January 3, 2019
Le Cochon Aveugle, York – This place deserves a Michelin star!
Le Cochon Aveugle literally translates to ‘blind pig’ – but not knowing what’s on this blind tasting menu is no bad thing. In fact, I think I would try anything chef Josh Overington put in front of me.
Seated at the chef’s table, we had the best view in the house of the intimate 30-cover restaurant in York’s quaint city centre, which serves up modern French cuisine – but as Overington put it himself: “It’s fine dining, but without the fuss.” And they don’t need to fuss, because the food and the impeccable service speaks for itself.
From the moment we arrived to the moment we left, there’s nothing I could fault about this dining experience, which I believe is worthy of a Michelin star. In fact, I’m shocked it doesn’t have one already.
The tasting menu, priced at £60pp for dinner plus an extra £50pp if you want the wine pairing, began with a glass of fizz and a selection of four bite-sized appetisers – or amuse-bouche if we’re going all fancy.
A chicken skin parfait was followed by a Moorland Tomme gougère – which is like a mini cheese puff – and a smoked eel blini. All delicious.
Then came the Boudin nor Macaron, essentially a black pudding flavoured macaron, which has become something of a signature dish at the restaurant. It wasn’t something I’d ever seen or would have chosen to order, but then I tasted it! Apparently, there was uproar when they tried to take it off the menu for two weeks, so for now, it’s back to stay.
Onto the ‘proper’ courses, which start and end with an L’Arpège egg served in its shell, said to be a nod to one of Overington’s idols – the three-Michelin star French chef Alain Passard.
We were served a smoked oyster with granita, which is similar to sorbet. I’m not usually an oyster fan, but this one was smaller and more like a mussel so was easier to eat.
The homemade sourdough with their own cultured butter then made its way to our table. Bread and butter wouldn’t usually get a mention, but this one was a bit special. The brown butter had been exposed to the heat and had a nice smoky taste to it, unlike any butter I’ve ever had before.
Next was 60-day aged beef tartare with a Tunworth cheese mousse on top. I can only ever manage a few mouthfuls of tartare on account of it being slightly too raw for me, but my other half was more than happy to finish it off!
After a nasturtium ice cream palate cleanser, came the hand-dived Orkney scallop, which is steamed in its shell and opened with scissors at the table. Scrumptious!
My favourite dish of the evening though, was the roe deer venison fillet, which I could have eaten twice. After we’d finished the truffle bourdolaise sauce, which had been over the meat, it was served into a small bowl for us to drink. It felt a bit like I shouldn’t be doing it, like when you drink the milk out of the cereal bowl (which obviously, I never do) – but the chef insisted, so who was I to argue?
By this point I was getting pretty full, but of course there’s always room for pudding. This was warm chocolate mousse with sea salt, pepper and olive oil, which had a yummy salted caramel taste to it. A ‘creme caramel’ egg rounded the evening off nicely with an extremely posh coffee filtered at our table.
I ate some of the finest food I’ve ever tasted at Le Cochon, which has a constantly changing seasonal menu. So, don’t worry if you’ve read this review – the food is likely to be different when you visit, so you’ll still get the ‘blind taste’ effect.
For me, it’s a serious contender for one of the best restaurants in the UK. If you live in York or are planning a trip there, you must book a table. It’s open from Wednesday to Saturday, and there’s also a private dining room upstairs for a special occasion. Your tastebuds won’t forgive you if you don’t!
Written by Luxuria Lifestyle UK’s Katie Wilson