The Ox Clifton, Whiteladies Road: Review

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The Ox Clifton - Exterior

 

In our household, the arrival of family for a weekend visit inevitably means a meal out somewhere in Bristol, and a recent visit from my dad and sister was no different. After much deliberation, we decided on The Ox – and with the Corn Street restaurant being fully booked on the night of our visit, we trotted up Park Street and along Whiteladies Road to dine at The Ox Clifton instead.

Despite a very different setting to its Corn Street counterpart, the link between the two is clear with both featuring relatively dark decor, mounted skulls on the walls, plenty of intriguing artwork and a well-stocked bar that acts as a focal point for the restaurant.

 

The Ox Clifton - Interior

 

We slid into our booth-style seating to peruse the menu – the sample menu on their website gives an idea of what to expect. While the focus, as you’d expect, is on steak, there are alternative main courses available, and a wide range of starters that include nibbles, small plates, and things on toast.

Those of you who have read my review of the Corn Street restaurant will know that I fell in love with my duck heart starter, and I was pleased to see it on the menu here too, priced at £7. Presented in the same style as their sister restaurant, I enjoyed two skewers on which three duck hearts (subtly flavoured and lovely and dense and chewy) and three devils on horseback, the crisp salty bacon contrasting with the sweet dates, were presented. The creamy apple sauce with which they were accompanied was fantastic too.

 

The Ox Clifton - Duck Hearts

 

My sister chose the vegetarian option from the small plates menu to start: a dish of halloumi, salt roasted beetroot and pickled chilli (£7). She was impressed with the presentation and was pleased to see a decent amount of the salty “squeaky cheese” on her plate, and the chillies, while pickled, still had a great kick. The earthiness of the beetroot paired well with the cheese, and wasn’t as salty as she was expecting – probably a good thing, with the halloumi alongside it.

 

The Ox Clifton - Halloumi

 

Controversially, I shunned the steaks for my main course and instead ordered the monkfish (£19). Roasted over charcoal, it had a lovely smoky flavour and was perfectly cooked with a juicy, meaty texture. The fish was served with a mildly spiced red lentil dahl with plenty of flavour and texture, along with a mound of pickled kohlrabi and radish – the vinegary flavour may prove too strong for some, but I loved it.

 

The Ox Clifton - Monkfish

 

My sister was there for the steak, ordering the 6oz fillet (£29), served rare. Presented as two thick slabs of steak (one far less rare than the other, sadly), she praised the flavour, and was impressed with the seasoning and chargrilled taste of the exterior. The chips were fantastic – proper thick cut triple cooked beauties – and the bearnaise sauce was rich and tangy, although she’d have preferred it a little warmer.

 

The Ox Clifton - Fillet Steak

 

If you do visit The Ox Clifton, be sure to order their mac ‘n’ cheese (£5) as a side – we shared it between the four of us and were impressed with its gooey consistency, the quantity of cheese and the breadcrumbed topping.

 

The Ox Clifton - Mac n Cheese

 

Sadly, we were too full for dessert (if we weren’t, I’d definitely have tried the pistachio sponge with raspberry, honeycomb and yoghurt sorbet), and settled up, receiving the bill in an old tobacco tin – it seems to be a signature of The Ox and sister restaurant/bar Pata Negra.

Throughout our meal, service was fantastic: friendly and helpful without being overbearing. With a combination of good food, good service and a fascinating environment, we’ll definitely be back.

 

 

3 Responses to The Ox Clifton, Whiteladies Road: Review

  1. I’m quite a fan of the Ox in Corn Street and love Clifton. Really have to try it.

  2. Seems a shame you didn’t review any of the Cocktails as one of the restaurants focal points, would’ve been great to hear about that too!

    J

  3. Had fillet steak at the Whiteladies outlet a couple of months back. Not cheap at £80 for two including wine but brilliant quality.

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