If you're a bit like me, you jump at any chance to be transported to sunnier climes - especially as we start to descend into the cooler months. And the best pick me up? Tapas, of course. I've had my eye on the Salt Yard Group's restaurants for a while now, so when I heard that they'd opened up a new Salt Yard in Westfield London, Shepherd's Bush, I couldn't think of a better way to relax post-shopping trip.
After getting ridiculously lost among the many shops and maze-like floors of Westfield London (I highly recommend that anyone going to Salt Yard leaves first, then makes their way around the building), I finally stumbled upon the restaurant. Found on the South Terrace, it was a calm relief from the hustle and bustle of the stores. We're talkin' stylish bare-brick walls and industrial piped ceilings mixed with an opulent, geometric-tiled bar and hanging foliage. We grabbed a seat in the enclosed terrace, which boasted a gorgeous, towering olive tree that made the perfect centrepiece.
We kicked things off with a couple of margaritas; I went for the Padron Pepper (£12) twist while my pal went for a classic (£10). Mine was, for lack of a better word, scrummy. It offered a strong flavour of the pepper, which mingled nicely with the tequila - and the garnish? An actual padron pepper that you can eat. The classic, my friend said, was smooth yet sour and very refreshing.
We ordered a dish of patatas fritas (£5.50). Perfectly crispy on the outside and fluffy on the inside, plus drizzled in bravas and aioli, it was carb heaven. It went perfectly alongside our heritage tomato salad (£7), which came with a caper dressing and garlic migas, as well as a sprinkling of dill. Each mouthful was fresh and bursting with flavour, although the dill was just a little bit overpowering. We also chomped on the jamon and manchego croquetas (£6.50 for four) - these were cute balls of crunchy, cheesy, oozing deliciousness.
We'd finished our cocktails by this point, so quenched our thirst with a bottle of Molinico Loco (£28). Light and delicate, it seemed to go with each and every one of our dishes. Next up? Came the crispy squid (£8.50). Little bites of deep-fried squid, topped with pickled chilli and a side of tarragon aioli for dipping, I couldn't get enough. As we nibbled on these, our glazed chicken thigh pincho (£8) was delivered to our table. It was served alongside baby gem lettuce and an almond romesco and had a mouthwatering marinade that was amplified by the grilled, caramelised exterior.
Finally, we finished off by devouring the chocolate mousse (£6.50). A big splodge of chocolate mousse topped with a scoop of mascarpone, chocolate crumbs and a few strawberry bites, it was lovely.
The DesignMyNight Digest
I absolutely adored the gorgeous decor of this lovely little restaurant and bar. It made for a calm, relaxed space for my friend and me to indulge in a catch-up over sharing plates and cocktails after our shopping session. And the food? Everything was pretty darn tasty, so I reckon I'll be back when I'm in need of replenishment after my next wardrobe update.
💰 The damage: About £85 between two, plus service charge.
📍 The location: Unit 1026, Westfield Shopping Centre, W12 7GA.
👌 Perfect for: Post-shopping lunches and relaxed dinners.
⭐ Need to know: The margaritas are spot on.