After the foodie stir created by Ben’s other culinary ventures such as street food outlets Patty Smith’s Burger Co, Dough Boys Pizza and Fu-Schnickens, it’s unsurprising that high expectations have developed for his first restaurant. Having operated in street food form over the summer at the Belgrave Feasts, Ox Club soon gained a name for itself owing to their juicy Hangar steaks but the menu at the restaurant offers much more. With both a brunch (weekends only) and evening menu each dish stands alone in its superior curation and combining of flavours and textures – there is no afterthought on this menu, no ticking boxes. The combination of small plates and mains offers dishes such as as Scallops Cooked On Coals with the accompaniments of grapefruit, coriander, brown butter and Cherry Wood Smoked Trout & Whisky Cured Salmon with horseradish, beetroot and apple. Also, those from the grill including Razor Clams with chorizo, lemon and caperberries and Ox Cheek paired with bacon jam and flageolet beans- as well as, of course, the signature dish Hangar Steak with salsa verde and watercress. This is a menu which really shows off Davy’s experience both in the kitchen and with unique, well sourced ingredients; highlighting a passion for food which seeks to experiment and utilise new methods of cooking to create artisan dishes.
Photography provided by Nick Porter
The restaurant’s concept is based around the unique inclusion of the Grillworks solid fuel grill which Ben first experienced while on a trip to the Northern United States. Ox Club is one of the three restaurants in the U.K that utilises The Grillworks bringing a pioneering new concept to the Leeds dining scene. Ash Kollakowski, one of the guys behind Headrow House, spoke of Ben’s culinary creativity and the innovative dining experience he has created with Ox Club:
"When he [Ben] trialled Ox Club as part of the Food Lab series at Belgrave in back in April, we knew we wanted him involved in Headrow House. The menu Ben’s developed is really exciting and we’re importing an amazing Grillworks grill from Michigan in the United States which has to be seen to be believed. We want the kitchen to be a really integral part of the dining experience"
The restaurant will use only top quality, locally sourced ingredients – working with small farms around Yorkshire and the North East. Plans are also brewing to take advantage of the roof space at Headrow House to create a roof top garden to grow fresh produce on site and Ox Club is dedicated to doing everything in-house where possible including pickling, smoking and curing their ingredients. Leeds’ wine connoisseurs Latitude have been brought in to create the perfect pairing for each dish while showcasing small scale wine producers.
Ox Club is set to be an exciting new addition to the City’s ever flourishing dining scene. The addition of the restaurant dining experience will build on Headrow House’s reputation as a modern entertainment and hospitality experience which is pushing boundaries and striving to create new, daring experiences for City revellers.