A unique dining experience came to Worcester at the beginning of June, after Ounce Bar & Kitchen announced it had opened its doors in what was The Marwood on The Tything. The idea is that customers are able to order their steak size by the ounce, and on Tuesdays from 5pm you decide on the weight of your steak and pay £1 per ounce. The steaks come with all of the trimmings and the meat is locally sourced and then butchered on site. I had no intention of waiting around to find out if the steak was any good, so we headed over to Ounce at the first opportunity we could. We arrived shortly before 6pm on a Saturday night, mainly because we were starving hungry and maybe a little eager to try the food at the new restaurant.
I fancied a gin and the bar staff helped me choose one of their summer gin cocktails, whilst Mr R started with a refreshing beer, and we sat outside to enjoy the evening sun. We had got in touch with Ounce before setting off to make sure they could fit us in and a romantic table in the snug had been set up for us. I had been unable to find the menu online so other than steak we weren’t sure what to expect. The menu commences with a Mediterranean themed choice of starters including marinated olives & homemade focaccia, beef carpaccio and a seasonal plate of asparagus with deep fried egg & white truffle dressing. I forgot to ask what the soup of the day was, but had made my mind up already to try the Greek baked chicken wings with tzatziki (£6).
The chicken wings had been marinated in olive oil and citrus, lemon I think, and simply baked for a lighter and more summery version of the sticky Buffalo wings we are more used to seeing on the menu in UK steak restaurants. I really enjoyed the wings dipped in the cooling tzatziki, almost as much as the lovely prawns across the table from me. Mr R went with my other choice (luckily he’s good at sharing) of king prawns, chorizo & Jersey Royal salad (£6.50). This was our favourite of the two starters, as although simple, the dish had been put together, cooked and presented very well. Both of our starter choices could also be ordered as a larger main course size.
Now I um’d and ah’d over whether or not I should try the burger, but after being hugely let down at another local pub recently I didn’t want to run the risk of disappointment. We were at a steak restaurant after all so Mr R persuaded me to stick with the theme and I decided to go with the 8oz Bistro (£14.50), cut from the eye and the most tender part of the rump. It was also listed as chef Matt’s recommended choice of cut. The fillet and sirloin could be ordered by the ounce (min 6oz) at £2.75 per oz, and apart from the sharing Tomahawk (£25pp), there was also a 10oz Picanha steak. Finally the 8oz hanger (£16) which Mr R ordered was also chef Jordan’s choice of cut on the menu, and naturally the Tomahawk had been butcher Gezz’s choice. Each one is chargrilled and served with roasted red onion, skin on fries, tarragon flat mushroom and Parmesan salad.
I’d requested for my Bistro steak to be cooked medium, which is difficult to achieve with a piece of meat as thick as this one. The outside had been beautifully seasoned and charred, I’d say almost caramelised for a better description. I struggled with the amount of meat as it was very filling, albeit excellent quality. The inside was pink and had been well rested so there was no blood on the plate. The chef had timed the cooking perfectly, and not allowing it to go over and become too tough – a fine balance with a slab of beef this thick. On the side was a medley of roasted red onions and mushrooms which were very good and a simple parmesan salad. I’d asked for the pink peppercorn sauce (£2), and although indulgent was one of the best I’ve had. As for the fries they too were excellent and I have no shame in telling you that I finished mine off dunked in the creamy peppercorn sauce.
Extra side dishes can also be ordered including a super green medley, creamed spinach, focaccia, roasted Mediterranean vegetables and parmesan mash potatoes at £2.75 each. We went with some creamed spinach which was a great accompaniment, although the sauce was a little watery in consistency for me, but still very tasty and Mr R polished it off with a spoon. The hanger steak (ordered rare) had been carved into tender slices. I tried some of the more ‘medium’ edges and found it much easier going on my teeth and it was full of flavour. The hanger was probably my favourite of the two cuts mainly because I found it less hard work, but I would and did recommend both to another table who were struggling to decide what to order.
We’d washed our dinner down with two very reasonably priced bottles of very good of Malbec (£23 each). We couldn’t possibly manage dessert after all of that food, but took a look at the menu anyway which listed some pub favourites (£4.50 each) including; homemade sticky toffee pudding, strawberries & cream cheesecake, chocolate honeycomb cheesecake, 3 scoop sorbet and New York chocolate & raspberry bake. Maybe we should be starting the menu backwards next time. If you are thinking of checking out the new Ounce Bar & Kitchen in Worcester, we hope you have a similar experience to ours as we found the food and wine exceptional value for money. The staff and owner offered a warm welcome and we are looking forward to going back for more steak, and for some of the specials which include changing cuts as well as lamb. If steak isn’t your thing (or burgers), there’s a choice of other dishes ‘from the otherside of the kitchen’ to tempt you. The big question is though how many ounces can you handle?
Cost: £47.75 (food only)
2 starters, 2 mains, 1 side, 1 steak sauce
Worcester, Worcestershire, United Kingdom – last visited in June 2018
Food hygiene rating – Awaiting inspection
* Due to some weird online blogging stuff going on recently and just to be clear, we paid for all of our own food and drinks in full.