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Friday 15 January 2016

Multi Celebrations at The Ox

Just before Christmas we decided we deserved a treat. As the Ox Clifton had just opened up five minutes from our door we thought testing out their lunch steak deal would be wise. £12.50 for a 6oz rump steak, chips and your choice of sauce plus a glass of wine. However this blog post will mainly focus on our evening visit, the day after new years day, aka Bud's birthday. Just after New Years you might still be feeling a little fragile from the festivities of welcoming in 2016 or you might be annoying friends all over social media with the smug posts about detoxing. I however was embracing the opportunity to check out the evening menu at the Ox.

Often stated as a fact that the Ox is the best place to enjoy a steak in Bristol. As I am partial, read extremely here, to a steak a visit was embarrassingly long overdue. The Clifton branch of the Ox only opened a few months ago but considering the date soon after Christmas it was pretty busy in there. The decor is vintage, lots of dark wood, classical art, taxidermy and pre war advertising. Think the kind of place Don Draper would take clients in Mad Men and you've got it about right.

Steak is the general focus of the menu but there are some tempting mains and starters to sway your decision making. Our lunch visit for example tempted us with some ribs to start the meal with. Also they offer a lot luxurious items on toast everything from charcoal roasted mushrooms to bacon, pigs trotters and foie gras. They also have an impressive wine list I tested a glass of rioja out and it was silky smooth, the boys ordered some beers of which there is a decent selection of crafts to suit all tastes.

Food wise ordering was pretty straight forward we all went for rib eyes, because in my opinion it's the best cut of steak, and a few extra sides like macaroni cheese and their version of a mini caesar salad. Service at the Ox is very friendly, relaxed but attentive enough to make you feel at home, which can be something which is hard to pitch right.

The Ox Clifton
fall off the bone ribs starter from our first visit
The Ox Clifton
ribeye and triple cooked chips

The Ox Clifton
6oz rump lunch deal with peppercorn sauce

The Ox Clifton

The Ox Clifton
mac n cheese
Steaks arrived and we got stuck in. First things first the Ox do the best chips I've had with a steak, a real crunch but also fluffy, these things are super addictive I could eat plates and plates of them dipping them in peppercorn or bearnaise sauce, absolutely gorgeous. The salad that Rich and I had to share was also really great, generous shavings of parmesan but not too much dressing to overwhelm the crisp cos lettuce. Our friend Michael kindly let us try the macaroni cheese, which he was deeply enamoured with, it was very rich and creamy but for me a touch too salty.

As for the main event. The steak was good. Cooked medium rare as requested, a tasty piece of beef. Definitely up there for steaks I have had in Bristol. Price wise its slightly more than the Cowshed down the road so perhaps best saved for a special occasion but the lunch deal is very good value although I found the rump not as juicy as the ribeye but that's rump for you. For £12.95 you can't knock that level of deal. The atmosphere is also particularly engaging, it won't be my last visit to the Ox, particularly with it being right on my doorstep. To find out more about the Ox visit their website.

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