Ox and Finch is a medium to large place with 2 sides of the room being windows to the street. It has a Bib Gourmand rating in the Michelin guide. and has been at this location 4-5 years. They are located right next to a bus stop so it is ultra convenient if using public transportation. Music plays in the background and the kitchen is open at the front of the place with a bar and a few seats. The rest of the seating is a combination of high top tables, booths and regular tables with bench seating. A wall of wine, with a few decorative items, frames one side of the place and also is the back wall on the stairs down to the bathrooms. Other walls are made of stone and brick with an old wide plank wood floor and decorated plaster ceiling. It’s a very casual feel with a friendly staff and really fast pacing on the service. The dishes looked small but they were rich and fill you up. Their dishes are recommended to be shared and the server suggested we order 5 plates for the 2 of us. We did just that and with leaving a little there was still room for dessert. We had some of their draft beers with the meal. They did offer wine by the liter as well as bottle and some beer specials.
The seared scallops were plated with pork belly, salted pineapple and peanut satay. The scallops were barely cooked and were topped with chopped peanuts. The sweet pineapple was only lightly salted and added a nice twist to the dish. The pork belly was flavorful but on the lean side. It all sat on a really tasty peanut sauce. A good one.
The Salt and Pepper Squid was plated with orange, chilli and saffron aïoli. The squid was lightly fried and sat on a ton of aïoli, that was heavy on the mayo flavor. There was a mix of tentacles and rings/flat pieces that were all tasty and tender. The peppers were not that spicy. This was tasty, just go easy on the sauce.
Hanger steak was served with watercress, mustard and pickled onion. The meat was cooked perfectly, as ordered, a nice rare, but it was cut on the wrong axis that made it tougher to eat. However it was still quite tasty and went nicely with its adornments. A better one.
To go with the beef we had an order of chips with roast garlic aïoli and they were excellent. Totally crisp on the outside and creamy potato on the inside. They were fairly wide bits, like 3/4″ to square little logs. They came seasoned with just the right amount of salt and the aïoli was very good and filled with garlic. Thumbs up here.
A broccoli salad was mixed with cashel blue, sesame seeds and chilli flakes. It had huge chunks of blue cheese and fried bits of onion on top. The broccoli was cooked perfectly and mixed with the other ingredients nicely, but make no mistake this is a heavy, rich dish, but it was yummy.
For dessert we had the Dark chocolate crémeux with coconut frangipane and coconut ice cream. The chocolate ganache- like rectangle was topped with thin chocolate cookie pieces and some crumbles were on the coconut ice cream. The crust on the rectangle was made with coconut macaroons. All parts of this were good alone but also good together. The chocolate was so strong that it dwarfed the subtle flavor of the coconut but you couldn’t erase the texture. It was a good sweet ending for the meal.