Everyone has been raving about Ox and Finch so I know I’m a bit late in jumping on the bandwagon here! It’s not that I hadn’t been meaning to try it a lot sooner, but it’s so hard to get a table there! And quite rightly so, as the hype that this place has been getting is not without good reason.
I love tapas-style dining. My usual problem of food envy is avoided and I just love the variety. Eating tapas with a group of three or four people is ideal because you can pretty much order all of the dishes you like on the menu, but at the same time, each dish has the perfect amount for sharing. Any more than four people, you kinda feel like you can only have one bite of everything. And if something tastes that good, then someone else at the table might just see their bite go into my mouth… genuine mistake, of course.
There is something very satisfying about good, toasted bread. Add in some almond and red pepper spread and I’m yours.
The rain was pouring outside, but the freshness of the salad just me feel like it was a summer’s day. I can’t think of any other way to describe this, other than “fresh”. Such a good combination of flavours and textures, making you want to go back for more. Even the Hubby, who isn’t a big seafood fan, really enjoyed this.
A nicely put-together dish, but at the end of the day, it was just asparagus, bacon and a poached egg. It tasted good but it’s something that could easily be made at home.
Moist duck leg in a pool of fragrant Thai curry sauce – what more could you want? Ah yes, some chewy rice with a crispy outer layer to mop up the sauce (which I would have happily licked off the plate if no one was watching). This is not the most sophisticated description, but you know sometimes when you have a curry and you want both rice and chips to go with it? The crispy rice was like a cross between the two.
Coley isn’t really a favourite fish of mine. I find it quite similar to cod and haddock, neither of which I’m a big fan of. I think it worked here though with the strong flavours of chorizo and balsamic vinegar. A delicate fish would have just been overpowered. Overall, it was an enjoyable dish and the chorizo was really tasty.
Let’s just take a moment to admire the most handsome cauliflower cheese ever. I’m never going to look at any other cauliflower cheese the same again. If it doesn’t have a nice, charred and caramelised surface, a blanket of velvety cheese sauce, and a cheese crisp crown then you can take it away from me. I’m not interested. So simple, comforting and delicious.
OK, so I take back what I said earlier about being yours if you give me good bread and spread. You also have to give me perfectly cooked and salted chips with aioli. I really don’t ask for much. Mmmm…
The venison dish was my least favourite of the bunch. However, that’s saying more about the awesomeness of the other dishes than the flaws of this one. There was absolutely nothing wrong with it – just rather underwhelming and unmemorable compared to everything else. I probably wouldn’t bother ordering it again but if you were looking for something that tasted good but was more on the unadventurous and safe side, then this would be a good choice.
The pork was melt-in-the-mouth tender and the dish as a whole was sweet, spicy, savoury… just bursting with all sorts of delicious flavours! Very tasty.
When you look at the prices, it feels like it’s quite expensive for tapas-sized dishes especially when you compare to the £5-6 range you would normally expect. But I would say that the portions were a bit bigger than what you would get at the likes of Cafe Andaluz or Barca. The meat and fish dishes were maybe just slightly smaller than a mains portion that you would expect from a similar calibre of restaurant. Normally with tapas, I would go for three dishes per person but between the four of us (two guys and two girls), we felt that nine dishes fed us very well for lunch (and two of those were just bread and chips). If I were going for dinner, I think five dishes per couple would be a good number, leaving a nice bit of space for dessert (which we skipped this time). The service was good – nothing to really complain or rave about.