Ireland Guide

- ireland -

Graphics Version | 

OX

Eat

Restaurant

3 euro Restaurants Offering Consistent Excellence Overall Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade
Address:
OX
1 Oxford Street, Belfast BT1 3LA
Contact OX
Dislike Like
100%
5 votes

Please mention ireland-guide.com when enquiring.

A new star is born at this relaxed Lagan-side restaurant, where Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloc'h merge stylish modern ingredients-led food and impeccable service with a laid-back vibe - making this one of the most exciting dining rooms in the country
  • Location - By a river
  • Location - Town Centre
  • Location - Waterside
  • Contemporary International
  • Atmospheric
  • Attractive Views
  • Buzzy Atmosphere
  • Cool Venue
  • Extensive Wine List
  • Formal
  • Organic Produce used (mainly)
  • Romantic
  • Vegetarian Friendly (always at least 1 starter & 1 main course)

OX

Situated opposite the Beacon of Hope sculpture in downtown Belfast, the location of Northern Ireland's hottest restaurant seems appropriate - and owners Alain Kerloc’h (former restaurant manager at Deanes Restaurant) and Stephen Toman (former head chef at James Street South) are to be congratulated on their vision and courage in introducing OX to the city.


The concept - of simplicity, quality and accessibility, combined with a steadfast focus on seasonal local foods - is strong, original and confident, and it has generated huge excitement. The atmosphere is electric in the restaurant, which is partly down to the sense of anticipation among diners, but it's also that the room just works. The lighting is excellent and it's a wonderful venue  when looking out over the river at night.


The simple, modern dining room, designed by Oscar & Oscar, flows into the open kitchen where both front of house and chefs are all kitted out uniformly, a statement of intent, as - in the modern Scandinavian style - dishes coming out of the kitchen are placed on the table by the hand of both waiting staff and chefs, who are equally well versed in the ingredients on the plate and the ideas behind the dishes.


OX describes itself simply as 'A restaurant with seasonal creativity’, and a short à la carte menu offering just six (extremely reasonably priced) dishes on each course is a model of pared down promise.


Meat, fish and other ingredients, including foraged foods, are each afforded equal respect: two tasting menus are also offered and while one is the OX Menu of the Season (£45; £65 with wine pairing) the other, more unusually, is the OX Vegetable Menu (£40; £60 with wine pairing).


While Stephen doesn't credit suppliers, the care taking with sourcing is very evident - as also is the originality of each dish, notably the vegetarian ones such as an unusual and innovative starter of milk curd with black radish, baked onion, galette and verbena (just £6.95) and a main course of pied de mouton, papperdelle, confit shallot, egg and Comt (£15.50), both of which offer a creative and deeply flavoursome combination of non-meat ingredients.


With every dish equally appealing, choices will be hard to make; but it would be hard to resist a fascinating starter of Salt baked beetroot with Lough Neagh smoked eel, oyster and squid ink (£7; a special treat for diners up from the South, where eel fishing is banned) and, perhaps, an equally original main course of Comber carrots with sweetbreads, wilted chicory, pearl barley and nettles (£17.50).


As would be expected of a man who has worked in the three star restaurant Taillevent (and returns annually to stage at great kitchens in Paris), Stephen Toman's cooking is exquisite, with great attention to detail - and interesting use of textures is a special feature.


Service has been impeccable from the outset too, with seemingly laid-back, yet highly efficient service from Alain Kerloc’h and his team bringing a casual air to proceedings.


Alain Kerloc’h has long been highly respected in the world of wine and (although tasting notes would be welcome) his original and well priced wine list complements the food perfectly. Here too, accessibility and quality go hand in hand, with several wines by the glass offered for as little as £2.50 - while the classics include just one splurge bottle for that day of exceptional celebration, a 1996 Petrus at £1380...


Beginning with aperitifs that include a craft beer and cider (unspecified), a very welcome manzanilla and equally welcome 'juice of the day', it just gets more interesting as you work through bubblies and a seasonal selection of about a dozen of wht are effectively house wines, all available in three sizes (7cl, 12.5 cl, 50cl), to a brilliant collection of 'Artisan wines from interesting places', which is given equal weight with the classics. 


A great team and a wonderful, affordable restaurant. Lucky Belfast.

L Tue-Sat 12-2.45, D Tue-Sat 5.45-10. Closed Sun & Mon. 3-course L £16. OX Menu of the Season £45 (wine pairing £65); OX Vegetable Menu £40 (wine pairing £60); also à la carte. abbreviations
Last Updated: 16-06-2013
Author: Georgina Campbell

Might also like

Salt Bistro

Belfast, Co. Antrim
Restaurant
Distance: 0.6km
image coming soon
100%
1 votes
2 euro

Former fans of the excellent and much-missed little fine dining restaurant Brulées of Limerick will be interested to find that owners Donal and Teresa Cooper have fetched up here, in Belfast’s most exciting cultural quarter right beside the MAC (Metropolitan ...

Shu

Belfast, Co. Antrim
Restaurant
Distance: 2.7km
Shu
100%
1 votes
2 euro For Cooking & Service Well Above Average Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade

Set back somewhat from the main road, tall arched windows and a smartly painted Victorian frontage exude warmth, providing a vivid contrast to the stainless steel efficiency of the bar and de rigeur ‘on view’ kitchen of Alan Reid’s much admired restaura ...

The Old Post Office Tea Rooms & Gallery

Comber, Co. Down
Café
Distance: 17.2km
image coming soon
100%
4 votes
1 euro Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere

Here in the village of Lisbane, close to the shores of Strangford Lough, one of County Down’s prettiest little treasures is to be found at the thatch-roofed Old Post Office, which dates back to the 1840’s. Having lain derelict for many years, this listed bui ...

The Salty Dog Hotel & Bistro

Bangor, Co. Down
Hotel / Restaurant
Distance: 18.0km
Salty Dog Sign.jpg
100%
2 votes
2 euro Denotes genuine Irish food culture, ie special Irish food products/companies/producers, and highlights the best places to shop for regional and artisan foods; the selection excludes obvious 'non-Irish' elements regardless of quality, eg ethnic restaurants and specialists in coffee, wine and other drinks, unless relevant to local production or history. Eat & Stay establishments are chosen for their commitment to showcasing local produce and Irish hospitality. Outstanding Location, building or atmosphere Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade

This small hotel is in a choice corner location overlooking Belfast Lough and Bangor Marina, and offers contemporary style - together with the hands-on hospitality that is not easy to find in larger establishments. It’s a pleasant place to stay and not only handy ...

The Plough Inn

Hillsborough, Co. Down
Cafe/Bar / Character Pub / Pub / Restaurant
Distance: 18.6km
The Plough Inn - Hillsborough County Down Northern Ireland
100%
5 votes
2 euro Pub with good food and atmosphere Previous Georgina Campbell Guides Award Winner The "Best of the Best" - Only the very best establishments across various categories have been chosen for this accolade

Established in 1752, this former coaching inn is owned by the Patterson family who have built up a national reputation for hospitality and good food, especially seafood. Somehow they manage to run several separate food operations successfully each day, so pleasing cust ...

Trip Planning Tools

My Ireland Guide

Local Recommendations

Hospitality

  • By Distance
  • By Category

Comments

There are currently no comments

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to leave a comment
Not a member? Register for your free membership now!
Or leave a comment by logging in with:

Facebook & Twitter Recent Activity

Apps and Books