The Ox, Corn Street

Girl in Bristol visits The Ox to try the best steak in Bristol.

Owned by Jason Mead and Nathan Lee who also opened Hyde & Co (2010), Milk Thistle (2011) and Pata Negra (2014) nearby; The Ox is a restaurant and cocktail bar hidden on Corn Street in a former basement bank vault. Last Wednesday, a friend and I visited to sample their award-winning steak as part of their early dinner menu …

12167422_10153705886059860_523034488_n When I passed through the doors into The Ox, the restaurant exuded class and sophistication; the wood-panelled walls, candle-lit mahogany tables and plush seating area gave The Ox a very 007 feel. Admittedly it wasn’t the best time to arrive dressed breathless in cyclist gear but the staff were incredibly friendly, one chap waiting beside the door ready to welcome everyone in.

Once my friend arrived, we were shown to our table and offered a glass house wine as part of the early bird deal. My friend recommended the house red as one of the best she’d ever had so we both had a glass and I was pleased to find the rich, earthy taste of The Ox’s Barbera Dei Piemonte wine (from the Piemonte region in Italy) proved she was certainly right in her judgement.

Although it took us a while to get around to looking at the menu, lots to catch up on all, we eventually decided on the 6oz D-cut rump and fries with an additional side of charred broccoli, squash hummus and toasted pumpkin seeds (£5). My friend chose to have the peppercorn sauce with her medium-cooked steak and I had the creamy béarnaise sauce to go with my medium-rare steak.

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Our dishes arrived a little under ten minutes later, both steaks cooked exactly how we liked them. Slightly pink without being bloody, my steak was deliciously juicy with a hint of smokiness detectable in each bite. There was also an adorable silver saucepan filled with a generous amount of sauce which we could dip into or pour onto our plate as we saw fit. The side of charred broccoli and squash hummus was scraped clean, though I couldn’t really taste the chickpeas, it tasted more like squash mash. The only disappointment was the fries. It was evident that a lot of effort had been put into the presentation and taste of the steak and sauce but the fries were slightly soggy and lacked the desired fluffiness of homemade chips with a crispy exterior.

Fries aside, the early evening deal at The Ox which runs from 5 – 7pm is certainly trying if you want to go somewhere a little fancier without the bank breaking price tag. For £12.50 you get a glass of high quality wine, a delicious steak, a choice of two sauces and fries served in a beautifully laid out venue with attentive and friendly staff. The perfect humpday treat.

The Ox The Basement, 43 Corn Street, Bristol

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