Some of the best food in Leeds!
At Christmas we walked in and walked straight out; it can best be described as a fashionista/hipster venue. As a middle-aged Bar and Grill-type guy, Ox Club did not fit my style; however, a few friends told me to stop being snobby and go again.
Four of us booked on a Saturday evening at 5.45 because that was the only time available. As you walk in you are greeted by a bland, uninteresting entrance, with a closed off restaurant to the left and a bar to the left, where a minimum of 70% of the men have beards and checked shirts. There is an upstairs bar for music and dancing that has a hypaethral feel to it.
We had a quick drink in the bar which at 5.30 was buzzing and, I have to say, had a really good atmosphere and felt ‘real’ — not full of my usual gimcrack friends. We walked into the restaurant at the allotted time to a packed house. The diners were identical to those in the bar.
The kitchen is open-plan with a big wood-burning grill that almost everything is cooked on, over apple and chicory wood. The food on the pass looked Michelin-star. There was nothing passim about this food, I assure you.
The menu is very clever and extremely inspired — with titles such as , Little Gem, Cod Collar and Grilled Kimchi. The menu has a Japanese influence and a Scandinavian feel, as they pickle everything in-house.
Our starters were, Scallops, miso butter and bonito; Hashimi tuna, apple, pomegranate and coriander; Radish: pickled radish, whipped ricotta, pistou and charcoal oil, and Beef Tartar: sour dough, garnishes and smoked bone marrow — all around £5–£8. The chef creates beatific food to satisfy both your eyes and mouth.
The mains ranged from Cod Collar (£13), which was new to me, and a 45-day-aged on-the-bone 16 oz sirloin (£28), to Hake (£17) and Iberico Secreto (£16). Sides were Heritage carrots; Cauliflower; Grilled Kimchi and chips. To say that everything was palmary would not do it justice. The Cauliflower was not just cauliflower; it was chargrilled with an accompanying sauce to die for.
This restaurant serves some of the finest food I have ever had the pleasure of eating. One of our guests used to be a Michelin chef and he was blown away, too.
To summarise Ox Club, I would say it’s an unpretentious venue that offers food at the very highest level without the stark feel of a high-end restaurant.
- Atmosphere: 4/5
- Food: 5/5
- Service: 5/5
- Value: 5/5
- TripAdvisor: 4.5/5
19a The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU » Tel: 07470 359961 » www.oxclub.co.uk.