There are so many tapas restaurants in London, but not many of them are so great. I’ve been to a few which aren’t worth mentioning. Last year I vistied this particular place with a friend… Then again a few months ago with a different friend. Just can’t get enough….
Ember Yard is the newer restaurant from the Salt Yard Group doing a combination of Charcuterie and drinks. The company was set up by Sanja Morris and Simon Mullins in 2005 with the opening of Salt Yard in Fitzrovia. What I love about their concept, is the sharing side, small dishes which can be shared between two or three people. Service is also good, they have trained their staff very well on what dishes to choose and which wine goes well with what.
The first time I went, it was a cold Wednesday evening in December, shoppers busy getting their last minute xmas pressies, approached the restaurant, and noticed the ‘way in, way out’ signs, which is also very good, you’re not clashing into those who are entering. Also the entrance is pretty small, so best to have two doors!
Luckily we managed to get a table, at the chefs counter! Tight squeeze, but very inspiring, you get to see the chefs hard at work, and in a rather tiny kitchen, its amazing what can be achieved! They were pretty packed out that evening, the atmosphere was buzzing, its a very cosy, relaxed setting. They don’t try and rush you out the door by a certain time, like most places. Recommendations on cocktails were given, as was for the food too.
For cocktails I got a special chrismassey one, my friend on the other hand, she went for Geppetto’s Tonic – Gin, Homemade Tonic Water and Grapefruit Bitters. Highly recommend if you love Gin, its a winner! The second time round, I went for Naranja de Sangre – Chase citrus voda, elderflowers, blood orange & prosecco, now that was a lot nicer. If you like bellinis, you will certainly like this little number, I love Elderflower in a cocktail, it almost gives it the touch it needs!
I was starving so chose a few plates from the menu! I love their menu, it really is diverse. Pretty much ordered the same dishes second time round, with a few added extras. Lets begin with the long list: Padrón Peppers. Ibérico Pork Fat Chips with Chorizo Ketchup. Smoked and Grilled Chicken Thigh with Portobello Mushrooms and Wild Garlic. Josper Roasted Ibérico Ribs with Peach Glaze and Celeriac Slaw. Steamed and Chargrilled Octopus with Peas, Smoked Tomato and Wild Garlic. Burrata with Grilled Pane Carasau. Roasted Fennel and Chilli. Courgette Flower Stuffed with Monte Enebro Goat’s Cheese and Drizzled with Honey.
Everything I loved apart from the Chicken Thighs, the first time I got them, they were juicy, tender, and you know that taste of charred, yep! Second time round, it was so bland, and almost tasted rushed! Like they just couldn’t be bothered! I lurrrvveeeeeeeeeeed the padrón peppers, better than Sushisamba by far! The ulimate chips with the smoky chorizo ketchup, yessssss gimmmme more now! That grilled and steamed octopus, daaaaaaamn, didn’t taste of the sea at all, lurve it all!!!! Oh and the pork ribs, my gawddd, talk about juice dripping with fat! It fell off the bone easily. How can I forget about the beautiful stuffed courgette flowers, you get only get 1, so order 2, bit oily at first, you can see it on the knife when slicing, but the stuffing inside is to die for! And the Burrata, my first time trying it, its one of their cold plates, but ahhhhhh, I don’t know what they were trying to do to me, again it was sooo good, comes with a side of wafer thin crackers, and roasted fennel and chilli pickle, matched beautifully together. The flavours of the dish is unreal, all the flavours go really well together. I LURRRVVEEEEEE Ember Yard, highly recommend to anyone who is looking for a great place to wine and dine.
Josper Roasted Ibérico Ribs with Peach Glaze and Celeriac Slaw
Burrata with Grilled Pane Carasau, Roasted Fennel and Chilli
Steamed and Chargrilled Octopus with Peas, Smoked Tomato and Wild Garlic
Dessert of Baked Apple Tart with White Chocolate Ice Cream, paired with a Dessert Wine of Moscato Passito Palazzina – Honeyed, floral aromas with ripe apricot notes and a fresh finish. Very yummy indeed 🙂
My experience at Ember Yard was very pleasant, the staff are awesome, they really do know what they are talking about. Always ask for recommendations. Also the menu changes according to the season, they do keep their ‘best sellers’ on the menu, the cocktails and desserts change all the time. What you get in December, is highly unlikely in April etc. The total price first time wasn’t much, of course second time it was, as there were a lot more plates, you are looking at approximately £30 pp inclusive of drinks, food, and service charge. Service is a 8/10. They do have a downstairs seating area for larger groups. Although if you can, do try and sit on ground floor, and if you want a great table, do reserve online. They do accept walk ins.