The Salt Yard

My brother recently blogged about Dabbous – the restaurant that food critics are going crazy over. The restaurant that has a waiting list of over a year. I recently blogged about Bubbledogs – the restaurant that, more often than not, has a two-hour queue. What they both have in common, other than requiring a lot of patience, is that to get to them one must go to Goodge Street. That wonderful underground station whose name warms the larynx and positively ooooooozes out of one’s mouth. Goodge Street has become the breeding ground for culinary excellence, so when asked to The Salt Yard – which too is situated in this inglenook of foodie wonder – I did not hesitate to say ‘yes.’

Globules of slushy snow stuck to my eyelashes (causing mascara mayhem) as I exited the tube 15 minutes ahead of schedule. I think this is one of the pitfalls of being a journalist; I am irritatingly punctual and try as I might I can’t play it cool; I have to be on time. With mascara streaming down my face, I took shelter in a nearby Starbucks and made some necessary cover-up alterations before my dining companion arrived. Twenty-minutes later and sans black facial tributaries, he arrived and we set off to number 54 Goodge Street; to The Salt Yard.

I can’t remember the last time that I went to a Spanish restaurant, but my last Spanish meal was courtesy of my Florence Academy of Art friend’s Spanish/Scottish friend – Laura, and that was a feast of  Tortilla. Though there was an option of this local specialty, I opted against it for I wanted to keep that memory intact. Instead, my companion and I went for a variety of Tapas. The menu is broken down into three categories; fish, meat and vegetables. Though offered a starter of meat and cheese, we decided that we didn’t want to waste valuable stomach space and would prefer to work our way chronologically through the categories. First up was:

FISH

SQUID      Crispy Baby Squid, Squid Ink Alioli and Puntarelle

SCALLOPS SYRoast Scallops, Jerusalem Artichoke, PX Glaze and Artichoke Crisps

Then came:

MEAT

PORK SHOULDERChargrilled Iberico Presa with Butternut Squash, Golden Sultanas and Sage

DUCKConfit Duck, Mustard Spaetzle, Pomegranate, Chestnut and Mint

And finally:

VEGETABLE

COURGETTECourgette Flowers stuffed with Goat’s Cheese and drizzled with Honey

TRUFFLEWild Mushroom Ravioli, Cavolo Nero, Walnuts and Black Truffle

All of which was washed down with a bottle of:

IMG_0989

Even with its impeccable reputation, Goodge Street did not falter under pressure and provided yet another stand-out performance. The only minor issue were the waitresses, who were at times, in danger of crossing over the line of relaxed to slow. However, once the food arrived (which, after managing to get the orders in, was quick) any quibbles were forgotten and a new-found love for both Tapas and Spanish food overwhelmed me. The Salt Yard is well worth a visit and an excellent venue to enjoy with both friends and first dates.

Food: **** Wine: **** Service: **