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As well as "glorious" Spanish and Italian tapas, charcuterie and cheeses, this branch of the Salt Yard group (Dehesa, Opera Tavern etc) lives up to its 'Ember' tag by offering dishes imbued with smokiness and "the crunch of charcoal". A Josper oven takes care of business, while the moody two-level restaurant is decked out in suitably earthy tones with dark chunky wood and expressive artwork. The menu is ideal for groups, with large sharing plates of hot-smoked pork belly or roasted whole sea bream alongside smaller dishes ranging from blackened Scottish salmon and "perfectly tender" char-grilled octopus with pepperonata to fire-roasted Portobello mushrooms with chilli and Manchego. Service can become shaky during busier times and the main action is on the ground floor, but reasonable pricing and plenty of Italian and Spanish wines by the glass add to the appeal.
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Hollywood’s favourite pirate Johnny Depp once said, “I pretty much try to stay in a constant state of confusion just because of the expression it leaves on my face.” If that is the case then he should dine every night at Ember Yard, the fourth restaurant to be born from the Salt Yard group, for confused is very much how I felt after eating there on Sunday night.Most dishes were so lovely that I felt a genuine pang of sadness when they were nearing their end, whilst the odd few were almost offensive...
More from Dinner with Jo »
Ember Yard is the fourth restaurant in the Salt Yard group. Everything on the menu is cooked on a custom-built, bespoke Basque-style grill (hence the embers) and dishes have both Spanish and Italian influences, particularly from the Basque Country and Tuscany.I discovered afterwards that the head chef, Jacques Fourie, is South African which kind of makes sense with the SA passion for braaing (barbecuing).
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