As a rule, I generally try avoid to Brighton; it’s just not my thing. Too many faux blonds, too much plastic surgery, too many X5′s and not a decent cafe in the entire postcode. Until now that is. The Little Ox in New Street Brighton is a little ripper and has me happily crossing the Nepean Highway.
So what’s so good about The Little Ox? Well, for starters the food is crackerjack. It’s simple enough to still be cafe fare, but interesting enough to make you sit up and take notice. My new favourite breakfast is their Salmon Tartare which is served with crispy potato roesti, a poached egg & beetroot relish. Un. Believe. Able.
My lunch experiences have been equally satisfying. I recently ate there with a couple of friends and let’s just say they are men who enjoy eating. None of us could make it past the day’s pasta special; Rabbit and Chorizo Rigatoni. We were three happy punters by meal’s end. Though that said a glass of Pinot would’ve been nice, but alas no liquor license. Well at least that’s one less lap of The Tan, I suppose.
This is precisely what I like so much about the food at The Little Ox. You can order something as simple as a sandwich and it won’t disappoint, like their rare roast beef, sweet onions, roquette and horseradish number. The same holds true for the rest of the menu.
Thankfully this attention to food hasn’t meant that they’ve dropped the ball in other areas. The service is professional, which is no surprise as each of the owners is a hospitality careerist. It makes a nice change from the school kids you often find working in Brighton cafes.
Likewise the coffee is rock solid. A properly extracted shot of coffee and well textured milk. Doesn’t sound that hard, but put up your hand if you haven’t had a coffee in the last month that did unspeakable things to your mouth.
For my money this is a great little cafe that manages to get all of the required elements right, something which has been sadly lacking in a suburb that has no shortage of cafes. This is the sort of cafe that Brighton needs and deserves and based on how busy it’s been each time I’ve visited, I’m not the only one who thinks so.