Hidden under the Commercial Rooms on Corn Street, you couldn’t get much more of juxtaposition of atmosphere and offerings. Like their other bars you need to keep a keen eye out to find it. Their Ox symbol on the top of the door is one of the only hints of what awaits you if you head downstairs. Take the steps down though and you will be welcomed by friendly and snazzily dressed waiters who will seat you at a cosy dimly lit table with a food and extensive drink list that offers great wines as well as fantastic cocktails. Top tip: this is an excellent date place if you are trying to impress! Don’t be completely distracted by the menu though as if you take a look around you, your gaze might happen upon a random piece of taxidermy (Try and take a selfie with it and tweet it with the hashtag #TaxiderMe – it’s a thing now apparently!)
If you’re feeling a bit flush or celebrating, you can go all out with this menu. Start the evening off with a little Aperitif: a little Applecart perhaps? A cocktail of Temperley’s Somerset Cider Brandy, fresh lemon, cider syrup, orange bitters. Sounds delicious huh! Share a bottle of wine over dinner; they have pages and pages of wine options with categories such as ‘Drink Now!’, ‘Sunshine in a Glass’ and the ‘Big Boys’ to choose from. I am a complete sucker for little touches like this! Once all food is munched, you can even finish off the celebration with a cheeky Digestif…
Oh and you should probably eat to soak up all that drink! If you’re with a group of people (or particularly hungry!), I definitely recommend tasting a range of their small plates to start. Their Sticky Ribs are to die for. I’m also a big fan of the House Chopped Salad, but would order it to come with the steak. Small plates range from £3.50 – £8.50.
They promise to have sought out the tastiest and most tender steaks out there, so although most of their meat comes from local butchers, Buxtons in Winterbourne, the odd cut has come from the US or South America. Steaks range from £14 – £28, depending on your choice of cut. My favourite is the Rib-eye. For years I was fooled into thinking fillet won, but have recently discovered that the rib-eye is where the flavour is at. Each steak comes with triple-cooked chips (although the steak definitely steals the show here) and a sauce of your choice. If like me, you like your steak to taste like steak, you can get your sauce served on the side and dip as you please. So far I have not been tempted away from the steak options, but they also offer alternative options including the Ox Burger or Cornish Cod. They even cater for vegetarians.
I have only once managed to leave enough room to share a dessert, but if you can pace yourself effectively and have enough room left in the magical sweet stomach, then I can highly recommend the dark chocolate mousse and salted caramel ice cream. Perfect levels of salt and sweet. I personally hope salted caramel never ever goes out of food fashion.
If it is less of an occasion but you are still in the mood for some epic meat treats, then never fear as the Ox Bristol has this covered too. If you get your bum on a seat before 7pm then you get a rump steak, chips, sauce and a glass of wine (or alternative drink if you are not a vino fan) for a bargainness price of £12.50!!! I kid you not) Plus you can have a snazzy post-work meal and be home on your sofa by 7.30 ready for a bit of Great British Menu. Win!!!
Word has spread by the way, so I would definitely recommend booking. They even have a super easy online booking system so in seconds of popping onto their website you are in receipt of your confirmation email. A dream compared to some complicated booking systems I have previously come across.
I have loved this place ever since it’s open and always recommend it as a steak option! I will be in again soon for a cheeky mid-week treat methinks! Website: theoxbristol.com Twitter: @theoxbristol