MAXINE GORDON tries the £10 steak at York's new restaurant The Cut & Craft

AS gimmicks go, this is a good one. A steak for a tenner. As John McEnroe once said: "You cannot be serious".

And as a panto audience might reply: "Oh yes we are".

The £10 steak is the star of the menu at one of York's newest restaurants – The Cut & Craft in St Sampson's Square (the former Trespass outdoor-wear shop), and is the new venture from the team at Lucia's in Swinegate Court.

Intrigued to try out this bargain dish we headed into town on Sunday evening – much to the delight of our editor who is still reeling after footing the bill for my last Eating Out expedition to Roots (just to be clear: we do pay for our own meals and go undercover as reviewers and report honestly our verdict).

Before we get to the steak, here are some things worth knowing about The Cut & Craft. It has a "no-reservations" policy, so be prepared to have a drink while you wait for a table when it is busy (and it is bustling by some accounts on Trip Adviser, with people posting about their 40-50 minute waits at peak times).

Also, it's probably best to avoid if you are after a cosy dining experience for two, or actually want to talk to your dining guests. This is a rather raucous place, thanks to blaring music which in turn makes diners have to dial up the volume to be heard. We had to move tables on our night because of the booming noise from the table next to us.

But if you like somewhere young, fun and lively, then this is worth a visit. I liked the look of the place with a central bar and the open-flames from the kitchen grill visible at the back of the restaurant. Service is friendly and attentive and the staff seemed well trained.

The menu is carnivore heavy (not surprisingly really for a steak restaurant); but even so, we could only spot one vegetarian main dish on the menu – the veggie burger. You may groan at the apparent lack of originality but our teenage daughter gave this the thumbs up, saying the combination of chickpea and butternut squash patty, layered with beetroot, grilled halloumi, lettuce and loads of smashed avocado "couldn't be faulted". It was a skyscraper of a thing, but she managed the lot, and even most of the chips that came with it, but not the green salad and coleslaw. It is priced on the menu at £12.50, which we thought was great value. But I noticed we were only charged £10.50 when I studied the bill later – so an even bigger plus from us all.

Besides the trailblazing £10 steak, the menu offers a range of other treats for meat lovers, including burgers, ribs, steak and ale pie and a choice of rib-eye, sirloin and fillet steak with a selection of sauces and sides.

My husband asked for the 10oz sirloin (£17.50) with peppercorn sauce (£1), chips (£3) and today's greens (£3) – bringing the price of his main dish to £24.50.

With my reviewer's hat on, I had to try the £10 steak – which comes with a side salad, but once I'd ordered a side of sweet potato wedges (£4) and The Cut & Craft salad (£3.50), my main totalled £17.50.

So what was it like? Well, the positives first. There is plenty of meat. This is 10oz of beef, and a nice thick cut, not a skinny minute-steak. It's called the "flat iron" steak and comes from the shoulder of the cow. It can be a bit tough, but our waitress told us that the chef cooks it "sous vide" – sealed in a pouch and slow-cooked in a water bath – before grilling it. This method helps tenderise the meat. So I had high expectations, but I was disappointed. The beef looked appetising enough (it comes medium rare), dark brown on the ridge and red-pink inside, and served on a wooden platter with a heap of salt and pepper on the side. But it was lacking flavour (it would have benefitted from being cooked with the seasoning perhaps?) and was not tender enough for my liking. The sweet potato wedges were very good and the salad the surprise hit of the night – a combo of leaves, roasted vegetables, pomegranate seeds, walnut pieces and a scattering of cheese.

My husband said his sirloin steak was "ok" but was lacking in flavour too. The peppercorn sauce failed to deliver a punch, so couldn't come to the rescue.

Pudding was a more successful affair: we shared a really good sticky toffee pudding (£5.75) with a dark caramel tar-like sauce, infused with Black Sheep Ale which gave it a depth and richness without tasting boozy.

We all had a drink each and the bill came to £69.30.

Our verdict? Given this is a steak restaurant, we have to say it was disappointing. But if you are a veggie...

The Cut & Craft

8 St Sampsons Square, York YO1 8RN

T: 01904 593500


Food: up and down 3/5

Ambience: Loud 2.5/5

Service: Good 4/5

Value: OK 3/5

Reviews are independent and meals paid for by The Press