Perhaps it's just me and please tell me if I'm being pedantic here but I have a real problem with big wipe clean menus. I associate them with chain pubs. Easy to read with big type for all ages and generations. Having heard great things about the quality of the food (and the prices reflecting that), I was certainly surprised to see that exact type of menu here. Even more saddened to see illustrated pictures of generic food items which, whilst quite nicely done, would feel more at home in a cafe or gastro pub. But, menu design aside, the dishes sounded excellent and it was easy for us to make our choices.
Between mains, we were brought a bi-course to try - something from the specials board - Razor Clams with John Dory, gherkins and olives. Although we were somewhat surprised at the arrival of this complimentary dish (no doubt sent having seen a tweet I'd posted) we soon tucked in and found it really tasty. The fish was cooked beautifully and I really enjoyed the clams although they aren't to everyone's taste. The presentation on this dish was also superb.
Vicky had the Hotch-potch of English Corn-fed Chicken Suprême with Beetroot, ‘Pot Stickies’, Heritage Carrots, Fennel & Lemon Thyme Juices. We asked the lovely waiter what 'Pot Stickies' are and he explained they are a kind of dumpling. The presentation of this dish was nice (the picture doesn't do it justice) but as with mine, Vicky felt disappointed by it. The chicken was a little dry and the pot stickies were dense and bland.
It pains me to write such hard words because I genuinely wanted to love this place. From the location to the look and feel and the helpful waiter but there were just too many rogue elements letting it down. We ate the cheaper dishes on the menu and the bill came to around £70 in total (including two glasses of wine) but with dishes like the Razor Clams & John Dory priced at £29 and fillet steak at £33, this place has the potential to be an expensive night out. For those kind of prices, the attention to detail in some areas needs to be picked up a notch.
The Star Inn The City, Lendal Engine House, Museum Street, York
*We paid for our meals (apart from the Razor Clams dish) and the restaurant did not know we were coming, nor that I was planning to review. As always, my opinions are my own. You just can't shut me up*