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“Not the experience we hoped it would be.”
Review of Al Gusto Restaurant & Bar - CLOSED

Al Gusto Restaurant & Bar
Price range: US$15 - US$20
Dining options: Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Restaurant details
Dining options: Breakfast, Highchairs Available, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Oxfordshire, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
476 reviews
288 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 276 helpful votes
“Not the experience we hoped it would be.”
Reviewed 25 November 2012

My wife and I were in Didcot for the showing of the Andre Rieu Christmas Concert direct from Maastricht which was brilliant and afterwards we had booked a table at the Al Gusto restaurant for 7-30pm. When we arrived we waited in the reception area and after a minute or so we were shown to our table and given a menu and the wine list. The ambience and overall appearance was good and clean and the cooking was done open style at the back of the restaurant where 3 guys were preparing the food. To commence we ordered a bottle of Pinot Grigio Rose at £16-95p a bottle, which was brought to our table well chilled. Whilst its ABV was 12% it was not a quality wine but again what did we expect for that price nowadays. From the menu we selected the Garlic Bread for starters at £4-15p as it was called and for mains my wife selected the Insalata di Pollo (Grilled Chicken with Salad and Garlic toast) at £10-95p I chose the Calzone Rialto £10-95p (Folded Pizza with Mozzarella Cheese, tomato, ham, spinach and herbs topped with Tomato Sauce) The Garlic bread appeared reasonably quickly but it was far from the delight we were expecting it was simply over cooked pieces of pizza base with an almost indiscernible taste of garlic which were just about edible. Then came a further problem whereby a lady and man not really knowing about the etiquette of the place did not wait at the front desk to be shown to their table but simply walked in and sat down at the table next to ours. Then the man who appeared to be angry about something then became very vocal about the lack of service. Very strange when he did not have the patience to wait to be shown to a table. He continued to be quite verbal and angry even with the lady who was with him. Whilst this cabaret was going on we continued to wait for our main course. Having entered at 7-30pm or just afterwards it was now almost 8-30pm and when questioned we were told it would be a further 10 minutes which was in my view unacceptable. Eventually the food was served, my Calzone looked huge, but when I used my fork on it the result was just like a balloon popping and it went completely flat and when I tackled it further the contents were very disappointing. The ham was simply small pieces cut from packet slices, there was no tomato, very little in the way of herbs, I did find some Mozzarella but the tomato sauce on the side was cold. My wife's Chicken Salad was somewhat lacking in Chicken but had massive amounts of tomato slices as well as more of that awful Pizza Bread so say with Garlic Butter.
For dessert and really to fill up I chose two scoops of ice cream Cherry and also Banana from the display upon entry, the Banana was okay but the Cherry was almost chemical in its taste.
We normally tip but did not feel it was appropriate here not only because of slow service but also the quality of the meal was not up to the standard we had expected. Perhaps we should have chosen the other Italian Prezzo which did not appear from reports to be as good as Al Gusto.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank WiggleOxford
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

44 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    13
    13
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    5
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • English first
  • Any
English first
Didcot, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
20 reviews
14 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Great food and atmosphere”
Reviewed 17 November 2012

I went to this restaurant with family, we very much liked the food and the service was good. Be warned that you may need to book as it can get busy at times

Visited August 2012
Helpful?
1 Thank krzysztof_j_m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Oxford, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
75 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 48 helpful votes
“Great meal every time”
Reviewed 13 November 2012

Have been to this restaurant several times and on our last visit we went on steak night where all steaks are half price. The steaks were cooked perfectly and tasted great we also had Tapas as starters and they were lovely too nice atmosphere and good service The frozen yogurt is delicious. A great little place in Didcot where you can go as a family or as a couple

  • Visited September 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank OXONJOHN
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Wantage, United Kingdom
Level Contributor
44 reviews
28 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 34 helpful votes
“solid performance”
Reviewed 10 November 2012 via mobile

I've been here twice in the last 12 months and on both occasions the food has been good and the service friendly even if a little inexperienced.
We paid £33 for a shared starter, 2 mains and 2 glasses of wine. Really can't complain at that price.

Helpful?
Thank chrisox9
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
oxford
Level Contributor
152 reviews
58 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 72 helpful votes
“Good food, good value and friendly staff”
Reviewed 5 November 2012

The tables are well spaced and decor good, although the lighting's a bit dark for my taste in places. The staff are friendly & helpful and you can see the cooks at work.
The menu is varied, with some relatively exotic dishes. The food was beautifully cooked, in a minimum of time, with lovely fresh veg. I had lamb shank & my husband had pan-fried duck - both £13.95, which we felt was very good value, given the generous portions.
Without doubt the best eatery in the area.

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
Thank fifytyplus
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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