The latest in a mini-chain of four of London’s most enjoyable new-style tapas bars: every flavour combination a winner, and bar snacks are among Soho's best.
Salt Yard, Dehesa, Opera Tavern: three of London’s most enjoyable new-style tapas bars, and they’re all run by the same young company. Ember Yard is the fourth in this growing chain, and builds on the strengths of its forebears, using Italian as well as Spanish dishes and techniques as their inspiration.
What sets Ember Yard apart from its siblings is an even greater emphasis on the grill. If you’ve eaten in a charcoal grill restaurant in the Basque country – or even in a Turkish grill in Dalston – Ember Yard should feel oddly familiar, especially if you’re sitting near the glowing coals. There’s a mixture of bar stools, high counters, dining tables and banquettes on the ground floor; the basement has more of the same but with even more emphasis on the list of house cocktails, and a well-chosen selection of wines by the glass, or even bigger selection by the bottle.
The bar snacks are among the best in Soho. Smoked chorizo oozed flavour, and was served hot with a smooth saffron alioli. Chips are cooked in pork fat, and arrived perfectly crisp. Cheese and charcuterie platters are divided into Spanish or Italian.
Every tapas flavour combination was a winner. Tender octopus was coated in a peperonata sauce, served with a green squirt of the garlic and coriander mayonnaise called mojo verde alioli. Ibérico pork ribs were grilled to melting softness, the flavours of the quince glaze and smear of celeriac purée melding into the warm fat. If we have any caveats at all about the menu – and there aren’t many – it’s that sometimes there’s just a bit much happening on one plate. For example, a delicate carpaccio of sea bream was flavoured with the strong citrus hit of bergamot flesh, with coriander sprouts and gratings of bottarga – cured mullet roe. The citrus overpowered the other more subtle flavours.
We visited Ember Yard three times in a fortnight, and found the cooking consistently good to excellent, the service informal but informed. With any small plates menu of this type, the bill can add up quickly – it’s tempting, once you’ve discovered just how brilliant but small the dishes are, to order some more. Ember Yard’s that sort of place: somewhere you can’t quite get enough of, and are sorry to leave.
We commissioned and custom built a bespoke, Basque-style grill and sourced some amazing single species sustainable charcoal and wood from Kent to cook with. We use only the finest seasonal produce, and introduce – as has become our style – our spin on flavours of Spain and Italy.
Our menu is completely inspired by the primal technique of cooking simply over wood and charcoal, and consists of artisan Spanish and Italian cheese and charcuterie, small tapas plates and several larger sharing plates, including our signature barbecue Gloucester Old Spot pork belly cooked over applewood and oak charcoal. We change our menu regularly with the seasons, and as we become inspired by new ingredients becoming available.
We are located at number 60 Berwick Street in the heart of Soho and only a short walk from Covent Garden (so perfect for a pre-theatre or post-theatre meal). We have a lovely two-storey restaurant and bar, with an open plan kitchen on the ground floor and a cool and cosy cocktail bar on the lower ground floor. We encourage you to come along before you dine to sample one of our specially created Ember-themed cocktails!
We also have a private dining room that can accommodate parties of up to 18 people – perfect for celebrations, business meetings or fun group get-togethers.
|Venue name:||Ember Yard||Contact:|
60-61 Berwick Street
|Opening hours:||Open noon-midnight Mon-Wed; noon-1am Thurs-Sat; noon-10pm Sun|
|Transport:||Tube: Oxford Circus or Tottenham Court Road|
|Price:||Meal for two with drinks and service: around £75.|
|Do you own this business?|
Average User Rating
4.4 / 5
- 5 star:17
- 4 star:3
- 3 star:3
- 2 star:1
- 1 star:1
I had a great meal at Ember Yard. Throughout the menu the focus is on the grill which adds a rich and smoky character to much of the food. The chargrilled Iberico presa was a particular highlight - the meat charred on the outside, committedly rare in the middle and just melted away when eaten. A smoked bream carpaccio also stood out, along with classics like salt cod croquettes and the Salt Yard Group staple of stuffed courgette flowers. The venue is nicely designed and feels relaxed and classy. Now I know that a pig's leg shaped beer tap exists, I can't understand why they are not more common.
I went to Ember Yard for dinner on Saturday and left feeling really underwhelmed. My experience was not all bad but on the whole I was quite disappointed. Firstly, we were supposed to be sat at the Chef's counter but were actually seated at one of the high tables upstairs, right by the door. Secondly, we ordered some cocktails, (which were fab by the way) but weren't offered another drink/some wine at any other point during our meal. In the end I only had one cocktail for the duration of my visit, which is most unlike me! The waitress was friendly but I felt that the whole thing was very rushed. I certainly did not have that relaxed feeling of luxury that you get when you go to a truly great restaurant. We ordered the salt cod croquettes and the courgette flower, both of which were absolutely fantastic. The chips and the burger were nice but nothing to write home about. The chicken thighs were absolutely disgusting. The whole dish tasted of fish and nothing else, which was most bizarre. The beef brisket was cooked perfectly and very tender, but was sat under some smoked mash which made the whole dish very dry. In my opinion, it needed some sauce if it was going to be swimming in that amount of potato. I would rate it 3 stars out of 5 as parts of the meal were exceptional and other parts were really quite poor. I expected a lot more from this restaurant and felt it was focused more on style over substance.
This place is sublime, the cocktails here are absolutely incredible. Bit pricey and racked up quite a bill for how hungry i still was, but the quality and taste of the menu is to die for. Worth going to woo anyone on a date!
Ember Yard is one of my favourite places to go - food is incredible and service is great. Downstairs is really cosy so great for date nights. They stop serving food around half three which is my only complaint
Amazing meaty feasts abound. I've just booked my third return to this place, and am already salivating at the thought of all that smokey goodness. The group behind this place can do no wrong in my book!
Ditto another reviewer below. Very stingy portions. Ordered more than 10 tapas for 2 people and still left hungry. Also like the reviewer, everything chargrilled (and I love chargrilled food) was quite dry like the juice of the food was such out of it. A couple of the dishes were quite good but spent a lot of money and left hungry having consumed lots of over-dry food.
Amazing hospitality by the co manager Natasha and lots of help in choosing two great bottles of wine. Loved the atmosphere and the food was really tasty, perfect for groups of friends or a date in the heart of Soho.
Service was good, but the food was not great. The portions were really stingy and not good value for money. Maybe they had an off day, but everything we had from the grill was practically charcoal, and long overcooked. The iberico jamon was also poor for the price. At this level i would expect a deep rich colour and taste, where this example was more like a standard serano jamon. Also they seemed to push a particular type of olive when you order olives. This turns out to be a portion of four olives stuffed with cheese. The cheese did not particularly enhance or match the flavour of the olives, and was not the snack with drinks we were expecting especially at almost a pound per olive. The markup on this is cheeky to say the least.. There are far better examples of this sort of food in the area. Unfortunately I wont be going back.
Absolutely sensational food - all cooked over wood and coal. i loved the chicory with sweet sauce of pomegranate molasses i think and all the meats-chicken with leeks and fish -cod with braised white beans and the grilled cod. the tapas style menu blows others away like barrafina and polpo. service was good if a little messy and clumsy but that didn't matter really. Went on a thursday lunch and it was packed-downstairs was very noisy.
I took some clients to Ember Yard to introduce them to superior tapas eating. They loved it, as did I. Brilliant charming service, delicious plates for my guests' tastes, and the puds are blooming gorgeous. Can't wait to settle in and try all the cocktails too and super-cosy welcoming spot on a dark winter afternoon or evening, or any time really. People, GO. Just not all at once, so I can still get in...
Having been in town on Monday we found the Ember Yard purely by chance whilst looking for somewhere for dinner. Despite not having a reservation we were found a table with no fuss and had a thoroughly enjoyable meal. The food was fantastic and the service was even better. Sadly we didn't have time to enjoy the downstairs cocktail bar but was very busy and lively. All very stylish and had a great feel. Highly recommended!
Food delicious! Staff very friendly and helpful. A worthy new baby Opera Tavern which is a favourite restaurant for all our family. Very stylish setup too.