Salt Yard does Italian
|Pork Rib-eye, Occhiato Bean Puree, Grilled Courgettes|
Veneta is a brand new restaurant by the team behind the Spanish restaurant group Salt Yard. Headed up by Ben Tish, Salt Yard as group has produced some very successful restaurants, such as Ember Yard and Opera Tavern, taking modern Spanish cuisine to a high level and gain a solid reputation. This time around, the group is trying their hands on Italian cuisine with the launch of Veneta at St James' Market, covering two floors, the restaurant features a raw bar as well as an open kitchen, with mostly sharing dishes on offer.
|Gambero Rosso with Lemon and Rosemary|
|Cornish Crab and Radicchio with spiced Mayonnaise|
|Baked Scallops with Pumpkin, Lardo and Lemon|
|Half grilled Octopus, Wood-roasted Pepperonata, |
Polenta and Marjoram
I managed to try all the dishes from the raw bar over two visits, and I have got to say the "Gambero Rosso", aka Italian red prawns were truly exceptional. Delightfully sweet with a melting texture. I was also fan of the Cornish crab which had a settled kick from the spiced mayo without overpowering the freshness of the crab. The weak dish for me was the octopus, the texture was fine but the it was over grilled which made the smoky aroma rather overwhelming. The roast duck with liver was a very solid dish and showcased great balance of earthy and robust flavours. On the other hand, the pork rib eye was moist and tender but lacked a touch of seasoning to push it to the next level.
|Red Prawn Tortellini, Shellfish Brodo and Oregano|
|Spiced Lamb Rump with Swiss Chard, |
Tomato, Lamb Fat Potatoe
|Roast Duck with Peverada, Pickled Pear and Radicchio|
|Farmison's Heritage 35-day aged T-Bone|
|Tiramisu & Sheep’s Cheesecake|
Overall, I really enjoyed my 2 visits at Veneta, the restaurant offered something different in the Italian dining culture in London which I found very interesting. And while there were a few dishes that weren't quite there for me, generally I found the food was done really well and that was pretty incredible considering I visited them at its soft launch period. Staff on both days were extremely friendly and made us feel very welcome which was a great bonus. Price -wise, it was not a cheap restaurant, most dishes cost around the £10 mark in starter sizes but then again the quality was up there as far as London standard goes by, it was hard not to like Veneta if you enjoy modern Italian cuisine.
What I paid:
£30 per head with a glass of wine (soft launch offer)
Average cost without drinks and services :
St James's Market, London SW1Y 4SB