The Go Down Restaurant York

Three star rating imageKevin Ireson's review: A nice local restaurant with good service and food. A warm greeting was the highlight of the evening for us really but, we might try it again. It was good, not great but good. It may not be the height of gastronomy but good value for money is what is on the menu here. Perfect for young couples wanting somewhere romantic and inexpensive.

As we walked down Clifford Street we noted there was a window open at the bottom of a building that had a cook working within. We looked for the entrance and found that there was a grubby little recess with a door in it that we had to walk through. We then walled down the steps into this basement restaurant. This is where it gets it's name from.

As we did so we were greeted warmly and shown to our table. We were offered a simple A4 menu. Then we had to ask for a drink to start with as the young waitress did not think to offer us one.

The best value available was the fixed price menu. For a reasonable cost you could get two or three courses from a reasonable selection of dishes. Most of these were also available on the a la carte menu which was overleaf.

The Menu

We chose two courses from the fixed price menu which was good value at about 15 pounds a head. There were about 5 different dishes to choose from. A good point here I though was you could also choose any of the vegetarian options from the a la carte on this menu. All 3 of the main courses looked nice.

None-the-less, I choose a black pudding starter with crispy bacon. My partner selected Yorkshire puddings with onion gravy. After asking the lady owner about the menu I asked what would she order? She told be she liked chicken and although I don't often go out and order chicken in a restaurant I decided hesitantly to go with this. It would have been rude to ask and then select something else in my opinion. So it was chicken wrapped in ham for me. My partner asked for the gammon which came with and egg.

After enquiring about what each came with, we asked specifically for potatoes instead of chips, as we are doing weight watchers at the moment quite successfully as it happens. Mine also came with some vegetable. No real description was offered by the lady taking our order and there was no mention of the types of veg or potatoes we would get on the menu.

We also ordered a bottle of red wine which was left to stand on the table as we finished our gin and tonics.

The Food

The first thing to arrive was a loaf of warm bread. If I am honest I don't think it was fresh baked but, it had been warmed in the oven which also gave the this crust a bit of extra crunch. An additional and pleasant touch was there were two types of butter served with it. One regular butter and another that was garlic butter. Now this did bring a smile to my face. I don't know why all restaurants don't do this. It doesn't take much effort or expense and it can add a lot to a bit of bread, if you like garlic that is. Well we do and we were famished so we got stuck in. The loaf was quite large for the two of us and we got 3 or 4 slices each.


Next came the starters. My black pudding was supposed to be on a rosti. However, it was on a cake of fried mash really. This had no real texture to it as it was drowned in a nice tasting red wine sauce. The supposedly crispy bacon was a dried bit of back bacon on top and not really that crispy. The pudding itself was pleasant but nothing to write home about.

My dinner partners Yorkshire puddings were slightly crispy on the outside and doughy on the inside. I like them like this but, some people might prefer them a while longer in the oven to be more crispy and cooked all the way through. The onion gravy was just that, gravy with a bit of onion in for flavour. Now both of us commented that neither of these dishes had enough in the way of seasoning. Specifically salt was lacking. We are not great salt eaters but, we both had to add some to these dishes.

Main Courses

Last to come out of the kitchen was our mains. My chicken breast tasted nice. The seasoning was better and you got a salty hit from the parma ham and sun dried tomatoes. My partners gammon too was well cured and the fried egg's yolk was runny.

Unfortunately both of the dishes were dry. It looked like they had been cooked several minutes before they were served and left to dry out under a lamp or in the oven. Now the restaurant was nearly empty. On;y us and 2 other tables both of whom ate before us. So, there really is no excuse for this. If you can't cook a piece of gammon when you have all the time in the world to do it, then you really should be looking for a new job in my opinion. Not the best main course we have ever had.

The potatoes that came with the dishes were roast wedges swimming in oil. As they arrived I complained as they looked very much like chips to me apart from the shape. I was told that they had been baked in the oven, not deep fried. However when I say swimming with oil, I do mean that. At the bottom of the dish the last two stayed in there as I really didn't want to eat all that fat.

My veg was some red pickled cabbage and some mashed carrot and swede, I think. Now the cabbage was tasty. That was until we got down to the bottom. There was a horrid lump of congealed stuff that was doughy in texture. On tasting it it was like doing the cinnamon challenge! Hot hot hot! Pure cinnamon that dried my mouth out in an instant. Next to it was some mashed carrot and swede that tasted very much of butter and little else. Not a great day for the diet really.

Please mention Hotels in York website when you call. Thanks.

Go Down Restaurant
15 Clifford Street
York, North Yorkshire YO1 8RZ
Tel: 01904 640117

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