The first crunch of those thin, salty, hot frites was enough. I’d been making my own at home, experimenting by deep frying or oven roasting them, but nothing came close to these beauties, delivered to our door a few minutes earlier by Gourdans.
Perhaps that’s why Gourdans only delivers nearby to Begbroke, Yarnton, Kidlington, Woodstock, Bladon, Tackley, Long Hanborough and Combe, to ensure their meals are still piping hot on arrival, brought by courier motorbike.
And I haven’t even mentioned the steak. Well seasoned, well cooked, juicy, delicious, decadent, ready sliced on top of the chips – the compliments kept pouring in from my family as we munched our way through our meaty delivery.
The meat was right up there with anything a steak house could produce, yet eaten at our garden table on a summery evening. Surreal.
The accompanying sauces – peppercorn and salsa verde – were evidently made from scratch and perfectly accompanied both the steak, alongside the marinated Portabello mushrooms, and the vegetarian option of halloumi fries.
Now halloumi tends to go hard and cold quite quickly, but this was soft, salty and succulent and, accompanied by the salsa verde’s piquant sauce, a perfect meal.
We made our own salad, but you can order theirs, and drank the very good bottle of Pinot Noir which accompanied the delivery.
There was also a Cornish sea bass with frites for £14 as an option for those who fancy some fish and chips.
Overall, we couldn’t believe our luck, having ordering the steak frites (which come in two sizes for £12 or £14) because we’d heard on the grapevine that Gourdans had just begun delivering.
Usually fully absorbed by festivals, events and private functions, we last encountered Gourdans at Blenheim’s Christmas Lights, the inimitable Gourdans vintage Renault Estafette catering van keeping us fed and watered.
But then Coronavirus has forced so many companies to adapt and Matt and Tina Jerffery have been pleasantly surprised by the reaction so far.
Considering that Gourdans was days away from signing on the dotted line to open their first Oxford restaurant, this metamorphosis is even more remarkable.
So was it hard for Matt and Tina to reinvent themselves at such short notice? “While our ambitions are to progress into a bricks and mortar premises, due to the pandemic our plans have been put on hold.
“Instead, we have turned to home delivery which hasn’t required us to make many changes other than focus on alternative ordering and delivery methods. The main criteria for us is maintaining the quality of our product and service that we are so passionate about,” she continues.
“The UK has an eclectic, varied cuisine and adventurous dining experience that is inspirational. We are proud to be part of it and excited to continue to develop while looking towards the future.”
Gourdans began in 2015, created predominantly through their love of food. The introduced a simple menu, sourced from high-quality produce from suppliers they now have long standing relationships with.
“Good provenance, punchy flavours, travelling, conversations and curiosity has led us to this point,” Tina laughs.
“Since then we have paved our own path, specialising in classic steak frites, using premium ingredients. We pride ourselves on making our sauces from scratch.”
And is Oxfordshire appreciative? “Oxfordshire is a great base, we travel all over the country throughout the year, meet truly amazing people and cater at venues for all kinds of gatherings from private gatherings to public parties, corporate lunches and events. We also trade at North Parade Market at every opportunity.”
But now you can sample Gourdans steak frites in the comfort of your own homes. I can’t recommend them enough.
Pre-order anytime from 8.30am – 8.30pm and choose a delivery time from 5pm – 9pm Wednesday – Saturday at https://www.gourdans.co.uk