For many of us, Whiteladies Road’s culinary offerings end as soon as we get past Clifton Down station. However, whilst it may be hard to resist the lure of the Burger Joint or 2-for-1 cocktails at Alterego, Whiteladies’ latest offering is definitely worth the walk for a special splurge.
The Ox are already located beneath the Commercial Rooms on Corn Street, and Bristol-born owners Nathan Lee and Jason Mead are adding this new Clifton venue to their successful string of bars and restaurants across the city, which include the hugely popular tapas restaurant Pata Negra and “secret” cocktail bars Hyde & Co and Milk Thistle. We got the chance to check out the new restaurant on Friday, its first pubic opening night, and we certainly weren’t disappointed by our experience. On arrival, we were welcomed into the cool, quirky and classically “British” interior by friendly and welcoming staff, who were dressed to hipster perfection in checked shirts and brown aprons.
Ushered to the bar, I began the evening with one of the establishment’s signature cocktails, a “Wild Sour”, which was strong, fresh and citrus-y and proved their links with Hyde & Co and Milk Thistle to be as advantageous as expected. Once seated, we began with a charcuterie board to share, a delicious and beautifully presented selection of wild boar salami, rabbit rillettes, pork & pistachio terrine, porchetta, pickles, chutney and chilli mustard.
As the restaurant’s name would suggest, its menu was pretty meat-heavy, but interesting vegetarian options were also on offer, like a charcoal roasted leek dish served with mushrooms, tarragon, blue cheese, walnuts and a poached hens egg. After much deliberation, we opted for a rib-eye steak with thick cut chips and pheasant served with celeriac, apple, pomme dauphine and fried sprouts, both of which were packed with flavour and cooked to absolute perfection. Our side order of mac ‘n’ cheese also deserves a special mention; its creamy deliciousness and crumbly topping were heaven on earth.
Sadly, we couldn’t find room for dessert, but there were plenty of tempting choices on offer, as well as an unusual range of sorbets & ice creams, cheese and after-dinner cocktails. Overall, we enjoyed a truly delicious meal, which was served in classy and comfortable surroundings by friendly and attentive staff. The prices are admittedly slightly beyond our normal student budgets, but the website advertises some great lunch deals, and the quality of the food and service definitely make it worth splashing out on for a special occasion (or maybe for the next time your parents come to visit!)