Sunday, 29 December 2013

Ember Yard

New openings in Soho remain so regular that it's tough to keep up.  I hope Montreal is even half as exciting.  In December alone, Bistro Blanchette, Jackson and Rye, House of Ho and Ember Yard opened their doors.  That's one a week. 

Nice to see the Salt Yard Group expanding, Emily and I visited Ember Yard on a Tuesday night, snagging a last minute booking, we were seated at the bar close to the kitchen.

Perusing the cocktail menu (£10 a pop), they all appealed but I opted for the Il Profumo di Maria as recommended by our particularly friendly waitress.  It looked beautiful and whilst a little sweeter than I'd expected, it tasted the part too.  Vodka with elderflower, violets, prosecco and cherry smoke, it's served in a lidded glass, the smoke escaping as you take a first sip, it's gimmicky but I totally fell for it.  Tasted like parma violets. 

It's a tapas style menu, 2-3 small plates per person are recommended, the focus of the menu are dishes cooked in the charcoal oven, and as the name suggests, smoke is a running theme.  Here's what we ate:-

Crispy chiperones with capers and sage (£3.25) a real bargain.

Smoked chorizo skewers with saffron aioli (£2.50 each) this was amazing.

Whipped lardo crostini with guindilla (4 of these for £4), very crispy.

Octopus with pepperonata and mojo verde aioli (£8.25).  This was expensive for
the portion size, good octopus but my least favourite dish on the night.

Courgette flowers with goats cheese and honey (£7.95).  
Best I've ever had, excellent cheese and a good amount of it.

Quince glazed Iberico pork ribs with celeriac puree (£6.50).
The other most memorable dish.  Meat falling off the bone with
a sweet and smoky glaze.  Loved them.

Salt Marsh lamb with roasted aubergine and salsa verde (£8.25).  
Nice, but no match for the pork rib.

Valrhona chocolate ganacha with salted caramel cream (£6.25).
Cleverly recommended with a glass of pedro ximenex at £6.50 a glass 
which I challenge anyone to resist.  This was a wonderful end to the meal.

I hugely enjoyed the evening at Ember Yard, stand out dishes were mostly meaty, but dessert is the thing that has stuck with me.  I rarely rave about sweet dishes but this was really special.  Emily's pairing of brown butter panna cotta with a glass of frangelico looked equally impressive. 

It wasn't a cheap meal, but the cooking was worth the spend, the atmosphere of the place was warm and inviting (save a couple of smashed crockery moments) and it's much bigger than I expected with a large bar downstairs.  Having Ember Yard on Berwick, makes Soho even more exciting.  I shall miss it. 

Ember Yard
60 Berwick St

Ember Yard on Urbanspoon

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