I very recently fell in love with Spanish tapas through Barrafina, but Shiima isn’t as enamoured with Spanish tapas as I am, which made it the perfect cuisine for my solo excursions. A couple months back I went to Ember Yard and I really enjoyed it, so I decided to pay a visit to the other restaurants in the Salt Yard group – Salt Yard, Dehesa, Opera Tavern, & Veneta. Salt Yard was first.
Last Saturday, after trying to find a suit for Shiima and I’s registry wedding I visited Salt Yard on Goodge Street. I made a reservation for 5PM, and, as always, I was on time, but the kitchen wasn’t open till 5:30PM. I was offered a seat at the sturdy wooden bar in the fairly cosy restaurant, where I had a glass of water with lemon and listened to a podcast while I waited. The restaurant seemed busy, but there was only one other guest, the members of staff were bustling about preparing for service. I was handed the menu a few minutes before 5:30 and offered a table, but I decided to seat at the bar – it’s perfect for solo dining.
I had a good idea what I was going to order, based on my past experiences at tapas restaurants and a thorough Google search lol. I ordered slow-cooked octopus, chorizo croquetas, Iberico presa (like pork steaks), roasted paprika chicken, and stuffed courgette flowers. The courgette flower stuffed with goat’s cheese and drizzled with honey arrived first, and my first impression was that the batter wasn’t as “white” as other stuffed courgette flowers I’ve had and enjoyed. The taste was also inferior in comparison to others, as there wasn’t much stuffing. But leaving aside the comparison, it was a delicious start.
The next dish was the really colourful and very aesthetically pleasing slow-cooked octopus with potatoes, lemon, chilli, capers, and saffron aioli. It was delicious, and light. Every ingredient complimented the octopus perfectly. The spicy chorizo with leek and manchego croquetas arrived next, and from the first bite, I was in love … I think these are the best croquetas I’ve ever had … well, there might be some recency bias, so I’d say these are certainly amongst the best. Perfect crunch and the filling is creamy spicy bliss. Oddly, I don’t quite remember the feeling I had while eating the roasted paprika chicken; maybe I was basking in the bliss of the croquetas. The roasted chicken was served with sautéed baby artichoke, jamon iberico and aioli. Looking at the picture I took of the dish, I’m certain it was a good dish and I devoured every single bit of it.
The Iberico presa was another beautiful dish. Sliced into small pieces showcasing the pink of the pork, and served with sliced grapes, creamy ajo blanco, spring onion and chilli salsa. It was really good, every bit of the dish was sensational … even the sliced grape (I evidently enjoy grape in my savoury dishes). Next time, I’ll asked for the pork to be a little more cooked through though. I asked for the dessert menu and I was intrigued by most of the desserts, but I went for the churros with cinnamon sugar, warm chocolate sauce and mascarpone cream. Simply put, I did not like it at all … especially the consistency inside the churros, seemed underdone to me. I soldiered through two of the four churros.
I really enjoyed my experience at Salt Yard. The food, besides my churros, was excellent, and the service was friendly. I didn’t get to see much of the restaurant; there is a level below ground where the kitchen is, but I never made it downstairs. What I experienced was a cosy environment. I was also pleasantly surprised when the bill arrived, as it was relatively cheap. I recommend for dates, lunch, group dining, and foodies.
Cuisine: Spanish & Italian tapas
Dress code: Casual
Star Dish: Chorizo Picante, Leek and Manchego Croquetas
Price: £35 (excluding alcohol)
Rating: 4.7 out of 5
54 Goodge Street
London W1T 4NA
Book a table through their website or call 0207 637 0657