Thursday, 11 September 2014

Ember Yard Revisited: where tapas are still fantastic

Oh, Ember Yard. I seriously love you. My friends and I may have found our favourite group dinner spot in Soho. The new seasonal menu and a very special visitor was reason enough for another rendezvous. We managed to try a few new things.

The padron peppers (£4.5) were pretty good while-you-wait munchers. Plumper, spicier and less oily than Bilbao Berria's.

I enjoyed the arancini (£6), which was pretty bang for buck. The crispy coating on the outside paved a delightful bite to the creamy and dreamy piquillo pepper and smoked ricotta filling. I wish they served the fennel aioli separately, though.

We ordered two plates of the burrata (£8). It sat on top of a slice of focaccia and was served with charred aubergine, some chili and an oregano pesto. Quite frankly, the cheese was such a standout, I didn't care much for the garnish.

We also had to have some old favourites:

We ended up ordering six bowls of parsnip buttermilk chips and manchego (£6) that night. It was so moreish! I wish they'd put a bit more manchego next time, but otherwise it's still a good staple order.

The octopus (£9) is still my favourite dish at Ember Yard. We had three of this on the table, which I could have eaten all by myself (but that would be mean, no?) The peperonata tasted a bit sweeter this time around, though.

My last Ember Yard visit fell on a Monday so I wasn't able to order and taste any of the meat dishes. Thank God we went on a Saturday this time!

I finally got to try the roasted and chargrilled Iberico pork ribs (£8). It was definitely heavier than I expected. I was scared the quince glaze would be a bit too sweet for my liking but the way the pork was smoked actually gave it an overall balanced flavour. The celeriac puree wasn't so bad, either. Another group favourite, we had four of these on the table!

I've been lusting over the Iberico presa (£9) since I couldn't get them previously. The meat was gorgeously cooked and tender. The smokiness of the char gave it character, as did the dollops of whipped jamon butter. But in all honesty the natural sweetness of the the pork shoulder shone in its freshness. Yum.

Everyone was fine and dandy after our meal (and four bottles of Campi Flegrei later). The Autumn offering seemed promising, but the strength of their menu definitely relies on the staple favourites. definitely in Service was great as usual, and our bill came out at a reasonable figure despite the multiple orders of delicious fare.

Ember Yard
60 Berwick Street London W1F | +44(0)207 439 8057
Ave spend pp: £40 (with wine)
Ember Yard on UrbanspoonSquare Meal

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