For my third and final dinner during The Big Taste dining event earlier this month, I decided to go Ox and Angela. I’d been to Ox and Angela previously a couple of months back when my friends were visiting from out-of-town. The reason I chose Ox and Angela was because they were featuring a family-style set menu for $35 per person that would give me an opportunity to sample a good selection of the tapas and meats from their regular menu that I haven’t had the opportunity to try yet.
Both my friend and I weren’t in the mood for wine so we decided to each try a glass of the White Sangria ($10 per glass; $40 per jug, enough for 5-6 glasses). The White Sangria at Ox and Angela was delicious! It was one of the better versions of sangria that I’ve had. It was very fruity and citrusy. Though it was a bit on the sweet side, it wasn’t over the top. I definitely would order it again (maybe even a whole jug of it) on my next visit to Ox and Angela. This is the perfect drink for sipping on the patio on a hot summer’s day.
We started off the meal with some Olives and Almonds to snack on while we waited for our food. I was really looking forward to the almonds as I was hoping it was the candied version with smoked paprika that I had tried as part of the Charcuterie Platter during my previous visit. Unfortunately, these weren’t the candied variety. They tasted fine but weren’t as flavourful as they could be. I definitely prefer the candied variety over these ones. While the presentation was nice, I also wasn’t crazy about the olives being served on the same dish as the almonds as the liquid from the olives was making the almonds near the bottom wet and soggy.
As part of the The Big Taste set menu, we got to try a number of tapas for our first course. The first was the Feature Pintxos, which is a classic Basque style tapas. On this visit, the Feature Pintxos consisted of a black mushroom along with a piece kale and chorizo. In all honesty, I didn’t really “get” it and thought it was just ‘meh’. I found the three components to be under seasoned and there was nothing really to tie the three flavours or textures together.
Next up was the Fritters, which were basically salt cod & potato croquettes served with a lemon aioli. Compared to the version that I had on my previous visit, I actually liked these a lot more. They were less potato-ey than the ones that I had before and I could really taste the fish.
Our last set of tapas consisted of the Pan Con Tomate and the Jamon Serrano. The Pan Con Tomate consisted of grilled sourdough topped with a cool mixture of fresh tomato, garlic, and extra virgin olive oil. It was tasty and kind of reminded me of bruschetta. The Jamon Serrano consisted of thinly sliced Spanish salt cured ham drizzled with extra virgin olive oil.
For our second course, we started off with the Chicken, which consisted of slow cooked chicken drumsticks in an olive and wine braise and finished with Basque ketchup. The chicken was very flavourful and fall of the bone tender although a touch on the dry side. I was hoping there would be a bit more sauce.
Along with the Chicken, we had the Asparagus. This was a variation to the version I had on my previous visit to Ox and Angela. The grilled asparagus spears were topped with shaved Manchego, citrus wedges, and a truffle vinaigrette. This time, though there was no soft poached egg on top, all the flavours still worked well together and I didn’t find myself missing the egg. Out of all the dishes I had during this Big Taste set menu, the Asparagus still ended up being my favourite again.
We then had the Ribsteak, which consisted of a grilled Brant Lake Wagyu Ribeye that was topped with roast pepper confit and arugula. The steak was grilled to a perfect medium rare. At the first the flavours seemed a bit muted but with a bit of juice from the grilled lemon the flavours really came to life. I enjoyed the steak and would order it again in the future.
The steak was served with a dish of Patatas Bravas, which consisted of baby yellow potatoes tossed in a smoked paprika ketchup and topped with some aioli. The combination of flavours in this dish were quite unique interesting. I actually enjoyed it although my friend wasn’t a huge fan of it. The only issue for me was that this dish was quite heavy and I was getting really full from all the other dishes that we already had.
Alongside the Ribsteak and the Patatas Bravas, we had a Zucchini salad, consisting of thinly shaved ribbons of zucchini tossed with mint, shaved Manchego, lemon, and crushed almonds. Again, I quite enjoyed this dish as it was not like anything I’ve had before but my friend wasn’t a fan of it. I thought this was a rather unique preparation for zucchini and I liked the contrasting textures and flavours.
To finish off the evening, we had Churros! for dessert. Churros are a fried Spanish pastry similar to a donut. The Churros! were served with a milk chocolate dipping sauce. Personally, I really didn’t care for the chocolate sauce even though I’m usually a huge fan of chocolate. I’m glad we got to try the Churros! on this visit as this was the only dessert we didn’t try on our last visit. Out of all the desserts we’ve tried over both visits, without a doubt the Milk Chocolate Terrine is the winner. Especially for a set meal like this, I thought the Churros! was too filling as a dessert considering all the dishes we already had. I would much rather have a lighter dessert to end of our meal.
While The Big Taste Dinner that I had at downtownfood was most memorable for its taste and flavours, this meal at Ox and Angela was most memorable for its variety and volume. Not counting the olives and almonds, with just two of us, we had the opportunity to try 10 different items that are on Ox and Angela’s regular menu as part of this Big Taste event. We certainly didn’t leave hungry after this meal. In fact, it was almost more food than we could handle.
Ox and Angela
528 17th Ave SW