Salt – 2/5 Nash Street, Rosalie Village, Paddington, Brisbane
Whenever my sister comes home from the holidays, she never fails to wax lyrical about this place. Since my parents went down to visit her, they’ve been raving about it too. Now that I’m finally in Brisbane, I had to make a point to pay Salt a visit. Breakfast is apparently the best meal to sign yourself up for – I certainly have no complaints – so rouse yourself and make your way down before noon. My table of 4 racked up a bill of $92.10.
I started off with a Skinny Hot Chocolate ($4.50) which left me wide-eyed when it arrived as a three-piece set; a shot of thick molten chocolate, creamy white chocolate buttons and a massive bowl of steamed milk that required two hands to wrap around as it had no handle. As you might guess, one mixes it according to one’s preference so I went for just a neat shot of dark chocolate in the milk, choosing to nibble on the buttons. While it might have been empirically good, the involvement it called for elevated my bowl of chocolate to a near-magical experience.
Continuing the theme of playing with preconceptions, the unassuming-sounding Iced Coffee ($4) turned out to be an affogato with generous blobs of creamy vanilla ice cream giving the rich, smooth coffee a flavourful kick.
Truffled Mushrooms with Scrambled Eggs ($17.90) were the perfect morning indulgence. Meaty sautéed shitake mushrooms crowned a crusty slice of fluffy white bread impregnated with the earthy perfume of truffle paste and rich, fruity note of olive oil. Instead of simply using their namesake, Salt craftily relied on the brininess from several rashers of beautiful bacon to make up the saline quotient. Very effective and very flavourful.
The Duo of Sausage ($21.90) comprised a pork & fennel banger paired with a spicier Moroccan lamb sausage and a side of white bean mash. The sausages were both wonderful with a delicate spice accentuating the respective porcine and ovine traits of the meat. I found the lamb sausage particularly commendable in that respect for the spices did not overpower the meat as in the case of most lamb forcemeats. The white bean mash was hearty and rustic, a wonderfully comforting foil to the rich sausages.
If I had one last visit, the Potato Galette ($16.90) would be my most likely order. The wonderful herbed galette was fluffy and light with a delicate crisp and soft mealiness reminiscent of a hash brown. Hand-made, it was smooth, creamy and sweet. If that were not enticing enough, the side of honeyed bacon is to die for with its crispy caramelized crust, the mere thought of it leaves me salivating. To finish, one mops up the yolk of poached eggs and sweet red onion jam with fingers of toasted Turkish pide that were gorgeously griddle-crisped on two sides and chewily absorbent on the inside.
My Roast Beef Omelette ($16.90) was good if a tad less sensational than the other offerings. I was told cream cheese added richness and creaminess to the extremely fluffy egg mixture and slicing through it was like opening a treasure chest. The interior was overflowing with huge thin slices of roast beef, tangy mustard, scallions and sprigs of rocket all glued together with creamy hunks of molten brie. Be sure to soak up the thick, slightly tart and richly beefy jus with more fingers of pide and finally cleanse your palette with the mound of sweet tomato chutney sitting atop it all.
A side order that I highly recommend is the Caramelised Balsamic Vinegar with Garlic ($4.50). Thick, syrupy and glossy, the balsamico was generously sweet and possessed immense depth when reduced and caramelized in this manner. It went deliciously with pretty much everything we ordered and be sure to fish out a clove of creamy roasted garlic before they’re all gone.