Ox Club heats up Headrow House

Ox Club grill restaurant is one of the final pieces in the Headrow House puzzle, bringing four floors of food, drink, events and art in a renovated building to the people of Leeds. Curated by the creative minds behind Belgrave Music Hall and Canteen, the former textile mill has been transformed into a diverse space already hosting a large beer hall, cocktail bar, 200 capacity performance area and a large roof terrace, with Ox Club a finishing touch to the masterpiece.

On the first floor of the building, Ox Club provides an intimate space to dine that doesn’t feel like it’s on one of the busiest shopping streets in the city. Seating 32 people, the décor epitomises the individuality of the Leeds food scene, with hints of copper, dim lighting and exposed wood. The leafy logo of Headrow House is incorporated into the look of the restaurant, with green foliage conveying the theme of the project as a whole. What commands your attention upon arrival is the huge open grill; imported from Michigan, one of only three in the UK and cooking Yorkshire meat and fish over wood and charcoal.

Although not an extensive menu, the choices are perfectly formed. Advised by our incredibly attentive yet not overbearing waiter, we ordered a selection of dishes to try, which came staggered when ready from the grill. The first was guinea fowl in brine, accompanied with buttermilk polenta; the meat was tender, succulent and cut into thin strips making it easy to share, but enough of a portion should you decide to go it alone. Next to arrive was the hanger steak and salsa verde; as a bit of a beef snob, it was a relief to see it was perfectly cooked, and reasonably priced at a student budget friendly £8. With a wine list well matched to the food on offer, it’s an idyllic place for a cosy, candle-lit dinner for two. The sides of kale and skin-on smoked sea-salt chips were plentiful, and we both made our way to the beer hall suitably stuffed.

You don’t have to battle the unruly weather to nip for a quick drink after your meal, as both Redondo Beach cocktail bar and classic beer hall are under the same, rather large, Headrow House roof. With over 60 beers from all around the globe, the beer hall provides the perfect atmosphere to catch up with friends over a pint; the huge brass beer tanks are a central point to the space, filled with Pilsner Urquell driven over from the Czech Republic twice a week. For those more inclined to a fruity beverage, up a few flights of stairs is the 80s inspired cocktail bar, with a menu ranging from the classics to drinks with a bit more of a modern twist. The final delight of the building is the roof terrace; with similar vibes to that of Belgrave, Instagram-appropriate neon signs and a view over the town centre, it already promises to be a hot spot in the summer months.

With only the second roof terrace yet to be unveiled, Headrow House has proven to be another jewel in the treasure chest that is Leeds’ food and drink scene. Taking a warehouse disused for ten years and crafting something quite special, the originality of every element of the venue would suit any drinker or diner’s taste, If Belgrave is one of your regular Saturday night haunts, then Headrow House and its uniqueness will be a welcome addition to your social calendar.

Ox Club opening hours:

Brunch service (weekends): 10am – 3pm

Evening service (Monday – Saturday): 5pm – 10pm Sunday: 10am – 3pm



Emma Bowden 


Image: tasteofleeds.com

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