The only thing I don’t love about brunch is having to say it. Do you fancy brunch? What are we up to this weekend? Brunch with friends.
It’s difficult not to sound like a humongous arsehole when you say you’re having brunch. Even more difficult if you refer to it as doing brunch. It’s a noun, not a verb.
But as much as I hate the word, I do love a good brunch. I love that it’s on trend. I love that you can grab eggs Benedict and not be judged for getting a coffee and an orange juice and I love that you can get social engagements out of the way by 1pm so that by 2, full and satisfied, you can retreat home to your pyjamas, not have to socialise any more and smugly Instagram your morning feast.
I have a list of brunch places to try in Manchester and Leeds as long as my arm. I could really do with more weekend to fit them in. The other problem, of course, is that I’ve fallen in love with Ox Club in Leeds.
If you’re not familiar with its location, Headrow House is a trendy venue homing cool places to eat and drink (including Ox Club on the ground floor) and with spaces for events. It’s nestled behind a little gate beside William Hill (an unlikely spot for The Place To Be, but it works).
I’d poured over the menu for weeks before my date with a couple of pals that we affectionately call Brunch Club. Could it be fate that the Ox Club brunch menu calls itself the same? We chose our dishes over lattes and flat whites while the quiet hum of Sunday morning catch-ups and dates lapped around us. The interior is cool and laid back and it was busy without feeling cramped throughout the sitting (we ate at 11:00am but brunch is between 10:30 and 3:00 on a Saturday and 11:00 until 12:30 on a Sunday, immediately preceding the Sunday Grill which – from what I’ve lusted over on Instagram – looks impeccable).
As well as Avo on Toast and pancakes there are some more unusual choices like Korean Fried Chicken served with rice, pickled cucumber, Kimchi and a fried egg and Salt and Pepper Home Fries with spicy sauce and egg. The range is part of the charm; it’s broad without being over facing.
As well as the delicious look of the menu the food quality is excellent (and comparably priced to other brunch choices in and around Leeds which, mixed with the excellent quality makes for great value).
I chose the Flat Iron Steak which came, as ordered, medium rare and was tender and flavoursome. The Cheddar eggs and home fries were mouth-watering and frankly it was all perfectly executed. Our server was attentive without being overpowering and the whole setting fostered a great environment to catch up with friends.
I’m already planning a repeat brunch trip to Ox Club (but am torn between trying something new and having a repeat of the perfect dish I’ve tried. It’s the age-old dilemma of finding a new favourite place to eat). I’m also eyeing up Ox Club for a chance to try their evening menu – watch this space!