2nd October 2017 / Erica Cohen
I’d just returned from a surreal 5-week eastern European adventure, having eaten a lifetime’s worth of goulash, sausage and potato dumplings. I was back in London, looking forward to trying some different taste sensations whilst catching up with friends. This essentially involved a week of eating my own body weight in world food, and several gallons of Aperol Spritz, (clearly, not ready to embrace winter just yet).
My friend Lottie suggested Ember Yard, part of the famed Salt Yard Group, in our old stomping ground of Soho for a little catch-up. Its fresh take on Italian and Spanish tapas was just the ticket for my welcome-back-to-London-dining supper. We started with some dishes from their tapas menu (plates from £5 – £11) and then worked backwards with some sides from the charcuterie and bar snacks menu. Did I mention they have their very own custom built Baroque-style grill, for authentic Mediterranean cooking over charcoal and wood? Jazzy, right?
I went for the Sea Bass Carpaccio, which came with stunning bright green chive oil, smoked tomatoes and anchovies. The saltiness of the anchovies, encased in a light tempura, was the perfect partner to the clean and light sea bass. Lottie’s choice of Cornish Plaice, Mussels and Sea Aster was an Instagramable dream topped off with a gorgeous saffron dressing. We chose their light and limey Blanc de Morgex, the notes of citrus worked wonders with our fishy dishes. We shared the Courgette Flower which was stuffed with Monte Enebro goat’s cheese and drizzled ever so delicately with honey (I’m assuming from the fanciest of Spanish bees?)
Curious to sample their bar snacks, we opted for their Chips and Smoked Chorizo Skewers which came with a dreamy saffron aioli. The unsalted chips had a distinctly un-chip like flavour which may be due to being fried in Iberico pork fat as opposed to regular oil – they were different and delicious all the same.
Service was quick and staff are clearly masters of the menu, suggesting and advising based on our personal foodie preferences. The same menu is available throughout their two-story restaurant and the kitchen is open till midnight Thursday-Saturday, which makes it the perfect place for a late night post-theatre treat.
Word of warning, do not go to Ember Yard ravenously hungry, even going by their 3 plate each suggestion, we could have happily kept eating. Indeed, Ember Yard is all about incredible taste combinations and savouring the flavour of their fresh, locally sourced creations. Our night of tapas and travelling tales did not disappoint!
Salt Yard Group is a member of the Sustainable Restaurant Group; all 5 of their central London restaurants have been awarded a two-star Food Made Good Sustainability Rating.