I’m a huge fan of foods from southern Europe. In particular, I adore the simplicity of Spanish ‘Cocina’ and the way that the ingredient is the hero, and needs little adornment.
In fact, if you drill down into the majority of world cuisines the timeless dishes are the most basic. Carefully selected, seasonal, and respectfully treated ingredients are what group executive chef Ben Tish and his awesome team do so damn well..
When my wife asked me what i wanted to do on my birthday this year, the decision was simple. Two things: Fishing and a meal at Salt Yard ! Okay, so I’d already been there a couple of years ago and visited the legendary Opera Tavern too, but I just needed to go back for more. It was MY day after all!
Jamon Iberico de Bellota- aged for five years was our first choice. You simply cannot go to Salt Yard and miss the opportunity of tasting the nuttiest, most buttery rich, and intensely flavoured air dried ham, ever. Some warm, olive oil soaked puffy breads arrived whilst we savoured every last porky sliver.
Padron peppers next, hot, slightly grassy in flavour and sprinkled with an unhealthy amount of sea salt. An obvious dish you might say, but just sooo good.
Creamy goat’s cheese filled, crisply fried courgette flowers drizzled with runny honey. Yum yum.
You need to try their Patatas Fritas and Bravas sauce- spicy, smoky, crunchy and fluffy on the inside. Just the way things should be. And that Alioli..
If you want to taste an epic Tortilla you need to wait around 15 minutes, about the time it takes to polish off the other dishes and empty a glass of wine. It’s 15 minutes well justified. The Spanish are alchemists when it comes to transforming three simple ingredients- eggs, potatoes and onions. Fabulously runny in the centre, like an eggy, potato(ey) fondant pudding.
Octopus and potatoes, another classic, perfectly executed, wonderfully moorish! I wiped the plate clean with my greasy finger, regretting only ordering one plate.
Croquettas, pickled walnuts, artichoke puree and silky spinach
The dish of the day?? Dish of the bloody decade more like- Black rice, baby squid, gremolata.
It smacked of perfection. You need to go and try it, honestly. On this occasion words truly fail me.
Tell me about your meal below, and we can compare notes:
PS- I got to go fishing too 🙂