Sunday Lunch at The Ox, Edinburgh
We all know how much I love a roast dinner on a Sunday. These days, it's a bit of a rare treat to cook a Sunday lunch in the flat, as we're usually painting walls or making trips to IKEA, so for us, there's nothing more luxurious than heading out for this sacred occasion instead.
A few Sundays back, we had had enough of DI-why and decided to head out for lunch as a little treat. We didn't venture far, heading around the corner to The Ox, which, if you're Edinburgh-based, you'll know has a sterling reputation for its Sunday lunches. This was definitely in evidence when we arrived, as there was no space left - we only very luckily managed to get a table as somebody else phoned to push theirs back as we walked in!
Menu-wise, it was a no-brainer. Despite there beings lots of delicious-looking options, we both opted for the roast beef ribeye, mine with a Bloody Mary on the side. I'm on a one-woman mission to find the best Bloody Mary in Edinburgh, and The Ox's offering is a very strong contender for the top spot. It's an art, guys. It's all too easy to make it taste like a thin pasta sauce, but that wasn't an issue here - spicy and warming and just delicious. DELICIOUS.
But on to the main event: the roast dinner. Honestly, The Ox's reputation hasn't come from nowhere. Based on our meal, it's a reputation that's thoroughly well-deserved. It was, quite honestly, the best roast dinner I have ever tasted. And I've eaten a LOT of roast potatoes in my time.
The beef was unbelievable; beautifully cooked, pink and tender and melt-in-the-mouth soft. Again, it's an art to cook beef so perfectly, and neither of us could fault it. It was served with crispy, fluffy roast potatoes, crunchy savoy cabbage, roasted chantenay carrots and tenderstem broccoli, as well as lashings of gorgeous gravy. There was just the right amount of everything, which is something I feel a lot of places struggle to get right - there's either not enough or too much that you feel under pressure to finish. But portion size at The Ox was as perfect as the food itself.
Service wasn't as amazing as the food, but we'll let that slide as the head waitress informed us that the rest of the servers were on their first day - totally to be expected. There wasn't anything majorly wrong with the service, just very minor things like not being served water, a very nervous-looking waitress wandering past our table time and again working up the courage to talk to us, and not receiving condiments or horseradish (which, to be honest, the dinner didn't need anyway). But the service from the head waitress was really fantastic, and she made us very welcome despite our last-minute dash there. Also, the price was very reasonable: £13.95 for the ribeye beef was a very nice surprise.
Without a doubt, we would absolutely head back to The Ox for our next Sunday lunch extravaganza. It's just around the corner from our flat, so we're in dangerously close territory to heading there for our dinner every night. We've even made enquiries about having our Christmas lunch there, but sadly they're not open Christmas Day. And if you needed any more encouragement to pop along - they just added this guy to the team.
Note: this is not a paid-for review and I was not invited to review The Ox's food or services. We visited on our own decision and paid fully for the meal. My recommendation is absolutely my unbiased experience of visiting the Ox.