22nd July 2015 – 5.45pm
Part of the Fuller Thompson chain this pub is slightly different to the other ones in the group. Focusing more on slow cooked meats, this pub was on my list of places I wanted to try. In a warehouse-type setting the place feels airy but not cold. We took a table by a window and were greeted by a waitress who gave us menus. We poured over the menus and there was lots to choose from, from light bites to more substantial (and more expensive) steaks. The menu had changed that week, so it didn’t quite match the website but this wasn’t an issue. I opted for jalapeño smoking piglets followed by a half baby back of ribs. My dining companion went for the shrimp and lobster sliders to start, followed by the pulled pork bun. We also ordered a side of fries with cheese sauce to share. We also ordered a couple of cocktails. I went for a margarita. Upon arrival I would say it wasn’t typically traditional margarita and sadly there was no salt around the rim but the cocktail still tasted nice. My friend’s cocktail tasted of parma violets.
When the starters arrived they looked really intriguing. My jalapeños smoking piglets was served in a little cast-iron dish and looked very tempting. They were sausages of a cocktail size wrapped in bacon and drizzled in the sweet, smoky warm sauce with mustard seeds running through it. These were so incredibly moreish I could have had double the amount. I would definitely come back for these alone. On the other side of the table were two very cute, small sliders. Inside the sliders was a shrimp and lobster cocktail slathered in Marie Rose sauce. My friend found the sauce had quite a kick. This wasn’t a problem for her as she likes hot food but might be a bit too much for some people. The starters certainly made us excited for the mains. Whilst we waited for the mains a large group arrived, which this space leans to. A member of staff came over to apologise in advance for noise. Whilst this really wasn’t necessary (there weren’t even that loud) it was a nice touch.
When the mains came we were not disappointed. I had been toying with the idea of a full rack of ribs but my half rack was just the right size to leave space for dessert. I was a little disappointed that the sauce it was cooked in was not poured over the ribs upon serving. However, that being said it made them easier to eat your fingers. The flavour was excellent and the dry rub used on the ribs gave a nice depth of flavour. There are also plenty of meat on the ribs. On the other side of the table the pulled pork bun was a substantial size. There had been concerned that it may be too dry but upon eating this certainly wasn’t the case. There was a generous portion of meat and also some pickled cabbage to accompany it. It was served in a beautiful brioche roll. The fries we ordered the side were delicious and had some kind of seasoning on them which added an element that make them different. The cheese sauce that came with these fries was also very tasty although perhaps didn’t need to be in such large quantity as we didn’t finish it.
There was just enough room for dessert so I went for the chocolate brownie with chocolate sauce and toffee fudge ice cream. My friend went for the strawberry meringue sundae. Upon arrival it was certainly the sundae that was striking. The toasted marshmallow on top was surprisingly large but delicious. My friend enjoyed every morsel of this dessert. My brownie was nothing extraordinary but was a good, robust dessert that did the job. I’m not sure I picked up the full toffee fudge flavour of the ice cream but this may have been because it was too delicate against the brownie. Nevertheless, the ice cream was creamy and was clearly of good quality.
Overall OX184 is a sturdy offering and is a pub trying to offer something a little different from the standard burger. We thoroughly enjoyed our time there and the staff were really friendly. With extended opening hours, we expect to visit here during the fringe to sample the brunch, as some of the options look amazing.
Cost £52 for two 3 course meals plus 2 cocktails