York

I came to York for only two reasons:

Firstly, because it was kind of on the way anyway.

Secondly, because I’d read that Yorkshire had somewhat become the gastronomic hub of Britain, and I wanted to answer the question – other than Heston’s madcap inventions, does British gastronomy actually exist?

My experiences so far in England had lived up to the reputation that there is basically no good food other than Indian. Which is borrowed. Even the trendy and creative hipster joints I’d been to (for example, a gourmet pie shop) were mostly trying too hard and under delivering.

My first dining experience in York was at Skosh. I’d planned to stick to a lower budget but after perusing the menu through the window I was intrigued and decided to follow my instinct. I’m glad I did.

This was the first meal I had in the UK that impressed me with beautiful presentation and well balanced flavours. The menu consists of small tasting plates in a semi sharing style. I had lamb belly, crispy pork croutons, a delicious beetroot and spring vegetable salad, and an Indian inspired vegetable dish as well as a dessert. Ok, so I was a little greedy, but I got excited about finally coming across good food and couldn’t resist ordering a little more.

Each dish displayed good harmony of crunchy, soft and creamy elements, along with a punch of flavour and a perfect balance between rich fatty or savoury tastes and sweet tart counterparts. The menu featured interesting ingredients I haven’t seen so far in Western fusion since leaving Australia, including sumac, rhubarb ketchup, pomegranate and a pistachio sponge. While I thoroughly enjoyed the meal, my only complaint might be that the menu seemed to rely very heavily on rhubarb to add a point of interest to many of the dishes (3 of the 5 dishes I had featured rhubarb as a counter point and one featured pomegranate). Nonetheless I enjoy rhubarb so it wasn’t entirely unwelcome.

Throughout my stay in York I also enjoyed a 12 hour American-style pulled pork burger, and a traditional Japanese meal that featured some of the most impeccable presentation I’ve ever seen.

Although I only stayed a weekend there, I have to conclude that everything I ate supported the theory that the modern gastronomy in York/Yorkshire is a step above the rest of the UK, and certainly in my opinion an essential stop for any foodie travelling around here!

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