When Stephen Toman and Alain Kerloc’h met years ago while working at the Michelin starred L’Arpège in Paris, little did the two know they would eventually open one of Ireland’s hottest restaurants. With a passion for their craft and a desire to bring something new to the Belfast restaurant scene, the pair combined forces and opened “OX” restaurant that overlooks the River Lagan. Since it’s birth in March 2013, this unpretentious eatery has wooed foodies and critics from all over Europe.
Alain (Front of House) and Toman (Head Chef) use a creative approach to seasonality to deliver a top-notch gastronomic experience. Committed to developing close relationships with local suppliers—the (very) reasonably priced menus are designed around the best available seasonal produce and features top quality local meats and sustainably sourced fish. As a result, each dish leaving the kitchen is thoughtfully designed so every element on the plate has an integral role in showcasing the best quality
The menu is short but mighty and offers a “À la Carte” or “Tasting Menu” option. The unique wine list was hand picked by Sommelier Alain and designed to ensure the perfect accompaniment to your entrée. Unsure of what wine complements your meal? No problem—Ox has taken out the guesswork. The relaxed menu is designed with a “add a matching glass of wine” option for each starter or main course.
Broad bean, radish leaf soup or Pea, milk curd, red pepper caramel, radish, verbena are the perfect first acts for main courses like: Mourne Mountain Lamb, black olive, basil gnocchi and samphire or Halibut, clam, sea lettuce, fennel bisque or the lovely vegetarian option of Courgette flowers, tomato, artichoke, truffled galette. Each entrée modestly priced under £25!
Dessert lovers can choose from a large selection of dessert wines to accompany sweet delicacies such as Baked passion fruit curd, viola, coconut and bee pollen or 70% Valrhona chocolate, cherry, malt and caramel.
Ox is open for lunch and dinner—Tuesday through Saturday. Their tasting menu is perfect for a pre-theatre meal. In line with the laid-back vibe of the restaurant--should you have rush off to the theatre, there is an option to call back in for your dessert course when the show has finished! (www.oxbelfast.com)
A few accolades:
Best Wine Experience Ulster, Irish Restaurant Awards - 2014 & 2015
Best Wine Experience Ireland, Irish Restaurant Award - 2015
Best Chef County Antrim, Irish Restaurant Awards - 2014
Best Restaurant Ulster, Irish Restaurant Awards - 2014 & 2015
Best Restaurant Manager Ireland, Irish Restaurant Awards - 2014
Best Restaurant Ulster, FOOD&WINE Magazine Restaurant of the Year Awards - 2014
Commended Best Restaurant Ireland, FOOD&WINE Magazine - 2014
Menu Of The Year United Kingdom, CATEY AWARDS - 2015