On hearing that Salt Yard Group were adding a new restaurant to their growing empire worry washed over me. I feared, as is often the case, that with their expansion will come less quality. I needn’t have worried, at all.
Ember Yard is in Soho, just, and has a restaurant interior to suit it’s surrounds. The restaurant is muted, broody and adorned with delicate copper touches, antique lamps and has dark grey walls.
Taking our seats in this stylish restaurant, we began our night with two Campari sodas. My guest and I spent last summer in Italy (no, not Spain) so this drink evokes very good memories. We ordered a bowl of crispy chiporones – small, salty deep-fried squid served with capers and fragrant sage – to start. Then came oozing grilled flatbread, and addictive mass of carbs drizzled with nectarous honey and smeared with melted smoked butter.
The octopus came out next and was cooked so still soft and spiced with pepperonata and mojo verde alioli. One of the best octopus dishes I’ve ever had, and I have it a lot. On to a little more fish with the light chargrilled cornish mackerel that comes served on a warm mussel escabeche with piquillo and sea purslane. Anyone familiar with Salt Yard Group the obligatory order of the stuffed courgette flowers (flowers stuffed with strong goats cheese, deep fried in an impossibly light tempura batter and drizzled with sweet honey) followed.
Time came to delve into the meat section of the menu and first on our list was the chargrilled salt marsh lamb: expertly pink and served on the bone with roasted aubergine and a salsa verde sauce. The ribs were good and coated in a sticky quince glaze with celeriac puree. Both good dishes, but the real meat feat was the impossibly soft and tasty grilled Ibérico Presa (pork shoulder) with Whipped Jamón Butter. Practically forced on us by the enthusiastic waitress – thank god – these bite-sized bits of pork were – said with all the conviction I can muster – the best dish of the night. In fact the best dish of many, many nights. Whoever came up with the idea of spreading pork butter on to pork is quite simply a genius.
Salt Yard Group, we applaud you.
60 Berwick St, Soho, W1F 8SU
020 7439 8057