York

A work/social meeting last week in York was made all the more pleasurable by lunch at J Bakers. This fabulous York restaurant has been well documented in this blog, but I really do feel it’s worth another mention.

Tucked away on Fossgate, it really is one of those places that the locals know all about and the visitors only happen upon if they’re lucky or they’ve done their research beforehand. On this particular lunchtime it wasn’t jam packed like last time, but I did overhear a couple of japanese tourists trying to get a table for a weekend evening and the head waiter patiently explaining that wasn’t a table to be had for weeks due to York Races.

Although I foolishly forgot to pick up a menu, I’ll try and remember the quirkily complex lunch through the medium of photography:

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We started with the little freebie amouse bouche brown paper bag of new potatoes with a very garlicky dip quickly followed ion by a couple of very accomplished starters. I went for the venison tartare with a soft quail’s egg and my guest opted for the potted parmesan custard (I think). Both spectacular and presentation has to get a special mention, with my dessert looking like a work of neon art from 1987, but in a good way.

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Mains were out of the top drawer too. I chose the special halibut and my fellow diner couldn’t resist the steak (with a crispy duck’s egg, no less). My fish was meaty and delicate and the wild asparagus that came with it were exquisite. The steak was ‘hanger’ cut which I’ve heard of but never seen served before, anyway it was declared perfectly cooked and full of meaty specialness (my words, by the way).

The accompanying side dishes deserve a mention too and in the interests of research, we felt we should try the chips (of course), which were twice cooked, the ‘unusual carrots (which were purple with aniseed) and the greens. We thought we were being greedy when ordering these, but trust me, there was no waste as they were so goooood!

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As if we weren’t quite full enough, we gave desserts a fair crack of the whip ( I know), unusually for me I quite fancied a little hit of something sweet before I headed back to Leeds. I had the Seaside Special – lemon curd mousse and popping candy (and yes, it did) and Nick had chocolate tart with peanut butter sorbet. We will return another time to sample the knickerbocker glory!

It was completely satisfying and the end to a perfect lunch. Washed down with a cheeky Spanish Rosado (sensibly priced at £15), topped off with very good coffee, it was lunch of the finest order.

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