We’re on a serious spending ban at the moment, with our looming wedding, holiday and (casually thrown in for good measure) extension plans.
But we broke the rules on my birthday – thirty flippin’ one seeing as you ask – and went for a meal at the highly acclaimed Skosh in York.
The first question I asked – and so the first answer I’ll give – is what does Skosh stand for? Well, the word is an abbreviation of the Japanese word sukoshi (“skoh shee”) and means “a tiny bit” or “a small amount.”
As the name suggests, this place is all about small, shareable dishes, from beautiful sourdough bread and ‘puck’ nuggets, to chargrilled octopus, cured trout, and onion seed lavash.
I didn’t know where we were going to eat until we walked onto Micklegate, and had no idea what to expect in terms of atmosphere. You get all sorts in York – from the lah-de-dah to the casual and understated. Luckily, given the questionable state of my nail polish, it’s like a wholesome, relaxed, but ‘we do things well’-type cafe.
The dishes may sound quite fancy to some, but everything is done incredibly well, and you know that there’s no way anything is going out if it doesn’t taste amazing. We could tell this from the start, so ordered several things without really knowing what they were – like ‘Cauliflower manchurian’.
You can order six or eight dishes to share, initially, but if you are still hungry, you can just add extras as you go along. Here’s what we went for:
House sourdough, acorn dairy butter & ‘gunpowder’ spice
Quite simply, lovely squashy bread with a decent crust, lovely butter, and – if you want to take things up a notch – a light spice mix to sprinkle over before you nibble.
This was very much like a sweet and sour cauliflower. Although there aren’t many visible components on the plate, the sauce was beautiful and had a real depth to it, as well as a great kick.
Skosh fried chicken with brown butter hollandaise
Fried chicken – what’s not to like? This is a serious case of KFC – AND THEN SOME.
East coast crab and lobster with sweetcorn, tarragon and green papaya
The most delicious looking dish, with the freshness you expect from crab. The little crunchy bits on the top, which had a prawn cracker scent to them, added a nice extra texture.
Chargrilled octopus with tandoor spices and pickled lime puree
I don’t eat a lot of octopus, or in fact seafood other than the standard white fish and prawns. This was lovely – great big meaty chunks with a charred coating and a punchy lime puree to make it pop.
45 day aged beef fillet tataki with sour cherry, mustard and kohlrabi
I was just the slightest bit hesitant with this dish – is it steak tartare, isn’t it steak tartare? It’s not. Tataki is a method of searing beef very quickly over a high heat, so that the outside is cooked but the inside remains rare. I knew it would taste great so dug in, and there were no issues! I’m not usually into cherries, but they worked perfectly, and the kohlrabi (part of the cabbage family) was DELICIOUS. These tiny little cubes were so fresh against the beef.
Puck nuggets with plum ketchup
‘Puck’ is a combination of pork and duck, shredded and then shaped into little nuggets, and set off with a lovely sticky plum sauce.
Mango lassi with saffron custard donut
Who can resist a little dessert? I wasn’t sure about the idea of saffron custard with this one, but it was great. As with every main dish, this dessert turned what could have been a big, stodgy, greasy donut situation into a refined bite. The saffron was there, but could be taken a bit further. I’m up for more!
72% chocolate slice with fennel and black olive
This was complete deliciousness. The hero was the little chocolate tuile, which has that almost burnt flavour and sticky-but-crunchy texture. The fennel and black olive? Nowhere to be seen. I explained to the waiter that I didn’t really like either and this is what they rustled up with no fuss whatsoever. YES.
All in all, for seven main plates, two desserts and a cider each, we spent £75. Dishes vary from £3 to £15, or, for larger groups, there’s a set menu for £35 a head. You will need to book in advance, though.
Find Skosh at 98 Micklegate, York YO1 6JX.