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June 19, 2011

Out and About: Red Ox Inn

After a stellar performance at Indulgence 2011 (pork shoulder on risotto cake!), I was enticed to pay a visit to Red Ox Inn for a chance to try out their regular menu offerings and boy, it did not disappoint! Unfortunately though, on the date of my visit, the chef wasn't in to speak to me, but I did get a chance to have a chat with the sous-chef, Brian, after my meal!

  Feature Interview with the Sous-Chef!

Are there any messages you want to convey through your food to your patrons?
  "Good food doesn't have to be complicated!" [We] get a lot of produce locally and around the Edmonton area whenever possible.
In a couple words, describe what makes your restaurant, Red Ox Inn, special? 
  Intimate setting and honest good food.
Do you personally have a favourite dish to share with our readers? 
  The duck! ..though the lamb does come in a close second!

Overall Score:
 Red Ox Inn on Urbanspoon
What's IN: Lamb 
(it was a race to the finish against the pork and the two desserts though!)

One thing that you'll notice about Red Ox Inn is that it's a little out of the way: Not that you'll notice the short hop down Connors Road, but small things like how the streets are getting a little smaller or how your precious cell phone is starting to lose reception (only on the Fido/Rogers network, Bell seems to be okay!) just *may* be an issue for some ;)!

Anyways, tangent aside and moving back to the food, we ordered the prawns (above) to begin, lamb and pork entrees, and bread pudding, chocolate cake as desserts, mmm! I can't wait, let's get started!

Now the prawns themselves were served with corn-shrimp dumplings and a spicy chipotle mayo sauce. Giant and juicy, the prawns were coated with cajun spice and grilled - no complaints there! Okay... well, maybe one *small* quirk (I'll eat my words later..): the cajun spice did seem a little standard and uninspired but the crispy dumplings and savoury sauce were able to round off the dish quite nicely!

Following such a tasty appetizer, our stomachs were eager for more and in short order, both lamb and pork were ready from the kitchen (excellent turnover in the back across the tables!). Now the lamb was well seasoned and beautifully cooked - tender and moist - everything I would want from lamb! However, my friend who was with me did order it done to a medium-well and you tell me, from the picture beside, it was medium-rare to medium at best. It was still ridiculously good and tasty; a non-issue for us, but if you're strict on that kind of thing, I always say, under is better than over!

Similarly, the pork was extremely juicy - soft and succulent! From beginning to end, just an explosion of flavour with the apple cranberry topping giving it a nice sweet, yet sour tang! Needless to say, the stars of the show (the meats) were near faultless on their execution but what dragged down both the entrees were the sides. Though you could taste that the ingredients were fresh and well cooked, the sides were bland and hindered the plate from reaching it's potential. They didn't add anything to the meat: just sustenance as I pounded my way between bites of heaven. To be clear though, the sides weren't bad per se but it's the meat you pay for.

From what I've heard, all the desserts at Red Ox Inn are great; but this night I had the fortune of sampling both the bread pudding and the chocolate cake, and I must say, I'm impressed! Without me being over the top with cheesy-ness, the chocolate cake honestly felt like a warm hug on a cold day. Seriously. Take my advice and mix the chocolate cake together with the ice cream in the same bite and you won't regret it! The contrasting flavours and textures just harmonize and it's everything a chocolate cake should be. Likewise, the blueberry and white chocolate bread pudding with creme anglaise was warm and rich. I really did like the blueberry touch, kudos! A great finish to a great meal.


Red Ox Inn, oh to quote our favourite Californian Governor and Terminator, I'll be back. Thanks for a great time! P.S. if you're looking to visit Red Ox Inn in the future, I strongly recommend you book a reservation (just a couple clicks away on OpenTable) because this cozy restaurant fills up fast!

The Verdict (!): 88/100


  1. I was looking forward to a chemistry pun! Perhaps you made it too subtle for me to notice. Very professional food description though and enjoyable to read!

  2. Eating at Red Ox... was like a red-ox reaction for my stomach? bahaha yeah sorry I don't have any good ones for you =P and yes, I do realize that this is incredibly nerdy.