A carnivore’s dream menu awaits at this unassuming steakhouse in the heart of Cheltenham, proving to provide what SoGlos considers to be the best meat dishes in town. Combining succulent cuts of beef with triple cooked home made chips, this restaurant will serve up steak like you’ve never tasted before.
Taking our seats in The Ox’s alfresco dining area, our group selected wines and cocktails from the extensive drinks menu. Relaxing under large umbrellas and shielded from the midday sun, we began perusing the varied cuts of steak, burgers and charcuterie available on The Ox’s summer lunch menu.
Opting for the A La Carte menu, we selected Hickory smoked sticky ribs with chopped salad; Farmhouse pork and pistachio terrine with pickles and sourdough toast; White lake goats curd with peach, tomato and mint, crouton and a sherry vinegar dressing (pictured above); smoked duck with chicory, radicchio and orange and grain mustard dressing (pictured below) ; and The Ox cured meat board, including chorizo, smoked Ox ham, pork and pistachio terrine, pork rillettes, pickles, chutney and chilli mustard – this was a sharing dish recommended for two people.
Each dish maintained a high level of presentation, was dressed with care and featured fresh summery flavour combinations, only enhanced by the warm weather and alfresco experience. The goats curd starter was a refined dish, light enough to enjoy ahead of a large steak main course, but deliciously zingy with a perfect crouton crunch.
Citrus flavours continued through to the smoked duck. With Asian inspired leaf choices and a tangy mustard dressing, there was a delightful warmth to this otherwise lively dish.
Two portions of incredibly sticky ribs were huge crowd pleasers, with meat that simply fell from the bone; while The Ox cured meat board provided the perfect opportunity to try a range of different starter options. Served alongside soft, fluffy wholemeal bread and unusually moreish Marmite butter, our only observation was that we would have enjoyed an extra slice of bread to accommodate the huge amount of charcuterie included with our platter.
Providing what some members of our group described as the best meal they’d ever eaten, there’s no denying that some of the main courses at The Ox are extravagant; for example, at £92 the Chateaubriand is 35oz of steak to share. But if you’re a meat lover, the experience of feasting in a boutique steakhouse such as The Ox, is enough to justify the bill; especially if visiting for a special occasion, or if you’re benefitting from The Ox’s incredible 40 per cent off offer.
Our team selected the 10.5oz Rib-Eye steak, the 30oz T-Bone steak to share (below), the 6oz Fillet steak and the 35oz Chateaubriand to share (above). Only the sharing dishes come with sides of triple cooked chips, leeks, greens and your choice of sauce, so in addition we opted for The Ox’s famous Mac ‘n’ cheese, charcoal roasted mushrooms and additional portions of crispy triple-cooked chips, which were salted to perfection.
Both the Fillet and Rib-Eye steaks were beautifully cooked to medium-rare, as requested. Enjoyed alongside the crispy and creamy Mac ‘n’ cheese with a peppercorn sauce, the sumptuous cuts of quality meat were deliciously seasoned and not overcooked. Such a perfectly cooked main leads us to believe The Ox produces the best steak in Cheltenham, without doubt.
While the standard cuts of beef set this restaurant apart from others in the town, The Ox’s sharing steaks are quite simply out of this world.
From their sheer enormity through to their flavourful tenderness, both the T-Bone steak and the Chateaubriand were a spectacle to behold across the dinner table.
We challenge anyone who orders one not to say ‘wow’ when it arrives!
Not too far removed from something you’d imagine in the hands of Fred Flintstone, the T-Bone steak was a very generous portion of meat, ideal for two people. Cooked medium-rare, this Jurassic-looking dish had a charred finish, but was succulent and pink in the centre.
But for the ultimate in divine dining, The Ox’s Chateaubriand is the choice for steak lovers. Providing 35oz of thick-cut beef from the tenderloin fillet, the large slices of meat were piled high on a serving platter, suggested for two or three people. We shared between three and still had some leftover to share. If you’re enjoying starters and dessert, this dish might even stretch between four people – making it far more affordable. Connah our waitress advised that if we liked a medium-rare steak, we should have the Chateaubriand cooked medium because of the thickness of the cut, and she was spot on – slicing each bite was like running a warm knife through butter. We selected a garlic butter sauce which complimented this heavenly cut of steak to create a sensational meal.
Incredibly full from our deliciously extravagant main meals, the group shared two desserts, wanting to find out if The Ox’s high-quality dishes would continue through to the final course.
While we were not disappointed by the Ice Cream sharing board or Tempura banana with Italian meringue, banana ice cream, toffee sauce and malt crumbs, we felt the dessert menu lacked a chocolate-based option and demonstrated a preference toward a range of dessert wines, over puddings.
Our Ice Cream sharing board included an experimental choice from The Ox’s chef – Sweet potato ice cream, alongside clotted cream and popcorn flavoured ice creams and sorbets in strawberry, kiwi and crème fraiche varieties. These were beautifully creamy and light with the sorbet especially being the ideal sweet treat to finish after a heavy main course.
The tempura banana was a sweet, deep fried banana dish surrounded by smooth Italian meringue and served with ice cream. The mix of hot banana and cold ice cream was lovely, and all tucking in to share a range of desserts was a fun way to end the meal.
While wine is most definitely on the menu at The Ox, the venue specialises in cocktails. As such, it offers a cocktail pairing option, with suggestions to drink before, during and after your steak.
Including their signature take on traditional favourites, our suggestions include the Ox Fashioned No 4, The Don and the Elderflower Collins.
On a number of occasions throughout the year, The Ox offers an amazing 40 per cent off food bills for guests visiting during certain times. The latest offer of its kind is taking place throughout August 2018 and has already seen a huge number of bookings getting ready to enjoy the amazing value deal.
You can find out more in our news piece.
By Melissa Hamblett
Thursday 26 July 2018
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