Restaurant review: Ember Yard, Soho, W1

Ember Yard ground floor interior - Greg Funnell

Ember Yard ground floor interior - Greg Funnell - Credit: Archant

Ember Yard in the heart of Soho marries indulgence and simplicity to leave a taste that lives long in the memory.

smoked basque beef burger - Greg Funnell

smoked basque beef burger - Greg Funnell - Credit: Archant

The fourth restaurant from the Salt Yard group, Ember Yard is a testament to the group’s growing reputation.

Quince glazed iberico pork rib

Quince glazed iberico pork rib - Credit: Archant

We sat on the ground floor in the heart of the open plan kitchen with a great view of the flames from the charcoal oven which gives the food its unique, smoky hints.

Despite the restaurant being full, the variety of seating and the combination of bar and table levels gave the illusion of space.

Downstairs had a more relaxed and laid back vibe, which lends itself to Ember Yard’s luxurious list of cocktails. We started with a selection of bar snacks. The first dish to arrive was the padrón peppers. The light, deep fried finger food was sweet and bitter but could have done with more salt.

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Next we were treated to one of the stars of the show – the smoked chorizo skewers, which oozed flavour and fat, married beautifully with the accompanying saffron alioli, followed by pork fat chips with chorizo ketchup.

The restaurant splits its tapas into fish, meat and veg so we went for two of each.

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A gratin of root vegetables and ricotta followed a courgette stuffed with goat’s cheese and drizzled with honey, both equally rich, sweet and texturally pleasing. The quality of the oak-smoked, chargrilled Shetland cod shone, while a spicy salami paste stole the show when coupled with cuttlefish and roast pumpkin.

For all their intricacies these were bested by the meat dishes, where the charcoal oven came to the fore.

First, a burger the size of a baby’s fist packed in all the flavour of a 12oz steak. The ribs that followed were just as good. Juicy, quince glazed roasted and chargrilled Ibérico pork falling off the bone.

For dessert, Ember Yard offers a range of reasonably priced puddings, each matched up with its own tipple. The caprini cheesecake with amaretti Sicilian orange was elegant and light and washed down with a sweet, smooth dessert wine.

A richer choice was the bitter chocolate ganache with salted caramel – a warm, salty chocolate heaven, accompanied with seductive Pedro Ximinez cherry.

Time flies at the Ember Yard, the perfect place to impress a business contact or to catch up with old friends.

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