The original Salt Yard Group restaurant has been stripped of it's crown by it's own sisters
Salt Yard, Fitzrovia Review
Salt Yard is the venture that kicked off Salt Yard Group in 2005 and is now part of the family of 4 excellent Spanish and Italian influenced tapas restaurants in London. The latest addition being Ember Yard, recently voted the second best restaurant in London by Time Out.
Antonia and I had a fantastic experience at Opera Tavern back in September 2013 and were keen to try one of the group’s other restaurants and choosing the original, located in the heart of Fitzrovia on Goodge Street sounded like a solid plan.
There are a few tables outside but given how close you are to the road I’m not sure I’d particularly want to use them. Inside you’ll find a dark, cosy, minimal but classy layout with a stool lined bar and a mix of standalone tables and banquette lined walls. Don’t get me wrong, ‘cosy’ is good but I felt like they’ve tried to cram a bit too much in to this space – guests either side of you are very close and I lost count of the amount of times someone nudged my chair trying to squeeze past behind me.
Some of the dishes on the menu were familiar from our visit to Opera Tavern but there were plenty of new ones as well. We started with a glass each of La Guitana sherry (£6 a glass) along with some tasty Chargrilled Flat Bread with homemade butter (£4) and decided to pick two dishes from each section of the menu, which is split in to meat, fish and vegetables.
Sautéed Chorizo and Baby Squid with Braised Chickpeas & Squid Ink Dressing (£7.50)
Chargrilled Ibérico Pressa, Roast Cauliflower with Spiced Cauliflower Purée & Smoked Almond Migas (£10.50)
Smoked Eel Croquetas, Horseradish, Beetroot Purée (£7.50)
Slow Cooked Octopus, Ratte Potatoes, Lemon, Chilli and Capers (£9)
Patatas Fritas with Bravas Sauce and Alioli (£4)
Salad of Burrata with Steamed Asparagus, Slow Roast Tomatoes, Grilled Courgettes & Pesto (£8)
The standout dish was the Chargrilled Ibérico Pressa, Roast Cauliflower with Spiced Cauliflower Purée & Smoked Almond Migas (£10.50), which comes pink and is pure melt in the mouth gorgeousness.
I also really enjoyed the Sautéed Chorizo and Baby Squid with Braised Chickpeas & Squid Ink Dressing (£7.50). Chorizo with anything is great but especially squid and octopus and let’s face it, when was the last time you have a squid ink dressing?
The Salad of Burrata with Steamed Asparagus, Slow Roast Tomatoes, Grilled Courgettes & Pesto (£8) was also delicious with it’s mix of silky, creamy burrata, pesto and mediterranean veg.
After our sherry we had a nice glass of Honoro Vera, Bodegas Juan Gil 2013 each but were let down by the Patatas Fritas with Bravas Sauce and Alioli (£4) as they were just chunky chips and I felt the Smoked Eel Croquetas should have been eelier (is that a word?).
Lastly, for dessert we shared the Baked Fig with Marsala, Espresso Mascarpone and Crushed Amaretti (£6.50), which is every bit as lovely as it sounds. A great mix of textures and a lovely balance of flavours.
Salt Yard gave us a similar experience to Opera Tavern. They both deliver on most dishes, but we definitely preferred our time at Opera Tavern and with Ember Yard receiving great praise since its opening it feels like the sister restaurants have now surpassed this great original.
|Chargrilled Flat Bread||£4.00|
|Sautéed Chorizo and Baby Squid||£7.50|
|Chargrilled Ibérico Pressa||£10.50|
|Smoked Eel Croquetas||£7.50|
|Slow Cooked Octopus||£9.00|
|Salad of Burrata||£8.50|