I’d been looking forward to visiting The Salt Room for months and months and it didn’t disappoint. We were in Brighton for a couple of days back in November to see Ben Fogle at The Dome, which was very good. If you get the chance to go and see him, do. We’d booked before he’d announced further dates and destinations including our home town of Portsmouth! Doh!
The previous day we’d had a late lunch at The Set, not far away from The Salt Room, which was fab. We had a pleasant one night stay and an excellent breakfast at A Room with a View which was along the seafront and within walking distance of everything in Brighton
When we arrived at The Salt Room we received a very friendly greeting at the door and our coats swapped for a ticket – and Geoff’s M&S plastic bag was put into a cupboard (it wasn’t really a good look at the table 😉). We were sat in the conservatory area of the restaurant along with all the other diners which was nice and light and thankfully not cold and draughty as some conservatories can be. There’s also a larger floor space with more tables down a few steps from the conservatory (shown in the photo above). The decor was pleasant and they were putting up some decorations in preparation for the upcoming festive period.
A glass of local English sparkling wine, award winning Wiston for me and a beer for Geoff. We ordered some bread which was a huge portion of four very thickly cut sourdough with some whipped butter on a pebble with sea salt surrounding it. I was desperately trying to make sure the butter didn’t fall in to all that salt.
4 king prawns for me to start with which was served with garlic mayo which were delicious. There was also a little pot with 4 small flat, round cotton discs. I knew what they were as I came across these for the first time about 4 years ago in France. You add water to them and they expand upwards. (I shan’t say what they reminded me of the first time I came across them). They open up to become a wet cloth to wash your hands on after the very therapeutic task of de-shelling the prawns. Not many places offer them with the shell on, The Briny in Southsea do.
Geoff had a bowl containing a mixture of sea life (well they were all dead, but you know what I mean). Mackerel, squid ink, rouille, croutons. The waiter then proceeded to drown them in soup which would have made a nice little Instagram video story had I been prepared for what he was about to do. Drat, an opportunity missed. Geoff enjoyed his starter but it was a bit fishy – obviously – for him. It was served with very thin crispy toast.
Geoff was being unusually brave and adventurous. He ordered the salt baked bream. We were told that all the fish on the bone on the menu could be de-boned if we so wanted. He did. It came to the table in a black iron pan baked in a meringue-like shell. Inside the fish were cloves of garlic and sprigs of rosemary. The waiter very expertly removed the bones which was quite entertaining to watch, the fish was so tender they just fell off and Geoff only found 3. The meringue thing was taken away, it wasn’t very edible I don’t think as it contained salt instead of sugar. The dish came with some new potatoes and chorizo, which Geoff loves
I’d looked on Instagram to see what some of the dishes looked like and thought that the Gigha halibut looked very pretty and sounded nice too. And indeed it was both. The crispy chicken skin on top of the fish really added a totally different and unusual flavour to the fish, they went really well together. And I ADORE Jerusalem artichokes – which are very hard to come by, thankfully I have recently found them in Sainsbury’s. I added some green beans to my dish which although were just ‘green beans’ were surprisingly delicious.
Geoff had gorged himself on all that sourdough whilst I’d only had one slice so he was too full to manage a dessert, which was rather annoying as I wanted the Taste of the Pier dessert which was supposed to be one to share. Thankfully the waiter said he could also have it made for just one person too, phew, what a relief.
It really looked good, in fact all the dishes looked amazing when they came to the table, they were beautifully presented. Spiced plum ’99’, pebbles, blackberry financier, cinder toffee, chai latte pumpkin fudge, miso caramel doughnuts.
Upon a wooden board was a little crispy salty wafer (an ice-cream cone) containing the ice cream topped with berries. The doughnut which strangely was probably my least favourite, I though it was a bit too doughy and thick. Still nice though. The pebble was a chocolate truffle, nothing amazing, the fudge was really very good – even though I never buy fudge as I normally find it too sweet – and I really enjoyed the chocolate honeycomb, the best along with the ‘light-as-air’ candy floss.
I wanted a coffee afterwards so that I could have a chocolate or/and a macaron with it at £3 each but unfortunately I too was now full up for anything else.
Living life, loving xxx