I first reviewed Ox and Finch back in May of 2014, over two and a half years ago. I enjoy my first visit to the newly opened restaurant and gave it a good 8 star review. But I have to be honest – this was my one and only visit to the restaurant.
I’m not really sure why, It’s just never seems to be somewhere that immediately jumps to mind when I want to go out to eat. Especially because you often have to book weeks in advance to get a table, and I am most of the time not blessed with this kind of pre-planning.
So when my friend suggested a dinner date at Ox & Finch a month or so back I jumped at the chance to give it another try….and boy am I glad I did, because it was bloody wonderful! So wonderful in fact that the very next day I decided to arrange a lunch date there with my friend Becca to celebrate her birthday, which happened to be this week.
I figure it’s been over two year, so a new fresh review of this Finnieston hot spot was in order!
I love the distressed industrial style at Ox & Finch – it’s one of those fabulous restaurants that feels bright and airy during the day, and intimate and sexy in the evening. But regardless when you visit you’ll find that the vibe is relaxed and achingly hip, which makes you feel like you’re one of the cool kids just by being seen there.
The staff were fantastic – friendly, helpful and attentive. We had drinks in our hands within a couple of minutes of sitting down, and food on our table within 5 minutes which was brilliant. I have zero issues or faults with the staff.
Now obviously as we are in the middle of the crazy christmas season it was a festive menu that was on offer. But while there was certainly a nod to the holiday season it wasn’t over the top and still reeked of Ox & Finches modern contemporary take on cuisine.
The menu is designed around sharing plates, which I would say are sized between a starter and a main dish. Ideal you would maybe want to order 5 plates between 2 – naturally that is not how I roll and we ordered 6 and then shared a dessert. Well ‘tis the season of calorie free food…right?
Here is a run down on the dishes we had in the order that they arrived
Toasted sourdough with beetroot pesto – This was just a little pre lunch dish to munch on while we were deciding what to order. I enjoyed the rich earthy beetroot pesto and the bread was just lightly toasted which I like.
Grain mustard, rosemary and honey chipolatas – I loved these! I like chipolatas generally, but the sweetness of the honey and the fragrant rosemary was just delicious. It was out of pure politeness that Becca was allowed to try these because I could have demolished this whole bowl myself.
Crab and crayfish cocktail, avocado, pomelo and chilli – This was an incredibly light and fresh dish, which was loaded with heaps of lovely crab and crayfish chunks. It was a beautifully constructed dish which was packed with taste and texture – a bed of chilled crisp iceberg lettuce mixed through with sliters of cool cucumber, which was topped with creamy avocado puree, zesty crab and crayfish, chilli and segments of juicy pomelo. It was a stunning plate of food.
Grilled Stone bass, chorizo and chicory – This was picked mostly because the word chorizo was mentioned in the description (mmmmm….chorizo!) The Stone bass was perfect, it was a large plump flaky fish which was topped with a delicate crispy skin – what’s not to love about that? The chorizo was greasy and tangy in the best way, and the charred chicory really gave the overall taste of the dish a punch of smoke with I always like.
Game sausage, gnocchi, butternut squash, fennel, chilli and sage – WOW! What a dish….the game sausage was so moorishly delicious that I nearly stabbed Becca’s hand whenever she speared a piece on her fork! The gnocchi were buttery little pillow which are worthy of an angel’s head laying upon it! Crunchy and golden on the outside and light and fluffy in the middle. I think this was probably my joint favourite dish of the day.
Turkey, Bacon and Cranberry meatballs, red spiced cabbage and chestnut crumble – Oh God, by this point we were stuffed but couldn’t stop eating, because this insanely good. The meatballs were tasty but what really made this dish for me was the spiced red cabbage, which was wonderfully sweet and ever so slightly tangy. And the chestnut crumble which I can’t even adequately describe – I guess it was kind of like a nutty, slightly crunchy bread sauce..maybe? Sweet baby jesus, it was like a festive party in my mouth. I could eat these every day on the month of December and love them more each time!
Coffee and Praline millefeuille – Despite being full to bursting Becca and I HAD to get this dessert to share….it didn’t disappoint. I believe it was layers of really really thin honeycomb (or at least it tasted like honeycomb) large splooges of light sweet coffee cream and scattered with a sweet crunchy nutty crumb….it was fabulous!
The bill in total came to just over £80 including a bottle of wine and two cocktails, and I was most happy to pay it. I thought it was excellent value for money for the food we enjoyed and our overall dining experience.
I am more than a little bit thrilled to change my initial Geek score of 8 stars to a full 10 stars – the food was flawless and staff were excellent. I promise my next visit to Ox and Finch will be much sooner this time round.