On a day out in York a few weeks ago, I decided to take up a recommendation from a fellow Great Food Club editor in Yorkshire and try out Mr P’s Curious Tavern (no relationship so far as I can tell to any “Curious” parlours, taverns, townhouses or manors in Nottingham). I am very glad indeed that I did. I’ m getting a bit weary of the parade of tapas, world tapas, cuban tapas, small plates thing there seems to be one popping up every few weeks, so few really do them well and honestly please don’t present me with another bowl of square chips puroporting to be patatas bravas and charging me a fiver for the privelege. No, I am becoming a little jaded with the whole tapas thing.
But Mr P (the eponymous Mr Perkins is Andrew Pern, executive chef and chef owner at Michelin starred Star Inn at Harome and The Star Inn the City) is in another league though, offering a range (and I mean a range) of small plates with global influences and indeed “curious” taste and flavour combinations (and there are over 50 gins to choose from, 50!).
From the extensive menu we chose Shellfish Crackers with gaucamole and Calamari with a seaweed salad cream.
English lobster and smoked sweetcorn Taco with avocado and pine nuts (and rose petals, natch); a Strasbourg “Haute dog” with spring Cabbage and Serrano Colselsaw, mustard mayo and a Brioche bun; Purple Sprouting Broccoli, red chilli, Pinenuts and Lishman’s Salami; and something off the “specials” which I can’t now recall (although we loved it).
Couldn’t fault the food and they really were a curious combination of flavours – all of which worked and most of which I haven’t eaten together, innovative, interesting, well executed and made you want to be adventurous with your choice of dishes – how often can you say that?
We even had space for puddings – which is a very rare thing indeed, Hot Chocolate Mousse with cherry and almonds, affogato with salted caramel and the Carribean Queen – pineapple with coconut fluff and sugared bits – which came in a gold tureen (this made me so happy).
What a find – really delicious food, really different and not a bloody patatas bravas in sight.