York is one of my favourite places to explore and I wish I went back there more often than I do. The history, the Shambles, the shopping, the food. I love everything about it and everytime I do get a chance to visit I always find something new to check out. On my latest visit, a catch up with some of my blogging besties, we found ourselves in Evil Eye, a street food cart turned restaurant with the added bonus of a gin mega store at the front!
When you step through the door you are greeted with wall to wall, floor to ceiling GIN. I always knew there was a fair few gins out there for me to try but this? This was extraordinary! I oogled and ahhhed the pretty glass bottles with all kinds of varities of my sweet nectar inside. But our Evil Eye outing wasn't going to just be about gin, oh no, there was going to be food too. We headed through the shop, promising the gin we would be back soon, and ventured upstairs to the main dining space, split into two seperate spaces, we were given a room of our own were no other than Jack Skellington himself, donned in his Christmas finest, would join us for lunch. The room was moody, dark, with warm red and orange tones flooding the room. Great vibes but not great for picture taking! A large long wooden table took pride of place, with high backed church like chairs surrounding it.
The menu has a fantastic selection of Evil Eye specials, street food style at it's finist; tacos, bao buns, bhajis, gunpowder fries, avocado burgers and more. I went for the steamed spicy chicken bao buns and a side of onion bhajis. The last time I had eaten bao buns they'd been pretty small and I was starving, so I figured a small side of bhajis would be a nice alternative to chips, and besides, how big can a bhaji be?
BIG it turns out. Three steaming, flavoursome bhajis, each the size of my head and covered in a sprinkled of green onion and chillies were put before me, alongside my not so teeny bao buns. Three bao buns to be exact, each filled to the brim and over flowing with chicken, salad and the most delicious spicy mayo I've ever had! Honestly, I don't know which I liked more, between the bhajis and the buns it was all just so moorish, I couldn't leave a crumb behind.
Of course, everything had to be washed down with a gin or two, and their cocktail menu put the biggest grin on my face. I mean it starts with a cocktail inspired games of snakes and ladders, then is filled with some of the most amazing sounding cocktails you could imagine, and of course, a fair few gin based ones. I'd have happily sat there all day working my way through the menu!
After finishing off our food and in need of nursing our food babies, we grabbed our drinks and went into the other room, purely because we had heard there were BEDS inside. Beds? Beds in a bar? I kid you not! Two old school, victorian-esq four poster beds had been set up for you to get snug, comfy and cosy with your buddies over a coule of drinks. They even came with little tables in the middle too! More bars should have beds, it was such a different idea but felt so homely at the same time!
As if I needed another reason to go back to York, but I know it will be sooner rather than later and Evil Eye I will be paying you a much deserved second visit!
Huge thanks goes out to my lovely Sharon for organising the day and recommedning the food, it was a winner all round!
When you visit a new place, do you go for chain restaurant comfort or out of the box independents?