Our 5 course tasting menu opened with a refreshing and light bouche of beautiful cured sea trout with avocado and beetroot with some verbena giving a lovely floral note. A moreish serving of hay baked celeriac topped with truffle, lardo and burnt onion followed – earthy, deep, autumnal and excellent. The next dish was the slight let down of the meal. Perfectly cooked monkfish, slightly soggy romanesco, served with gnocchi that felt out of place and squid ink that did not bring the dish together.
Thankfully the meal picked up again and the last two dishes were the best of the night. A big, bold and heartening combination of a tender piece of chateaubriand, with parsley root and foie gras – heavenly and indulgent. Dessert was a clever offering of polenta cake, served in a delicate sugar cylinder with mascarpone, and pecan nuts. It was light, refreshing, perfectly balanced and enhanced by slightly tarte apricot – a superb dessert.
But despite some great cookery and quite pleasing dishes, we left OX a little bit disappointed. Not with the food really, but the whole experience just didn't feel generous. Sold as 5 courses, but the first being a bouche, the second being not much bigger, it was really more like 3 courses and these were just not sizeable enough to leave us feeling fed. The bread course was a few small and rather bad slices and petit fours were a token gesture of two average macaroons. It all just seemed a bit meagre. £45, around €63, is a good price for this kind of restaurant and they are clearly trying to keep the price of their menu affordable and accessible whilst still having luxury ingredients like chateaubriand on the menu, but price point is relative to feeling fed and this is where OX fell a bit short of the mark.
Luckily the waiter suggested that we might go next door to their wine bar, OX Cave, for a cheese course. Which we did and after some excellent and well selected cheeses, served by very knowledgeable staff, we were a bit closer to satisfying our hunger.
The food that we did have was based around a seasonal and regional core, with some clever touches of innovation, but without feeling showy and we could tell that OX has the ability to serve up some great food, even if on this occasion it did not feel enough which made it a bit difficult to get a full grasp of what OX has to offer.
The dining room has a good atmosphere, with service that is welcoming and hospitable. OX is a nice restaurant, serving some great food, but maybe they just have the balance between portioning and price slightly off.
See OX on our world restaurant ratings.