Is smoke your thing?
As a non-smoker, I can’t usually say it is mine, but in the case of Ember Yard I’ll happily make an exception.
I went with high expectations, and I was not disappointed.
The concept is simple, it follows the same template of tapas and charcuterie offerings as the other joints do, but what you get at Ember Yard is a gloriously, smoky, char grilled theme that carries through every dish.
The name Ember Yard, refers to the charcoal grill which cooks the majority of their dishes. Even if not cooked on the grill smoke somehow makes its way into the dish with the use of smoked ricotta for example.
Service was seamless, and very friendly by London standards which really sets the scene for the whole place. It’s relaxed dining at its finest.
The drinks list is extensive, with their house wine (Cortese, the grape variety that is also used to make Gavi) being a particular stunner for the price. The Cava cocktail was also equally tasty, and they even have Spanish ciders from a small brewery that we visited in Spain earlier this year.
Food-wise you could spend hours here grazing your way through the entire menu, and we did give it a jolly good go. In fact, we ate so much that I’m going to have to give you the abridged version. That’s not to say that the other dishes we had were mediocre by any stretch, but these were particularly eyes-closed-swooning-in-ecstasy scrumptious.
Here are my highlights:
Gordal Olives Stuffed with Goats curd, orange and pistachio: Taking olives to another (awesome) level.
Grilled prawns: Whilst nothing new, this classic was executed beautifully with the charred shells contrasting well with the prawns’ sweetness.
Iberico presa: Holy cow. Or should I say pig. This was a taste sensation. Smoky, grilled pork, which was so succulent served with little mounds of jamon butter (I’m a real sucker for butter). Heaven.
Veg gratin: So I ate the pork and thought nothing could top it, especially not a measly veg gratin. How wrong was I? Drowned in smoked ricotta and crispy breadcrumbs, this is the type of veg dish that if served to kids they’d actually eat and ask for more.
To seal the deal, it even won over my tapas-hating dining companion, which I think says it all.
Ember Yard, 60-61 Berwick Street, London, W1F 8SU