As an absolute lover of their sister restaurant Salt Yard, I couldn’t wait to try Ember Yard and their flame-grilled style tapas. Choosing from a mix of delicate flavours from Spain and Italy, the staff here seriously know their stuff, from the extensive cocktail and wine list to exactly how their charcuterie selection sourced and cured. Here, you choose from their bar snack and charcuterie menu or their Tapas menu.
Choosing a seat away from the hustle and bustle of the inside, we chose to eat outside at one of their few tables on the street, in the heart of Soho. When seated, the menus, tables and setting all combine to build an informal but sophisticated atmosphere. These guys know what they are doing – and some – but they will let you see for yourself without shouting about it. No fusses, no frills.
The flame-grill is the name of the game here, apparent from almost every choice on their menu but more excitingly the incredible smells that fill the place and lure punters inside. It seemed rude, therefore, not to try a couple of flame-grilled spanish classics, a some Padron peppers. And oh – OH! – did this not disappoint. Having spent some years in Spain, I might even say (whisper) the chorizo was the best I’ve ever tried. Spicy and softly oozing without being oily, complimented with a delicate saffron aioli. Loved it so much, we ordered more!
From their bar menu we ordered the honey, thyme and smoked butter grilled flatbread, without much thought and assuming it would be a side portion. What came to our table was a truly delicious, piping-hot, full of flavour delight on a wooden board. Light but with bite and a crunch, with so much flavour. The secret ingredient? Potato. Yes, potato. I couldn’t figure it out but at this point didn’t care – the salty, buttery ridden bread is definitely a treat, but a must try.
The only deceptive thing about these dishes were the portion sizes, and for tapas we ended up only having these few plates. Ending with our waitresses recommendation of their chargrilled Ibérico Presa served with whipped jamon butter (the picture speaks for itself?).
For me, the Ember Yard has surpassed it’s family. The focus on quality ingredients in a beautiful setting continue, but the inspired flame-grilled focus gives a welcome twist to some classic and traditional tapas dishes.
Keep the coals hot guys, we’ll be back soon!
Yes it’s part of a small chain, but my word this place stands above its competitors with the inspired smokey focus on charcoaled wonder. Definitely deserving of attention (and a second visit, soon, please…).
Tips and tricks
Do not miss the bread otherwise we can’t be friends.
Katy Hulands is a travel and lifestyle blogger and social media consultant for the hospitality sector. She started the Unwrapped Series to uncover those special places (and things) that deserve the spotlight.