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Salt Yard

Restaurants, Spanish Fitzrovia
3 out of 5 stars
4 out of 5 stars
(13user reviews)
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Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

A longstanding Spanish/Italian spot in Fitzrovia.

First opened in 2005 – a lifetime in London restaurant terms – Salt Yard was for years a benchmark for mash-up Spanish/Italian tapas in the capital. Fifteen years later, that accolade is harder won.

Some of the cooking was excellent. There were padron peppers, blistered and blackened from the grill – the kind of sunny booze food that works all year round. Or cylindrical croquetas of jamon, leek and manchego, the Iberian peninsula’s most delectable foods in microcosm. At £5.50 each, the Salt Yard staple of stuffed and fried courgette flowers might be London’s priciest legume, but they’re well worth it: the textural thrill of ethereally crisp batter, offset with a molten mouthful of goat’s cheese and the floral high notes of blossom honey, is a classic for a reason.

But things quickly swerved from ‘Olé!’ to merely ‘OK’. A plump tortilla looked textbook but was overly loose and insipidly wet. The bird in a chicken saltimbocca was moist, but the prosciutto-style ham on top anaemic and flavourless, and an accompanying sweetcorn purée erred towards saccharine. A morcilla-stuffed head of baby squid tasted fine but the textural interplay was off, the meat a tad rubbery and the blood pudding scatologically soft. Thank god, then, for a closer of deconstructed lemon meringue pie, with sharp blackberry compote and cloud-like lemon cream on a crackingly short pastry disc, plus a wave of blowtorched meringue painted around the plate. It was sensational.

Service was oddly cold, and while the low-lit and bustling main bar remains one of the vibiest in London, the basement dining room was void-like when empty, and merely noisy when full. There’s still plenty to enjoy here, but in a city home to Iberian behemoths like Barrafina, Sabor and José, Salt Yard needs to rest on its laurels a little less.

Details

Address: 54 Goodge Street
London
W1T 4NA
Transport: Tube: Goodge Street
Price: Dinner for two with drinks and service: around £110.
Contact:
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Users say (13)

4 out of 5 stars

Average User Rating

4.1 / 5

Rating Breakdown

  • 5 star:6
  • 4 star:3
  • 3 star:3
  • 2 star:1
  • 1 star:0
LiveReviews|13
1 person listening
tastemaker

There are so many good reviews about this place, I had to try it to see for myself. The restaurant itself is quite small and narrow. There is a huge step to get in and although the restaurant has a ramp to help wheelchair users, the gradient is still too steep to attempt it without any assistance. As mentioned, it's quite narrow so staff kept tripping over my wheels, one staff went flying and would have ended up on the floor if the wall was not there to catch him. There are a few steps to the toilets so overall not accessible for a wheelchair user at all.

Food wise, the dishes which were good were very good, but the others were average. The octopus, pork belly and truffle macaroni cheese were of the better dishes. They were quite rich too so the small portions were perfect. You know what they say about too much of a good thing... Then ending the meal with the tiramisu was just right for me.

Overall, I felt this place was a bit overrated. We were also rushed as they needed the table back. I can't remember the last time this happened, even in places where I queued for hours, I had never been rushed and kicked off my table. It wasn't bad, but then it wasn't cheap either.


I have no idea why this restaurant gets such consistently high reviews. At most it's mediocre, but genuinely I question how people are having such a wildly different experience than myself. 


The restaurant itself is bland and cheaply decorated. The staff are not very welcoming or responsive. It's saving grace is it's one of the few places you can find zucchini flowers, which you HAVE to try as they're super yummy, especially when filled with cheese and drizzled with honey as you can see from the photo above. If it wasn't for that I'd probably give it 1 star...


Delicious tapas all with a modern twist. The chorizo is mind blowing – in fact, all of their signature dishes are winners.… The service & wine selection is excellent and the atmosphere is cool and buzzy. But beware, the cost can very quickly add up, so maybe don’t go there if you’re built like a rugby player and ravenous…. But definitely worth it for a special night out.

Tastemaker

I've been to the Sakt Yard a few times & I really love it.

This visit was less good than my others though. I am increasingly fed up with the arrogance of restaurants 2hr turn around policy that we seem to have to accept more and more. In places that are at the budget end I can see why but with the more expensive ones I am getting fed up.

To be fair my friends were nearly a half hour late & we took some time to organise our order, the food came quickly & we were offered dessert & a third bottle of wine. However we were then pretty forcibly ejected, with a half bottle of wine still to drink. It felt like the maximum amount of money was being sucked from us (£42 a head) with little care or concern. My friends who were visiting certainly wouldn't return & I felt embarrassed as the restaurant was my recommendation. The staff should have been clear that there wasn't time for a dessert or more drinks rather than serving them then rushing us.

All that said the food was really interesting & delicious & the service before the end really friendly and efficient.


So delicious - maybe a little over priced, but definitely worth going to. Service is excellent and the cocktails are delicious

Staff Writer

There's tapas and there's tapas. This wonderful restaurant elevates this humble cuisine to another level. Simple dishes like tortilla or chorizo become culinary works of art. The courgette flowers stuffed with goats cheese and drizzled in honey will transport you. They also have a fine wine list. I'd recommend the table downstairs right next to the kitchen so you can watch the talented hardworking chefs create these ridiculously tasty small plates. Lovely waiters and waitresses as well with a genuine passion for the menu and a nice relaxed manner. It's all truly scrumptious.


I am not a big tapas fan.. as I like to have my own food. However I really enjoyed this place as there was great choice... I have been a few times and would go again. Cocktails are yummy too.

"title"


Everything was great in the restaurant. Starting in the location, the ambient and all the tapas were a delight to the senses. The service was amazing. We were served by Danniela, and we felt at home seeing her smile and professionalism. I must return!!!


Not as good as I was hoping. It was quite a squashed table for a group of 8, even though the table next to us was empty. The food was okay (the meat eaters seemed to like it), but not as amazing as places like Morito in Exmouth Market or La Farola in Islington. The stairs were lit up blue - which was a bit night club like. The chickpea dip wasn't vegetarian - they kindly told us it had chicken stock in it. But did change the set menu to give us more veggie options when we got there which was nice.


Oh my - some of the best tapas I think I've ever had! Took my husband here for his birthday and it was a perfect evening. The waiter was really knowledgeable and made some good wine recommendations. The food was perfect, all done incredibly well and absolutely delicious - do not leaving without trying the lamb! I liked as well it had a unique take on traditional tapas. Slightly higher in price than some other places but well worth and makes a great romantic spot as well.


Excellent meal. Food was perfect and a good wine list. Buzzy atmosphere in the downstairs dining area - don't think I would have enjoyed meal so much upstairs, it seemed terribly noisy and crowded. Service was spot on. As previous poster we had the stuffed courgette flowers and they were delicious. Will definitely be back.


Amazing food, excellent service. We will definitely be going back to this restaurant.


My favourite tapas restaurant in London! the courgette flowers stuffed with cheese and drizzled with honey are to die for! Great service (the waitress let us try three different reds which were open at the bar in order to find one we truly liked), not overly expensive and I really couldn't fault it in any way. Can't wait to return!

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