As a Sunday treat last weekend, Elix and I went to the new restaurant by Ben Tish and the Salt Yard group – Ember Yard in Soho.
On one of the many recorded Saturday Kitchen episodes saved on our tv (i think i have about 15 still to watch), Ben Tish cooked a beautiful looking ceps and puree dish with a crumbed egg yolk on top and immediately i knew i had to try Ember Yard.
Sadly that dish wasnt on the menu on Sunday but i didnt mind because all of the dishes we tried were amazing – and we tried ten!
The concept of Ember Yard is much the same as Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern – tapas style sharing dishes made with seasonal ingredients and presented beautifully. As a slight contrast to the others, Ember Yard combines both Spanish and Italian themes and flavours. So you can be eating padron peppers and iberico ham one minute and an italian charcuterie and cheese board the next.
We started with a couple of bar snacks – Elix’s favourite padron peppers which were chargrilled, bitter and juicy with a sprinkle of rock salt on top – just as she likes them! One ingredient which i have to order if i ever see it on a menu – anchovies – these were smoked and plump, presented on a block of charcoal – so refreshing to see them cooked a bit differently to the way i have had them so many times before which is marinated in vinegar,garlic and parsley.
Seabream carpaccio came next with blood orange, coriander root and bottarga (which is dried roe of either tuna roe or mullet) – this acted almost as an amuse buche – silky soft bream with a tangy citrus marinade. Onto the “meat and potatoes” we greedily opted for lamb cutlets with roasted aubergine and salsa verde as well as the sticky iberico ribs along with pork fat chips and chorizo ketchup and buttermilk parsnip chips drizzled with honey and sprinkled with manchego. I dont want to bore you all with a list of how beautiful it all was and have instead include some pictures. I can assure you that it was all packed with flavour and i would have happily had seconds of any dish.
Onto the exciting part….dessert! Both Elix and I elected the bitter chocolate ganache with hazelnuts and salted caramel cream drizzled with more gooey salted caramel. In the interests of trying as much food as possible as any blogger should know, i made Elix pick something else! I certainly wasn’t giving up chocolate! She chose the pineapple dessert combining chargrilled pineapple, pineapple sorbet, yoghurt mousse, pistachio and fruity sauce. Both choices were at each end of the spectrum – one being hot, rich, oozy chocolate and silky sweet caramel and the other a lighter, refreshing duo of pineapple – very sweet and colourful.
I cant recommend Ember Yard enough – we spent a rainy Sunday afternoon feeling as though we were in a busy European bar, bustling with people drinking wine, snacking on tapas and whiling away the day. See you there next Sunday!