The Ox

Steak and cocktails. A dream combination if ever there was one. London has Hawksmoor doing just that pairing, and doing it very well indeed. And now Bristol has The Ox, a meat eaters’ paradise from the team behind Hyde & Co and The Milk Thistle.

Bristol’s most exciting and most anticipated restaurant opening of 2013 has been more than a year in the planning but boy, is it worth the wait.

The Ox Bristol dining room

What used to be Markwick’s, hidden away in a basement on Corn Street, has pulled off the trick of feeling like it has already been here forever.

Some elements remain from its former life. The grape lampshades, the varnished wooden floors. But The Ox is also a close relation to its cocktail bar cousins, with quirky touches everywhere including a marvellous fresco of nubile young ladies in the second dining room.

You could even treat it just as a drinking establishment, with stools leaning against the bar and a fine selection of drinks, not just cocktails but wines by the glass and beers including from the likes of Wiper & True, Wild Beer Co. and The Kernel.

But that would be defeating the point with a menu containing the most substantial plates of food Bristol probably has ever seen since the castle was still intact.

The mixed grill (£45) features a rump steak, pork chop, sausages, mushrooms, triple cooked chips, roast bone, marrow and roasting juices. There’s also a 30oz bone in rib steak weighing in at £49.

The Ox Bristol inside

The majority of the meat at The Ox is locally produced and supplied by Buxton Butchers of Winterbourne. But that doesn’t mean that occasionally a cut will be appearing from the USA or South America if it’s deemed to be good enough.

On the menu at the moment is a 10.5oz bavette d’aloyau from the States (£22), alongside a 10.5 oz ribeye (£25), 10.5oz sirloin (£24), 6oz fillet (£21) and 10.5oz rump (£18).

All steaks are served with terrific triple cooked chips and a choice of sauce.

Between 5pm and 7pm, a 6oz rump steak with sauce, chips and a glass of house wine is £12.50 and this is what I had last night; the meat still tasting of the charcoal oven, cooked to perfection and oozing with juices.

Ginger cake was a delicious way to end our meal; it was just a shame that the cream was cold, unlike at The Ethicurean where their cinnamon cream is brought to the table warm, all the better to be poured over the hot dessert.

If you know a vegetarian, take them to The Ox and get them to try a steak. They won’t be a herbivore for much longer.

The kitchen here is currently open from 5pm to 10.30pm, Tuesday to Saturday; with Thursday and Friday lunches planned in the new year, and BYO on Tuesday nights, just like the old days at Markwick’s.

Walking back up the stairs to Corn Street felt like the end of a particularly fun adventure. There will be plenty more to be had at The Ox.

The Ox Bristol

The Ox, The basement, 43 Corn Street, Bristol, BS1 1HT
0117 922 1001

www.theoxbristol.com

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