Thursday, November 7, 2013

The Ox and Hound Bistro, Beechworth by Bureaucrat

Having eaten ourselves into a post-prandial somnolence at Cafe Woodworks, we had a quick look-see at the Woodworks Gallery before packing ourselves back in our car with the aim of getting to Beechworth by dinnertime.

En route to Beechworth (Vic) from Bungendore (NSW).

As we had a pretty big lunch, and the fact that we would have spent about nine hours in a car that day, we hadn't planned on eating a big dinner.  In fact, I was quite looking forward to a light supper - a crisp salad, maybe a little bit of protein (steamed fish) and a big glass of apple cider vinegar with water to aid digestion.

When we arrived in Beechworth, it was around 7pm and already pitch black.  Having checked-in to our hotel, we stretched our legs in search for the light dinner along the main street area.  The Ox and Hound Bistro caught my eye - a cute French style eatery.

Inside, it was simply decorated with hanging lights, bunches of plants and accentuated with a metallic motif.  It had the most wonderful, warm, welcoming vibe to the place.  Although the place was fully booked, it was just our luck that one table had only just finished and had left.

As we perused the menu, all thoughts of having a light dinner were banished.  There were just too many tasty dishes on offer, which were all the more tempting as they featured a lot of the fresh, local produce.  Examples included the twice cooked pumpkin souffle, lobster, hazelnuts, black cabbage and brown butter; rigatoni with braised duck in red wine and fresh sage; and Harrietville rainbow trout bourdin, braised baby leeks, caviar w champagne cream sauce.

Having placed our orders, we tucked into the fresh, lurvely sourdough bread with whipped, rock-salt butter.

The Lawyer got one of the specials - an entree-sized chicken ragout w homemade orecchiette.  I've never come across a ragout made with chicken.  I didn't think chicken has a strong enough flavour for it to be made into a ragout.  While the dish tasted nice, I think I prefer a beef or lamb ragout instead.  The orecchiette was al dente and I appreciated the effort that went into make each one.

I went for the entree-sized risotto - made with cultivated and foraged mushrooms.  One of the best risottos that I've ever had!  I prefer my risotto to be a bit more cooked than al dente.  This was soft but not mushy.  Lots of squidgy mushrooms that gave the risotto a deep, umani flavour, and I also loved the strong Madeira in it.  Plate-licking good!

To go with our dishes, we ordered a side of seasonal green vegs (in this case, tender green beans and broccolini) w toasted hazelnuts.  Simple and good.

Food - 9.5
Ambiance - 8.5
Service - 9
Price - 8.5

What a great place!  European-style food made with lots of fresh, regional produce.  When you eat this food, it makes you realise how lucky we are to have such great produce in Australia.  The O&HB definitely know what they're doing to bring out the best of all their produce that they're using.  I can't think of an eatery in Melbourne/suburbia that comes anywhere near the quality and freshness of the food that's served at the O&HB.

The Ox and Hound Bistro
52 Ford Street
Beechworth VIC 3747
Telephone: 03 5728 2123

The Ox and Hound Bistro on Urbanspoon


Jacqueline Bolton said...

I live in Beechworth and the Ox and Hounds is one of my favourite places to eat. Great pasta, amazing food. I even bought a gift voucher for my son and his wife to have dinner at the Ox and Hounds when they came to visit me from Melbourne and they absolutely loved the food. We are blessed to have such a high quality restaurant here in Beechworth that loves and uses regional fresh produce.

Bureaucrat said...

Hi Jacqueline, thanks for your comment :) You're so lucky to be able to dine there regularly - very envious. Everything about the Ox and Hound is just wonderful - it's definitely put Beechworth on the foodie map for me!

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