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Restaurants & Bars

Salt Yard, Fitzrovia, London

limster | Aug 25, 200803:57 PM     10

Pretty good rendition of pimentos de padron, could have been charred a touch more in parts, but otherwise fine.

The fried courgette flowers stuffed with goat cheese is a little on the greasy side, but is mostly counteracted by the sweetness from a drizzle of honey that also enhanced the soft and warm goat cheese. Paired well against the dry acidity of their fino (a Gutierrez Colosia according to their website).

Red mullet with a crispy skin had fair flavour, but the stars were the tomatoes by a big distance. Gorgeous summery slices of three heirloom varieties, in varying degrees of fruitiness and acidity, very expressive fruit, with a classic complement of basil.

Dark ruby stripes of air dried beef with milky rinds of fat, imported from spain (sorry don't know the official name, hope someone chimes in). The flavour is intensely beefy, jerky-like in texture, contrasting with the sharp green pea tendrils and tart, slightly sweet triangles of grapefruit, an excellent combination. The aged Manzanilla (Manzanilla Pasada, Pastrana, Hidalgo) went nicely with this, resonating with the grapefruit, while added a very subtle nutty flavour. A richer deeper nutty pairing was also workable with the Amontillado (Amontillado, Del Duque, Gonzalez Byass), this spoke more to the beef.

The pork belly confit was perfectly cooked, just the faintest shade of rose, lovely crispy skin. However, I found the rosemary flavour in the beans a bit too intense and distracted from the pork in a soapy kind of way.

Excellent dessert - macerated strawberries and tart, intense wild strawberries with a silky yogurt ice cream and candied basil that added a wonderful herbal note. Beautiful with a rose muscato from Alto Adige (sorry didn't remember producer) whose hints of rose in the bouquet interacted beautifully with all aspects of the dessert.

Friendly knowledgeable bar service. Overall a very pleasant experience. I'd put them in the same league with Barrafina and Brindisa, although they seem to be a touch stronger on the wine service/advice here.

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