eighties and turned it into a restaurant. From 1985 Gee’s was leased to Raymond Blanc for his very first Petit Blanc, which he decided to close just 4 years later. Jeremy took back the lease and Gee’s opened shortly after.

Jeremy Mogford didn’t sit still after that and Gee’s is now part his Oxford Collection, also holding Old Bank Hotel & Quod restaurant and bar, and Old Parsonage Hotel & Parsonage Grill.

In 2013 Gee’s was transformed completely to what it is today. A light airy and stylish restaurant with a comfortable Mediterranean atmosphere. Accentuated by an abundance of trees and plants inside, as well as outside on the terrace. Perfect for a summer lunch.
Gee’s Head Chef Russell Heeley runs the kitchen since July 2015 and previously worked at The Malmaison in Oxford for almost 10 years.

Gee’s is open daily for lunch and dinner. The à la carte menu offers 2 Pizzette (at £8.95), 7 Starters (at £6.95-£17.95), 8 Mains (at £15.95-£31.95), 6 Sides (at £3.95), 4 Desserts (at £6.50-£7.50), Cheese (at £7.95) and Ice Creams/Sorbets (at £4.50-£7). During weekdays they also offer a Express Lunch Menu (2 courses £15.95 or 3 courses £18.50). And a Weekend Brunch Menu from 10:00 to 11:30.

We had lunch two weeks ago on Saturday and selected three courses from the menu. We also ordered one of the pizzette to share with our aperitif.

Broccoli & Burrata Pizzetta (£8.95)

A pizzetta is basically a small pizza. Freshly baked, with an ultra thin and wood fired crispy bottom. Perfect appetiser on a summers day. Nice clean taste with creamy burrata cheese and broccoli. Could do with a bit of seasoning or a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

Wood Fired Octopus, Braised Lentils, Paprika, Chilli & Lemon (10.95)

Tender octopus with a light wood fired char, with green lentils in a tasty sauce dominated by salsa verde and smoked paprika. A hint of chilli and lemon to add a bit of complexity to the sauce. Just lovely. Definitely getting the Mediterranean vibe with these Spanish flavours all around. Yumm!

Chicken & Rabbit Terrine, Pickled Carrots & Onions, Pugliese Toast (£8.50)

Nicely made terrine. Like the chunky pieces of meat so you can distinguish the chicken from the rabbit. Just lacked seasoning again. Just a bit of salt and pepper would have highlighted the flavours so much more. Pickled carrot and onions work well with the terrine, as does the toast of Pugliese bread (a rustic Italian bread).

Whole Rainbow Trout, Wood Fired Fennel, Capers & Salsa Verde (£21.95)

Lovely rainbow trout, cooked beautifully and moist. Stuffed with rosemary, thyme and lemon during grilling, gave just the right flavour tones to the fish. Flavoursome salsa verde with a bright green taste. Together with the wood fired fennel and capers makes for a summery dish. Rustic and simply delightful.

½ Wood Fired Guinea Fowl, Rainbow Carrots, Kale & Romesco (£19.50)

The other main was good as well. Guinea fowl with a gentle smokey taste of the wood firing. Love it. Rainbow carrots and wilted kale just plain and simple. Romesco (a tomato-based sauce that originated from Catalonia) didn’t only bring the Mediterranean touch, it really brought the dish together.

Roasted Peaches, Vanilla Mascarpone & Toasted Almonds (£6.95)

The roasted peaches were a bit underwhelming. It delivered what it said on the tin, but lacked taste and excitement. Something that the mascarpone, almonds and basil couldn’t bring enough either. 

Chocolate Nemesis & Pistachio Ice Cream (£7.50)

Chocolate Nemesis is definitely the right name for this dessert. Like the gooey chocolate inside a chocolate tart, but then a whole slice of it! Quite rich obviously, but heaven for chocolate lovers. Pistachio ice cream is very nice and clearly a great companion to the chocolate.

Service was attentive, efficient and quick. No hovering or dithering here. With this food, the service and the overall atmosphere, you feel like being in a brasserie at the coast of Southern France.

I can see this being a favourite neighbourhood restaurant of the locals. But I would recommend it to Oxford’ visitors as well. Nice break from all the historic colleges. The perfect backdrop to a menu of well-prepared rustic Mediterranean grills in a beautiful and trendy Victorian greenhouse!

Gee's outside