The festive season is about feeling full, all the time. A strange time perhaps for the newest Salt Yard restaurant to open. But loyal to my favourite restaurant Opera Tavern, I felt compelled to try this new member of the collection ASAP. This Christmas, Ember Yard joins the Salt Yard family of Italian-Spanish tapas restaurants alongside Salt Yard (Goodge Street), Opera Tavern (Covent Garden) and Dehesa (Carnaby Street).
And so, after much haggling for a table, my best friends and I arrived at Ember Yard for our special Soho Supperclub Christmas meal. Much like the other eateries Ember Yard focuses on high quality, utterly irresistible Spanish produce (think divine Manchego and rich Iberico ham) and little plates of delectable fish, meat and vegetable recipes. As the name suggests, Ember Yard has an emphasis on chargrilling.
It is a familiar feel… dimly lit restaurant, cosy tables closely packed together and atmospheric bar stools for those who want to be closer to the action. The menu is much like the other restaurants, with a few of its own signature dishes. At Opera Tavern they pride themselves on their mini Iberico pork and fois gras burger, and rightly so, it is unbelievably good. In an effort to repeat this success Ember Yard have created their own interpretation: Smoked Basque Beef Burger with Idiazabal and Chorizo Ketchup. I loved it, though not quite as much as the sweet and indulgent Opera Tavern original. Other highlights included the silky tender Grilled Iberico Presa with rich Whipped Jamon Butter and Grilled Salt Marsh Lamb, with roasted aubergine and salsa verde which was an earthy and exquisite combination of ingredients. We found the Iberico Pork Fat Chips with Chorizo a little disappointing, the tangy ketchup is delicious but the chips were a little too dry and needed more seasoning. For a green kick the Seasonal Italian Greens with Chilli are a fresh accompaniment to the meat mains.
Desserts were tempting but we managed to resist on this trip, they will have to be a treat for next time. As expected the wine list is thorough and fine, the house white and red were both were exemplary and priced very reasonably.
Salt Yard Group have done it again. Unlike the locations of its other members, Soho is already filled with tapas style venues vying for your custom, but with food this good I have no doubt that Ember Yard will be a favourite in no time.
More information and book here.