I realise that technically Como Lounge is outside of our usual Oxford area but frankly, I was too excited to care. We first discovered the small Loungers chain on a visit to Banbury last year and was so impressed that we repeated the journey just for food! On this occasion, they were having a launch party for their new Como Lounge in Witney and despite having flown in from the US a few hours earlier, I wasn’t going to miss it.
Loungers is a group of relaxed cafe/restaurants serving good food, coffees and cocktails. I have to admit that we’ve never tried anything off their main menu, as we’re always drawn to their tapas selection which offers great value at three dishes for £9.25 plus a basket of warm ciabatta. But their menu does include a monthly changing specials board currently offering a slow cooked beef chilli, smoked Devon pollack on potato and bacon hash with cavolo nero and a poached egg, lamb chops with ras el hanout and couscous, belly of pork with a new potato, red onion, peach and chilli salad or aubergine parmigiana – all for between 9 to 13 quid.
The normal menu includes a decent brunch menu, including English and American style breakfasts, sandwiches (fish finger sarnie!), paninis, burgers & dogs plus more main course options such as dirty bacon chop, halloumi salad, frittata, jambalaya and a decent veggie curry. There’s also vegan and gluten free options available on request.
Those tapas that we like though, you can choose from a selection of fifteen – which is harder than it sounds! Our favourites include the patatas bravas, the pan fried halloumi, courgettes and peppers in rose harissa, the sweet potato and basil falafel and the honey glazed five spiced pork – all of which conveniently were on offer at their opening launch last week.
I’ve been asking them to open in Oxford for some time and they’re slowly getting closer.. Their Witney location is perfect for lunchtime workers, yummy mummies meeting for coffee and cake (plenty of room to navigate buggies around tables, although toilets are upstairs) and for dinner with or without cocktails in the evening. Plenty of seating both downstairs and in the far bigger than expected upstairs, plus there’s even an outside terrace.
Yes, it does have more than a whiff of hipster about it. Shabby chic mismatched furniture – check. Vintage mirrors – check. Eclectic collection of pictures in random frames on the walls – check. But when the food is this good value, I can accept it with just a few eye rolls and sighs.
Oh, and the staff are lovely! You can find Como Lounge at 34 Market Square, Witney OX28 6BJ tel 01993 773852 or check out the website at www.thelounges.co.uk/como-lounge