This potentially could have been even more pointless than my usual crap. A piece on a two week residency which I eat and subsequently post just as they finish, and no place I can direct you to in which to eat the food you are about to view. It’s the ultimate middle finger; here, look at this wonderful food. Too bad you can’t eat it. I almost never bothered because of that very reason. Except you can. Well, kind of. Stick with me on this and like all of my personal misdemeanours, it will slowly come out in the wash.
I am sent here by The Pope. No, not the Nazi in Rome, but one far wiser, richer, and more sadistic from Sutton Coldfield. When he says something is good, it’s good. And the food served by Ox and Origin here isn’t just good, it’s argubly the most accomplished residency to have come to 1000 Trades thus far.
It’s small plates here; a hotchpotch of styles that is somehow glued together by a kitchen that understands how to layer flavour without overcomplicating. We take a punt on a sweet corn dish because at £3 it’s worth the risk. It has been roasted on the cob, basted in a little Siracha hot sauce and littered with flecks of toasted coconut. What I expect to jar and fight for attention, is in reality a simple progression of heat, salt, and sweetness. It’s a very clever bit of snackery.
Other dishes are far easier to geographically pinpoint. A ragu of ox cheek is all northern Italy with classic French technique. The meat is spoonable, with two pillows of vivid green gnocchi, and a deeply flavoured sauce made from a reduction of the braising liquor. Salsa verde completes it all. We both agree it’s the best thing we eat all night. This is closely followed by rump cap of beef, served rare with smoked walnuts and more of that salsa verde. Three ingredients that each know their place on the plate.
My date, whose images I have stolen in case you had noticed the improvement, is less convinced by the composition of the pork dish. The belly cut is excellent; softly rendered to that gelatanious mix of meat and fat. It appears with a spring roll of lightly spiced vegetables and a peanut sauce that is a more luxurious relative to satay. There is saltiness, acidity, and heat in every mouthful. I love it. Much simpler is a tomato and burrata dish with tomato consommé and a little basil. It’s too quaint in the company of its peers. A dish that’s still wearing it’s bow tie at midnight, whilst the others are unbuttoned to the naval and sharing a toilet cubicle.
Dessert feels like a bit of an afterthought. Strawberries in various guises with piped droplets of white chocolate, blobs of pistachio creme, and a yogurt sorbet. It eats well enough but there’s little excitement to be had here.
The food hits £38, and we drink a bottle of wine in the mid-twenties, leaving a bill of thirty quid per head, or just over sixty quid if you happen to also live my girlfriend. My usual advice would be to go immediatley and thank me afterwards, except they are on to Saturday 12th, with Twitter pointing towards an almost fully booked ending to their residency. But alas, it doesn’t end there. We get speaking to one of the chefs who tells us that the day time job is one of a private chef, where a similar menu can be had from as little as £30 per head. They’ll even do the washing up afterwards – it’s almost worth it for that alone in our house. So there you go; either go the brilliant 1000 Trades for a pint and pray for a table, or treat yourself to a rather wonderful meal in the comfort of your own home. I think I’ll do both. Sod it, I’m worth it.
I have no affiliation at all with them, but they were nice enough to stop and talk to us about the food, so I’ll return the favour with a link. For affordable private chefs with marigolds go to https://www.ox-and-origin.com/