Hudson’s, The Grand Hotel, York – Restaurant Review
Hudson’s, The Grand Hotel, York
by Roger Crow
A plate-sized tree stump arrives at our table with a delicately arranged selection of treats. The dish, simply called Winter Vegetables (aka Goats Crabley, preserved roots and woodland mushrooms), looks like a piece of art. Judging by my wife’s reaction when she enjoys each element, it’s as tasty as it looks.
We’re at Hudson’s, The Grand Hotel and Spa’s stylish three AA Rosette restaurant in York, which impresses from the first glance. As the city’s only five-star hotel it obviously has high standards to maintain, and they don’t disappoint.
I’m savouring the house red: Blackstone’s 13.5 per cent, 2015 Californian Merlot with hints of blackberry, raspberry, vanilla and French bread. It’s a fine tipple with no bitter after taste. On the subject of bread, the freshly baked, salty rolls and slices are delicious with sun-dried tomato butter. I try to avoid filling up on bread before a meal, but these baked goods make it difficult.
If you’ll excuse the pun, my own starter, slow poached cod, is off the scale. Delicious flakes linger like snow, while cubes of pork belly counter the flavour. It’s a Wimbledon final of a starter, bouncing from one top ranked player to the other. The mix of apple, potato, herbs and dashi (fish broth and soy sauce) are delightful accompaniments.
My main is 28-day dry-aged beef sirloin. Perfectly cooked and beautiful to behold; the fermented barley is a welcome touch, along with onion in wagyu fat and parsley with beef tea. Both are sublime examples of Hudson’s’ culinary magic.
My wife has “beautiful” barbecued Jerusalem artichokes. Though initially worried about the sheep’s curd, it turns out to be a “mouthwatering, light and fluffy revelation”, while the king oyster mushrooms, leeks and spinach also get nothing but praise.
Tibor, our waiter, does a superb job. He’s a model of what all good restaurant staff should be: attentive without hovering; amiable, charming and knows the menu inside out. Like all of the staff during our all-too-brief stay he never puts a foot wrong.
As my default dessert is often chocolate cake of some description, I opt for good old cheese and biscuits instead. This Merlot is almost crying out for them. And no, I’ve not drunk so much that the glass has assumed anthropomorphic qualities (though another glass might change all that).
While Rachel enjoys a refreshing passion fruit posset (coconut, meringue, roasted pineapple and yoghurt sorbet), a trolley of fine cheeses is wheeled to our table. I opt for Tunworth soft cheese, a mild Cheddar and Stinky Bishop. With artisan crackers and chutney, they round things off beautifully.
My epilogue is an Italian coffee, and glowing from a mix of Amaretto and caffeine, we call it a night. It’s the perfect end to a perfect meal.
I love the fact the ingredients are locally sourced; it’s a feast of Yorkshire on several plates, and one tree stump. It’s interesting that orchestras and conductors are given standing ovations when chefs often don’t get the immediate appreciation they deserve.
Head Chef Craig Atchinson and his team do a remarkable job and are a credit to The Grand Hotel and Spa. Bravo maestro(s).
Hudson’s Restaurant, The Grand Hotel and Spa, York, YO1 6GD
01904 380 038
Dinner is served daily at 6.30pm–10pm (last orders at 9.45pm, Tasting Menu 9.00pm)