From time to time Jill and I get to go out to eat together; it’s fairly rare since we live so far apart. So where to go when we do? Somewhere we know and like? Like everyone else we have our reliable favourites. But in our tireless quest to bring you the best we try somewhere on the radar we haven’t been yet. Which is how we end up sitting on a bed in dim light above a bar on Stonegate.
How the hell did this happen? We’re the only ones up here and feel a bit daft. It’s the kind of place I used to ‘chill’ at four in the morning at Speed Queen in the 90’s, when it didn’t matter that you couldn’t see or speak. Those years are well behind me so we trot back downstairs to find it ‘happening’ on the ground floor. The crowd is young and new-ageish with a smattering of students; it’s a case of finding a table then choosing a beer from a long and interesting list. There are 138 cocktails to choose from too, and judging by the lively, noisy mob, they’re not wasting any time knocking back Acid Frogs and Psycho Tsunamis.
You can just about make yourself heard to order food at the bar; service is friendly but haphazard (‘would you like your starters first?’ Er, go on then, let’s give it a try ..) but they’re so sweet in a space cadet sort of way it seems churlish to moan.
Tibetan Momos are ‘spicy beef dumplings steamed over a chicken and tomato broth’; Japanese Gyozas look identical but are pork, spring onion cabbage, soy, ginger, mirin and sake. It makes no odds really, they’re tasty and cute and they took so long coming we fell on them. Thai green curry is more successful; deep, sweet and subtle, though a small bowl of rice would have been appropriate. Good job then that my Nasi Campur Special has enough for two. In fact there’s so much food on the plate we could have shared it; there’s Sumatran coconut beef, ayem goring (fried Indonesian chicken) fried spicy morning glory (?) pickled cucumbers, ikan billis (dried anchovies cooked in sambal and garlic paste) .. you get the picture. By nine it’s chocker and they’ve turned the music up to eleven; it’s completely non-threatening though, unlike a number of other bars in the city. Before we leave I nip upstairs to check out the bed situation; yep, they’re occupied.
So it’s a young persons place. That’s not to say that those in middle youth won’t get it; we got it, and liked it, which is why you’re reading about it here.
Evil Eye Lounge, 42 Stonegate, York YO1 8AS 01904 640002 www.evileyelounge.com