Oli's Thai on Magdalen Street

It’s a sad, sad day for Oxford as Oli’s Thai owners Ladd and Ru Thurston announced that they are closing their beloved East Oxford restaurant.

Oli’s Thai was opened on Magdalen Road in August 2013 and took off at such a pace that it soon became impossible to get a table, waiting lists stretching ahead by six months at a time.

This was down to the sheer joy of its offerings, the reputation of Ladd’s truly authentic, stunning, seasonal, ever changing and unpretentious Thai cooking. Which is why Oli’s has held a Michelin Bib Gourmand for the last four years.

Oli’s Thai’s infamous aubergine curry

It was also nominated in the Ox In A Box Food Awards in 2020, as was its sister restaurant Arbequina on Cowley Road.

Beloved by Oxfordians and lusted after by foodies from all over the country, such was its reputation that the nation’s restaurant critics also came flooding, only adding to its already illustrious reputation.

Ladd at the Ox In A Box Food Awards 2020

Mind you, Oli’s Thai is tiny – just five small tables – but during lockdown, Oli’s Thai’s was made more accessible by its online takeaway service which sold out every day, its fans travelling for miles just to get a taste of Ladd’s revered food.

A pop-up two-setting dinner at Branca in Jericho also sold out in record time, tables like gold dust.

Oli’s Thai

But in a statement made by the pair last night on Instagram the announcement was made: “After nearly 10 years of running Oli’s Thai, we have decided to close the restaurant. February will be our last month. We will be closed in March for renovations, hopefully opening Elle’s Deli in April or May.” (Elle and Oli are the names of Rufus and Ladd’s two children)

“The deli will sell all manner of tasty things, including some Thai dishes. We also have plans to run monthly Oli’s food nights.

“Thank you so much to everyone who has supported us over the years. It has been a pleasure running Oli’s. We are really excited about the future and look forward to welcoming you to Elle’s Deli.”