Ox (Belfast)

http://oxbelfast.com/

Scores: GFG 6

NEW

Belfast has been without a Michelin starred restaurant for a few years now and there appears to be a general trend for places to move slightly away from fine dining to more casual atmospheres and simpler food.  Ox may be trying to win a star back as it is a restaurant with a contemporary vibe but there the food is definitely modern fine dining.  Following a policy of some London places, on the weekend it offers tasting menus only.  These are also ‘blind’ which also leads them to try and push wine pairings; we turned these down and ordered a bottle of white and red instead.  Ox also had a very good gin list which helped start the evening nicely.  The menu is 5 courses and it costs a not unreasonable £45- we were served the following dishes:

Milk curd, radish, pea, verbena

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White asparagus, summer truffle, yolk, Iberico ham

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Scallop, brandade, tomato chutney

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Mourne lamb, spelt, crapaudine beetroot

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Polenta, mascarpone, honey, apricot, pecan

This was generally a very good meal and it had definitely the most innovative food I have had in Belfast in years.  There were a few slip ups though; some of the courses took a long time to arrive and although the service was friendly it was far from perfect.  Also the food was just not quite well-balanced enough, for example the first dish was just a touch too sharp and the asparagus and ham was too salty.

 

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