Restaurants

Tasting Menu at Ekstedt at the Yard, London

11/05/2022

Swedish Michelin-starred chef Niklas Ekstedt brings his open-fire cooking and flame-fuelled dishes to London. His new restaurant Ekstedt at the Yard is located at the Great Scotland Yard Hotel in the heart of Westminster. Our guest write Adrienne Fung was there recently to review their 6-course tasting menu.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

The other evening, I visited Ekstedt at the Yard for dinner to try out their 6 course tasting menu with wine pairings. Located in the Great Scotland Yard Hotel, Ekstedt at the Yard is Michelin starred chef, Niklas Ekstedt’s, first restaurant outside of Stockholm. With a focus on wood fire cooking, this new London location combines the best of Scandinavian technique with local, seasonal British produce.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

When they say wood fire cooking, they mean it. There is no gas or electric in the kitchen whatsoever which shouldn’t be too surprising coming from “the godfather of wood-fired cooking”. Niklas prides his work on years of mastering this technique which goes beyond just cooking on an open grill. Think more primitive, open fire cooking like on a campsite out in the woods. The key for Niklas is understanding the dynamic of heat, flames and smoke which all offer a different contribution when cooking a dish. Let’s just say, it’s more complicated than we think.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

Ekstedt at the Yard is a portal out of London into the Scandinavian countryside. The ambiance is warm and rustic. A mix of exposed brick, wood and minimalist décor such as dried herbs and flowers hanging on the walls complete the space. The focus of the room is the open kitchen of course, kitted out with a serious wood fire oven, firepit and wood fire stove. Throughout the meal, you’ll see and hear the flames hard at work.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

We start out with a few light, one-bite snacks which set the tone for the meal. In particular, the open-faced mini-sandwich of lightly smoked mackerel displays the harmony and restraint of how cooking with a raging fire can still be delicate and refined.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

We move onto the first course of Oyster Flambadou and get a front row seat in the kitchen to see how this dish comes together. Beef fat is aggressively heated over a hot open flame, then quickly poured over the oysters to cook them through. The whole thing is mesmerising and quick. The oysters then get finished off with a rich beurre blanc, smoked apple sauce. The flavour from the smokey beef fat comes through but again, in a surprisingly delicate way. I can quickly see why this is a signature dish and one that should never be taken off the menu.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

We then had the next course of “Tunnbrod” or Swedish flatbread served with a mix of asparagus, morels and Alexanders cooked table side in a hot stone bowl with a generous knob of truffle butter. There is no scent more intoxicating than hot, melted butter. Spoonfuls of the seasonal, buttered veg gets wrapped with small discs of warm flatbread.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

Following this, we were offered an à la carte addition to the tasting menu of roasted bone marrow served with fermented potato salad and wild garlic. I’m a sucker for bone marrow on any menu, and this rendition was definitely unique. We scooped the bone marrow into the potato salad and mixed together. A somewhat unusual combination I can’t say I’ve had before but nevertheless, was tasty. The crunchy topping gave a welcomed textural contrast to the dish. Again, you get the smokiness from the wood fire preparation which adds dimension. The marrow itself gets a bit lost with the potato salad. Next time, I might save a bit on the side to have on its own.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

Next came the fire grilled cod with potato and horseradish cream, fermented root vegetables and charred shallot. The fish was incredibly tender and not a second over cooked. The acidity from the fermented root vegetables paired nicely with the cream, cutting the richness. The charred shallots again gave this dish the smokiness found in all the others so far to remind you of the restaurant you’re in. A well-executed dish that I’d happily order again. Following this, we were served the bread course which gave us a nice break before the final main and desserts. The bread comes with an impressive homemade butter you might be tempted to consume by the spoonful.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

Our last savoury course was the hay smoked beef with black pudding and ember baked salsify. The beef is gently cooked over hay-fire, almost like a sous vide, producing a final outcome of evenly cooked, tender piece of meat. This is a crowd-pleasing dish that any red meat eater would be a fan of. A 2018 Riccitelli Merlot was paired alongside. We learned only 3,000 bottles of this Patagonian wine were ever produced which made us appreciate the wine that much more.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

To end, we were served a meadowsweet sorbet and the Cep soufflé with pine needle ice cream and wild blueberries. The sorbet was a nice palate cleanser and Segway to the main event. The savoury mushroom flavour from the Ceps make you first question if this is meant to be a dessert. Once you tuck into the pine needle ice cream and wild blueberries, there is no doubt this combination is intentional. The soufflé is fluffy and light as it should be. The tartness form the blueberries helps balance out the dish. As a finale, a box of homemade sweets arrives at the table. A nice, thoughtful gesture to leave you on a high.

Ekstedt at the Yard restaurant in Westminster, London

We very much enjoyed dinner at Ekstedt at the Yard. The point of view in the cooking is clear and decisive in every dish. The unique flavour combinations and ways ingredients were paired throughout the meal was also appreciated, pushing diners beyond their usual comfort zones into new culinary territory. This was a fine dining experience that felt relaxed, fun and approachable. For Londoners who can’t get away to Sweden to experience Niklas’ cooking, we now have the next best thing at our doorstep.

Disclaimer: Adrienne was a guest of the restaurant. All opinions are her own.

You Might Also Like

Subscribe
Notify of
guest

0 Comments
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
0
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x
()
x
Read previous post:
Breakfast room service at Marktgasse Hotel in Zurich
4 Tips to Find a Perfect Accommodation For Your Next Trip

Are you planning a trip soon? If so, you'll want to make sure you find the perfect accommodation. There are...

Close