I am always a bit pre judgmental on tapas restaurant, partly because tapas are not my favourite food, and mainly because I seem to always end up disappointed by Spanish cuisine.
So when a friend told me he had booked Salt Yard for a work reunion I was not entirely keen on the choice, despite the website’s claim that they serve food inspired by the flavours of not only Spain, but Italy as well.
The restaurant is warmly decorated, and we had a table downstairs. I decided not to spend too much energy on ordering the food, and only chose a couple of tapas letting my companions do all the work. I was pleasantly surprised to find Falanghina on the wine list and I ordered a glass. It was not even cold, and I am now regretting not complaining about it but I was too engrossed in chatting with my friends to do it.
The tapas arrived. Manchego cheese and iberico lomo first.
Thinking about Cheeseandbiscuits’ favourite food, I wondered whether my taste buds are too patriotic to have unbiased views. The iberico was tasty enough, but greasy, and maybe the cut was the reason why it was not that impressive, as another dish of Jamon Iberico de Bellota, which we did not order, comes in at £14.95. Good quality Parma ham is for me way better than what we had. The cheese was ok, but I found the quince with it quite interesting.
Cooked tapas arrived. Scallops with bacon and chickpeas were not that enjoyable, the shellfish too raw for my liking and the bacon too heavy.
The chorizo tapas was a bit too hot and greasy. The onion omelette plain, while the ham and queso croquetas had a very thick crust and reminded me of frozen food I used to eat as a kid (i sofficini).
The squid with broad beans and green peppers was actually good, an interesting combination of flavours if a tad heavy.
I had also ordered a polenta with girolles and artichokes, as I love polenta and hardly ever eat it. Shouldn’t have bothered, it was full of melted cheese but not a lot of flavour.
Another dish we tried was courgette flowers with goats cheese. These were the most silly item of the night, stuffy to the limit, with the courgette still stuck to the flowers, thin, greasy batter and covered in unnecessary honey.
The bill came in at 33£ each including tips. While I totally enjoyed my evening thanks to the company, Salt Yard is frankly a place where I would not care to return any time soon.
I have dearly missed having a 'local' pub: comfort, great food, familiarity. While the Talbot in SE4 is a little too far out for us to become regulars, we'll definitely be back to sample more of talented chef Sabrina Gidda's food. Find out more about this recently reopened Brockley local.