What did our reviewer make of city pub's new taco night?

The tacos on offer at The York in NR2

The Hongo, fire kissed pulled portobello, taco and Carnitas, slow-braised Norfolk pork shoulder taco served with refried beans and corn elote - Credit: staff

Norwich city centre is blessed with a host of top quality independent restaurants offering everything from modern British fine dining to Korean bibimbap and stone-baked pizza.

But those who don’t venture beyond the centre and into Norwich’s more residential areas are missing a treat and some great neighbourhood eateries.

The York, in NR2’s Leicester Street is one such example. 

The York Norwich NR2 Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN

The York Norwich NR2 Picture: BRITTANY WOODMAN - Credit: Archant

The pub-come-restaurant was taken over by a new team in October 2019, opening its kitchen with the promise of a more gastro-pub leaning a couple of months later.

Since then, like much of the hospitality sector, the pub has had to weather the coronavirus pandemic but has come back fighting with the launch of new taco nights.

Only available on Monday and Tuesday nights, the new menu has been inspired by the travels of The York’s head chef Joe and his wife Shannyn, who have spent a lot of time in America - especially Texas where there are strong Mexican influences in the cuisine.

And, in the words of the pub, what this means for diners is “super authentic blue soft corn tortillas with fillings absolutely packed with flavour".

Chicharrones with physalis salsa at The York in NR2

Chicharrones with physalis salsa at The York in NR2 - Credit: Staff

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Our evening at The York kicked off with some complimentary tortilla chips and a warm tomato salsa, which was very tasty and a great start to the meal when paired with a cold lager. 

The small menu contains a couple of meat taco choices and one vegetarian at all priced at £4.50 each, chicharrones (pork skin puffs) or the kale equivalent for £2.50 and some very neat ‘meal for one or two’ options which makes ordering an absolute breeze.

We went for the ‘meal for two’ option, giving us the choice of four tacos, chicharrones and two beers for the price of £20. There’s also the option to switch the beers for margaritas for £30.

Tortilla chips and salsa at The York in NR2.

Tortilla chips and salsa at The York in NR2. - Credit: Staff

The chicharrones arrived still popping from the fryer and were crisp, light and came with a delicious physalis (an edible berry) salsa.

The Hongo taco and Carnitas taco served with refried beans and corn elote

The Hongo, fire kissed pulled portobello, taco and Carnitas, slow-braised Norfolk pork shoulder taco served with refried beans and corn elote - Credit: Staff

The carnitas taco, 24-hour braised organic Norfolk pork shoulder, came on a blue corn tortilla garnished with pickled red onions and spicy green peppers and was juicy, tender and devoured within minutes.

The “fire-kissed, pulled portobello" taco came on a pink corn tortilla and had more of a kick than the pork. And, while I'm not entirely sure how a mushroom and can be "pulled", the meaty mushroom was full of flavour.

Across the table, the carnitas and lamb barbacoa taco were both hits.

All the tacos had a homemade feel and were served with refried beans and corn elote, both of which deserve a mention for how well seasoned and moreish they were. 

My only criticism of the tacos would be that they were slightly on the small side.

The Churros with dulche de leche and a chocolate ancho dipping sauce, available from The York's new taco night menu.

The Churros with dulche de leche and a chocolate ancho dipping sauce, available from The York's new taco night menu. - Credit: staff

When there’s only one dessert option on a menu it seems rude not to try it and fully sample all that’s on offer, so to finish off the meal we ordered a portion of churros (£4.50).

You can’t really go wrong with churros and molten chocolate, but The York’s fresh and piping hot churros also come with a dulce de leche dip, which if you like condensed milk, you’ll love, and we both agreed was very tasty. 

Setting

The York is nestled in the heart of Norwich's Golden Triangle and offers lots of indoor seating as well as a garden. We went on a Monday night, so it was quiet but a few more tables arrived during the course of the evening.

Value

Excellent - the bill for two of us with four drinks, including a cocktail, came to £38.40. The meal for one or two options are very good value for money.

Drinks

Modelo lager or margaritas are included on the Taco menu otherwise there is the pub's normal bar offering. The margarita certainly packed a punch flavour - and alcohol - wise, and was, for my friend, a highlight of the meal.

The York

A margarita at The York in Norwich. - Credit: Lauren Cope

Accessibility

The pub is all on one level and there's plenty of space to move around.

Service

Very good, staff were attentive without being overbearing and our food and drinks all came promptly.

Highlight

Tough call. The carnitas tacos with the refried beans and corn were very good and washed down with a drink, you can't go wrong. The dishes were all well-presented and I liked the small but considered menu.

In summary

I love to see independent restaurants trying new things and The York is no different. The pub is a lovely neighbourhood venue and its new Taco menu is definitely worth a try.  

Our food reviews are always independent. They are the opinion of the reviewer based on their experience of the venue when they visited. The establishment is not aware of our visit, is not informed we intend to write a review and bills are paid by the reviewer. The choice of places reviewed is also independent and is not based on venues which do or do not advertise in our publications.

If you like that, try this

  • Jive Kitchen, Exchange Street - A Mexican restaurant serving up a mix of tacos, burritos and cocktails.
  • Blue Joanna, Unthank Road - Blue Joanna's menu includes smaller, sharing dishes, but they are particularly known for their Korean blue tacos
  • Churros for the People, Norwich market - On the market, Churros for the People offers Spanish dishes including chorizo sandwiches, a Spanish tortilla box and, of course, churros.