Jun 20 2012

Salt Yard

My friend Joris once mentioned to me that he really liked a Spanish/ Italian tapas place located near Googe Street called Salt Yard and made me feel very bad for not knowing it, suggesting I was not worthy to do my restaurant reviews if I had not tried this place, so this place has always been very high on the list of places that I have wanted to try. The Salt Yard group owns 3 restaurants - Salt Yard, Dehesa and Opera Tavern, and all do tapas style dishes. I have been to the 2 years ago opened up Opera Tavern twice and thought the food was quite enjoyable, so I had high expectations for the original restaurant - Salt Yard. 


The interior of the Salt Yard seems a bit less cool than Opera Tavern, and the inside is a bit boring (they made us sit downstairs in the basement which made it worse). The food was not impressive at all, and really the only thing that I liked was the Jamon Iberico, where you need zero skill to make it, you just buy it from the shop and serve it (but unfortunately even this dish was spoiled by the fact Salt Yard charged a massive £14 for not that many slices – see a picture below). The other cooked tapas which involved more skill to make were much less impressive. We had the “Roast Rump and Seven Hour Shoulder of Lamb, Crushed Pea and Mint Vinaigrette” dish, which despite the glamorous name was not a very delicious lamb with mushed peas. The “Jamon Croquetas with Manchego” were the worst jamon croquetas I have had and generally I have not seen any other tapas place getting them wrong, as they seem so easy to make. The “Carpaccio of Scallops, Avocado, Roast Coral and Ginger Dressing” was really bland and super zzzzzz... there was no flavour/ spice at all there really. And the “Chargrilled Octopus with Warm Potatoes, Peas, English Asparagus and Mint” was also the worst octopus + potato dish I have had in a Spanish tapas place (I generally tend to go for the same dishes making it easy to compare). So by this time I was thinking this place really knew how to take my favourite Spanish dishes and create the worst version of it (and the most complicated/ fancy names)... As a vegetable dish the waiter suggested I try the “Courgette Flowers stuffed with Goat's Cheese and drizzled with Honey” and to be fair at the time when I was ordering this I knew I was making a mistake as I had had the same dish on both of the 2 occasions when I went to the Opera Tavern (so some of the same dishes feature in both restaurants) and the first time thought it was good, but the last time when I had it I was disappointed, but I went ahead and ordered and unfortunately it did not work and did not save my meal at the Salt Yard. The thing that I did enjoy though was the pudding; I had the “Chilled Arborio Rice Pudding, Apricot in Moscatel”. So Joris was so wrong ... I can be an amateur restaurant critic perfectly well and there is no reason why I need to know about the Salt Yard


Salt Yard on Urbanspoon 

Square Meal

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Salt Yard
54 Goodge Street, W1T 4NA
United Kingdom
Salt Yard Reviewed by Hungry Bee Maija on . Rating: 2.5