No.88 is a uniquely Yorkshire themed restaurant etched onto the Hotel Indigo right in the heart of York. The restaurant boasts an extensive Yorkshire themed menu all using seasonal local ingredients and features an array of locally brewed Yorkshire ale and renowned 'freak-shakes'. According to the website 'the chef describes his menu as a selection of his favourite things from Yorkshire, brought together to refresh, sustain and entertain.'
The interior of No.88 Walmgate is very modern with grey scale tiling, plush leather seating and an extravagant, well stocked bar. Continuing the Yorkshire theming, as you walk in you can see shelves upon shelves proudly displaying all the local Yorkshire ales that the restaurant has to offer as part of the decor.
We arrived at our table at approximately half one on a Sunday afternoon. The guests were checking out of the hotel and the restaurant and bar was rather empty - we had the whole place to ourselves. It was rather nice to escape the hustle and bustle of the city centre where usually at this time the immediately central bars would be rammed. As we were seated I already knew exactly what I wanted - I had spent a good twenty minutes browsing the menu and website prior to arriving, all part of my blog research of course. I opted for the 'Yorkshire Rarebit' for starter and tagliatelle for main, my husband also opted for the Yorkshire rarebit for starter, but chose the herb and garlic marinated chicken for main.
When the Yorkshire rarebit arrived, neither of us were disappointed. It was everything a rarebit should be - a heap of gooey, oozy scrumptious cheese with a not too overpowering hint of Worcestershire sauce. I'm not too sure what made this dish a 'Yorkshire rarebit' apart from the fact that 'us northerners' are rather fond of our cheese on toast, but nevertheless it tasted great and that is all that counts.
After giving us ample time to digest our starters, we were then brought out of our main courses. My tagliatelle was cooked to perfection and tasted heavenly with the lavishing of soft butter coupled with the crunchy pine nuts and fresh as can be vegetables. My husband's chicken again was cooked really well - the chicken was succulent, the corn aioli was a nice touch and the chips were chunky and fulfilling. Our complaint about both meals was the fact that we were given too much of a good thing - the portion sizes were enough to feed a full family and my pasta dish seemed never-ending and like a whole bag of pine nuts had been chucked into it. A little more refinement and small dishes would have been more suited to our tastes.
Determined not to let our main courses defeat us, we left part of it and proceeded to order dessert. We had both heard so much about No.88 Walmgate's freak shakes that we had to leave room to try one for ourselves. Due to dietary issues, much to my resentment I had to forfeit my freak shake and forced my other half to have one. Instead I opted for a lighter dessert option - the almond bakewell tart. The '88 freakshake' was piled high with Kitkat wafers, donuts and raspberries and was filled with a strawberry ice-cream milkshake, it was definitely a showstopper. My husband thoroughly enjoyed his freak shake albeit the sugar coma he experienced a few minutes later and I really enjoyed my almond bakewell tart apart from the apricot compote as it was far too heavy.
Overall we both really enjoyed our meals and the only complaint we had was regarding portion sizes and in fairness it is always better to have too much a good thing than too little. Would I visit No.88 Walmgate again? Of course, but next time I'm hoping to stay in the hotel as I have heard great things about that too.
Have you been to No.88 Walmgate?
*This meal was complimentary in exchange for this review. All views are my own.