I love getting surprise visitors. Earlier this month, I got an e-mail from an old Pacific Rim restaurant colleague who was going to be in London for a couple days chaperoning a group of students in the hospitality programme at my old University, wanting to know if I was around for a drink. I suggested meeting the The Salt Yard for some wine and tapas.
After the initial catch-up chat, we opt for some food. We each chose two dishes. Stupidly, I forgot my camera, and had to make do with low-light and an iPhone, hence the crap quality photos. Apologies.
First up, the Jamon Croquetas with Manchego:
Really nice! The manchego filling was creamy, but it could have had a bit more oomph.
Chris really wanted to get the Cornish Mackerel Tartare with Apple, Celeriac and Coriander Shoots:
Here’s another offender in the ‘let’s not put cucumber on the menu description, but stick it in the dish anyway’ list. I had one bite before the throat started to contract. I’m sure it was lovely, but it wasn’t for me. Not their fault entirely, of course – just my stupid aversion to cucumber.
My second choice was the Saffron Arancini with Mussels, Crab, Squid and a Chilli Aioli:
These were amazing! Delicious saffron risotto balls with seafood. It was like having fried paella morsels. I could have had 3 more orders.
Chris chose what was listed on the menu as: Patatas Fritas with Romesco and Aioli. Really, we should have known that meant ‘chips’. I’m a bit ashamed that I didn’t.
These were just alright. The romesco sauce was nice (and the reason Chris wanted to go with this dish), especially when mixed with the aioli, but still – they were just chips. I’m such an idiot – can’t believe we were swayed by menu descriptions in another language. Sheesh.
A couple wins, a couple losses. There’s a lot on the menu I didn’t try that looked good, so I’ll definitely go back. Thus, the beauty of tapas.
But please – Restaurants of London – I beg you: When you put cucumber in your dishes, please list it on the menu!