Food and drink
Sinful but delicious, fish is the stock-in-trade here although those like me who prefer a little flesh for their mains will also find something to please. Each dish vies for attention with choices such as roast loin of east coast cod with a Wensleydale crust parmentier potatoes, button onions and cider & apple reduction drawing on the fine local produce to hand.
A perennial favourite of mine is tempura king prawns which here comes with chicken & coriander sausage alongside a chilli ginger dressing. Followed by a meat feast of char-grilled sirloin of beef with roast banana shallot, beef & ale pie with pink peppercorn mash and a braised shin croquette all accompanied by a tomato & onion chutney.
Despite its quite voluptuous size over two levels, the rustic styled dining area has been made more intimate with shadowy lighting, rich colours, heavy wood tables, cosy booths and a score of mirrors. There’s also something of the boudoir Baroque about this place that more than hints at its supposed past of illicit naughtiness. The quite high prices and reputation makes this a popular eatery for special nights out and it can get extremely busy.
Overall charming and engaging, though the attentiveness factor can get somewhat stretched when busy, which it is whenever I visited.
Within the city walls on Fossgate by the bridge over the River Foss, just less than a 10 minute walk from the minster.
Expect to pay anywhere between £6.00-£11.50 for an appetiser and £16.00-£23.50 for a main course. The considered wine menu starts at £16.50. For ‘extras’ you pay around £3.00. I also understand that the 10% service charge added to the bill does not go to the waiting staff. Check with them and the manager and if this is still the case tip them at your discretion directly with cash and deduct the service charge from your final bill, it’s not obligatory to pay it.
Tables to book
For me it’s either a table by the window overlooking Walmgate, or one of the internal cosy booths (better known here as beds).
- Business travellers
- Mature travellers
- Special occasions
- Design and architecture