Restaurant review

York restaurant review: ‘An explosion of flavours’

Tim Lichfield try an eight-course tasting menu in the heart of York

Legacy is York’s new luxury dining experience, located in York’s only 5-star hotel, The Grand

As soon as you arrive, you are welcomed by competent and friendly staff who accompany you to your table. Afterwards, you can admire the restaurant’s expertly designed interior, which pays homage to the pioneering spirit of the inspiring engineers and architects of York’s history, including George Hudson and Joseph Rowntree.

Restaurant manager Derek Scaife, who is also an accredited sommelier, guides you through the eight-course tasting menu and accompanying wine list that has been meticulously chosen to complement the British-inspired cuisine and Yorkshire.

One of Tim’s classes at The Legacy

After a first tasting of a British sparkling wine whets your appetite, chef Ahmed Abdalla welcomes you with a three-course “snack” hors d’oeuvre consisting of a cold Lindisfarne oyster with vinaigrette, served with a sushi-ginger, apple and cucumber salsa; a cone of smoked cod roe and a pork shank tartlet with piccalilli, mustard mayonnaise and fresh peas. A pure delight.

The second (or really the first) course was what Ahmed calls a “posh soup”; a Velouté Royal Jersey with oak-smoked cheddar and a chicken skin filling, which in itself is art. This is accompanied by a Parker House roll, which you smother in Cultured Plus Butter or Goat’s Herb Butter.

There’s no rush to soak up the atmosphere of the wood-panelled decor and smile politely at your guests, all as captivated as you are.

Next, the BBQ langoustine ravioli that simply melts in your mouth, followed by salt-cooked celeriac enhanced with black garlic and truffles. A taste that I had never experienced, but that I highly recommend.

At this point, you may have thought that the cost of your evening had already been paid; However, there is more to come.

A perfectly cooked halibut with cauliflower and mussels is presented with a finely drizzled mousseline sauce, then a trio of Yorkshire lamb with turnip and zucchini is just enough to take you on a taste explosion.

With all those tasty dishes devoured, it’s time to move on to the sweeter things in life.

First, you are treated to ‘Annabel’s Strawberry’; a dish that consists of fresh, sweet strawberries and puree under a frothy chamomile and lavender syrup that seemed to dance on your taste buds.

The Grand, as you may know, houses its own beehive on the roof of the Grade II listed building. Ahmed is therefore proud to incorporate his honey into the following dish, simply called “Grand Honey”. Soft panna cotta and ice cream dumplings are infused with the delicacy of local bees as well as yuzu and elderflower topped with a fine honeycomb crisp. Really delicious and cleanses the palate.

Chef Ahmed Abdalla

Once you’ve sipped the accompanying dessert wine, you feel ready to lay back and reminisce about all the delights you’ve experienced. But it’s not over yet…

A “surprise” cheese platter arrives with homemade crackers and more honey cut in front of you by the resident bees upstairs. Then you are treated to a trio of mini delights consisting of a fudge, a fruit jellie and a madeleine biscuit and your stomach can rest.

Like its namesake, my experience of the evening will be a legacy in my mind.

Of course, as the seasons change, so does the menu. It gives me a great excuse to come back and indulge once more.

  • The Legacy eight-course tasting menu is £120pp; find out more on the website