The Ox and Finch Restaurant Review

The Ox and Finch was easily the most exciting opening in Glasgow of 2014. High praise from many large publications, along with a full restaurant more often than not, has proven all the pre-opening hype was justified. With owner Jonathan MacDonald previously working as a chef for the McLaren F1 team, and head chef Daniel Spurr working at Michelin-starred Martin Wishart Loch Lomond, it’s easy to see where the hype was flourishing from. Located in the thriving Finnieston area, The Ox and Finch moved into an area packed full of top restaurants (The Gannet, Crabshakk etc).
The Ox and Finch

A wet and miserable Wednesday evening gave us the perfect opportunity to try a restaurant long on our radar. Despite not having a reservation, the accommodating staff managed to sit us at one of the tables designed for walk-ins. As soon as we arrived, we noted the open kitchen, busy with bodies, a feature we always enjoy in any restaurant. We would describe the décor as modern with many features stripped back. We liked the shelves filled with the wines, which cleverly hides the stairs, a nice touch. 
The Kitchen
Busy Dining Room

Sharing plates being brought out when they are ready is what The Ox and Finch offers, and we were curious to see if this style of service would be successful. Since we had a late sitting, the lighting was dulled, explaining the darker than usual photographs, or perhaps it was the wine which affected our photography skills. After a bit of help from the waitress we decided on the following dishes: 
Served warm, this was a nice way to enjoy the fresh bread. We really enjoyed the creamy smooth butter, spreading it thickly over the bread, delicious.

Roast Coley
The Coley had a wonderful crisp skin, being cooked and seasoned well. We loved the Chorizo pieces throughout the dish, adding texture and depth, overall a pleasant plate of food.

Braised Ox Cheek
Again thumbs up from us both for this dish. The braised Ox cheek for us was cooked perfectly and fell apart with ease. The celeriac puree was silky smooth and packed a strong earthy flavour, truly delightful.

King Prawns
The large prawns were succulent and moreish. The feta cheese was the perfect match for the tangy harissa sauce. This was probably the dish we had the least hopes about, but it turned out to be one of our favourites, a heavenly plate of food.

Confit Duck
Confit Duck
Duck is a firm favourite of ours, and we were certainly more than happy with this plate of food. The duck was beautifully cooked, the Thai curry sauce had just the right amount sweetness and spice and was the perfect accompaniment to the duck. We enjoyed the added texture from the crispy rice which was shaped into a block. We both agreed this was easily the standout course of the evening, fantastic.

After reading mix reports about the chips, we were more than happy with what we were served. The chips were crisp on the outside and fluffy and light on the inside, just the way we love them.
Busy Table
Lemon and Earl Grey Baked Alaska
With the open kitchen being right next to us, we were lucky enough to see this dessert being prepared. We loved seeing the chef finishing it off with the mini blowtorch just a few feet from us. Lemon and earl grey was a combination we hadn't came across before, but after this dessert, we can now say it's a combination we love. The sorbet within the meringue, with its strong bursts of flavour was delightful.

Blackcurrant and Chocolate
Close Up

For us this was the weaker of the two desserts, but we both still enjoyed it. The chocolate and blackcurrant was pleasant, but needed a bit more of a chocolate punch, as this was lost. We loved the sharp blackcurrant flavours which worked well with the honeycomb ice-cream. The addition of the cornflake crunch added another texture and dimension to the dessert.

Our meal at The Ox and Finch could quite possibly be the best we have had in the City. We admit we had our doubts before we went, but we were extraordinarily wrong. The idea of the sharing plates and food coming out in any order when it is ready wasn’t something that appealed to us, but at The Ox and Finch it works, and superbly at that. The whole concept of the restaurant is a roaring success, and that is backed up with the vast amount of people marching through the doors.

The restaurant was basically full on a wet and windy Wednesday night, yet the service from the staff we encountered was of a high calibre. We appreciated the time the waitress took to explain how the menu worked and her recommendations on a few dishes off the menu, which turned out to be fantastic.

Does Glasgow need a Michelin-starred restaurant? With a restaurant like the Ox and Finch serving top quality food in a relaxed and vibrant dining room, we think not. The award of the Michelin bib at The Ox and Finch is very well deserved; this is a restaurant that would be a hit in any City. Don’t hesitate, book up at The Ox and Finch, and experience one of the finest restaurants Glasgow has had in a very long time. 


  1. Looks lovely; I'll have to take Mrs G again soon, it's been too long!



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