On my last trip to York, I dined at Skosh twice – the first time with a friend to try it, and the second time because I loved it so much I needed an encore. Skosh opened June 2016, with Neil Bentinck as head chef. Neil is from York but has traveled extensively, and it shows in the incredibly varied menu.
By the way, the name ‘Skosh’ is derived from the Japanese word ‘sukoshi’, which means ‘a little, a small amount’. Hence the menu is filled with small plates, similar to tapas, featuring fusion eats and local produce and products.
The dining room has a relaxed feel, with plain wooden tables, comfy chairs, and an open kitchen, so you see the chefs preparing all those delicious bites. Drinks can be ordered in small amounts as well, amounting to ‘liquid tapas’.
During both visits, I tried a variety of items. Our server let us know that she would bring items as they were ready, so the bread and hens eggs came out first. The homemade sourdough was chewy but light, and the accompanying local butter and gunpowder spice presented as almost a yin-and-yang… a wonderful start to a chill and inviting evening. We ordered the recommended 3-4 items per person, and couldn’t quite fit in a sweet ending to the meal. It was a perfect balance!
Our charming server highly recommended getting two hens eggs, one apiece. I mistakenly assumed it would be an innovative take on a Scotch egg, but no – it is a lush mixture of crunch at the bottom of an egg cup with foamy cheddar at the top – scrumptious, and definitely worth getting one for each (if not more)! My dining companion commented wistfully he wished he’d saved his until last.
Next came our tempura. The sprouting broccoli tempura with miso, dukkah, and pickled lemon was crisp, with a lovely savory crunch from the Egyptian dukkah (a spice mixture of hazelnuts, sesame, coriander, and cumin seeds), and a refreshing tanginess from the pickled lemon.Then came more lighter bites — beetroots with rhubarb, basil ricotta, and green tea; crispy polenta with yogurt butter, radish, and curry leaves. The texture and taste of both dishes was amazing. I especially loved the beetroot dish – pieces of roasted barley sprinkled on top gave it a satisfying crunch and maltiness to balance the tang and cream.
The next few dishes to arrive comprised the animal portion of the evening: BBQ hanger steak with kimchi turnip, Skosh fried chicken with brown butter hollandaise, Crispy saddleback pork with spiced fig ketchup, Tiradito of wild turbot, blood orange, avocado, and furikake. My dining companion really enjoyed the hanger steak. My own favorite was the tiradito of turbot. Tiradito is similar to ceviche, but the acid (blood orange in this case) is added to the raw fish right before serving, rather than marination-style. Furikake is a Japanese spice mixture, and again, added a welcome crunch. The fried chicken is NOT your American southern relative’s fried chicken and never pretended to be. Crispy bites with a lush and velvety brown butter hollandaise, it’s a perfect solution for anyone avoiding red meat. The only item that surprised us was the crispy saddleback pork – breaded and fried balls of ground mixture. Being American, I was expecting something more along the lines of chicharrones.
The second time I dined at Skosh, I saved room for pudding and just had to order the Lemon curd, white chocolate, and black sesame dish, being intrigued by the addition of black sesame. It did not disappoint – the creamy sweetness of the white chocolate was balanced by the tartness of the curd, and both were offset by the crunch and savoriness of sesame. A complete win, and a perfect ending to a fabulous meal.
Be sure and book Skosh ahead, or get your Dragon in Your Pocket travel facilitator to book it for you – hands down, it’s a fabulous foodie experience for vegetarian to carnivore, with imaginatively designed small plates, a small but choice wine and drinks selection to create your own liquid tapas to accompany your small plates.
The Skinny: Skosh, 98 Micklegate, York, YO1 6JX, Ph: (+44) 01904 634849. Hours: Wed-Sat 12-2, 5.30-10; Sun 12-4; Closed Mon-Tue Reservations very much recommended (and a credit card is currently required to secure a booking.)
Start planning your trip