So the Go Down Restaurant occupies as basement in York’s Castle Street. I walk past it on the way home from yoga and always have a nosy through the kitchen window. Old Mother Hubbard went to the Cupboard… and when she got there it was bare, so we went out for dinner!
We were seated in a corner, next to a bookshelf of food and cooking themed books, including a lot of seventies cook books. Perfect! We opted for the fixed price menu. To start I had a black pudding with a potato rosti, crispy bacon, and a red wine sauce. Colonel Mustard had the cod and salmon fishcakes with a lobster sauce. He rated the fish cakes as the best dish of the night. When poked to “say a thing about the fish cakes”, his answer was “tasty”. Further prompting has given me “flavoursome” and “a good sauce”. I was slightly less pleased with the black pudding for reasons I almost never complain of: it was too large. Two slices of black pudding was not only too much food for a starter but also overpowered the rest of the dish, which could have done with something acidic to help balance it out.
We both had steak for our mains; Mustard the 12oz rump steak, me the 6 oz fillet. The steak was nicely cooked, the chips were crispy, and the onion rings were, well, also crispy. The 12oz suited Mustard perfectly, but I’d have liked something a little larger, maybe an 8oz. We got three varieties of seasonal veg: red cabbage, green beans, and potatoes. The potatoes were unnecessary, especially on top of the chips, but otherwise the veg was good.
Pudding was a no-brainer: chocolate fondant for both of us. Chocolately, gooey, pretty much everything our ask of a chocolate fondant. Broke no records, left no regrets.
The service was reasonable, but a large party (pre-booked) arrived towards the end of out meal and it became hard to attract the attention of either of the two waitresses working. Since the restaurant obviously knew about the party in advance, it would have been nice if they’d brought a third person in to cover the rest of the customers.
We left The Go Down satisfied but not wowed. York has a lot of decent bistros; the Go Down is one of them. The proportions are slightly off but the food is well cooked and nicely presented. We’d go back if a friend invited us, but we’re not in a hurry to make a repeat booking.
Colonel Mustard: Even a potato fan like me struggled to see the point of the double potato element. The food was good, but doesn’t really do enough to stand out above plenty of other places beyond how you have to go downstairs to get in. What was a little weird, though, was the fact that you kind of had to walk through the ladies’ toilets to get to the gents’, which was adorned with vaguely saucy postcards that I’d have more expected to see in a pub than a nice restaurant.