Neighbourhood bistro Salt & Honey has been on the restaurant scene since August 2015. Sister to Fulham’s Manuka Kitchen, Salt & Honey resides in north London on Sussex place, just north of Hyde Park between Lancaster Gate and Paddington. The location itself isn’t one that I’d readily associate with fine dining, rather gated classical-style mansions and wealthy, exclusive individuals. Here is a place where life goes on behind closed doors, not out in the open community, leaving much to be said about any real sense of a neighbourhood at all.
That doesn’t stop Salt & Honey creating their own neighbourhood vibe. With a homely feel, the intimate bistro is brimming with charm and warmth. Owned by chef Tyler Martin and connoisseur of wine, Joseph Antippa, Salt & Honey is true to its name, with flavour key to the dining experience. As the friendly waiter explained, the Antipodean-inspired menu created by New Zealander Martin himself, uses local produce, along with meat sourced from Scotland’s Buccleuch estate and Earl Stoneham Farm in Ipswich. Here is a place where taste is the key ingredient - from selecting the finest produce to seasoning with sea salt and manuka honey throughout, the devil really is in the detail.
The menu offered everything from lighter options to more hearty dishes, most infused with intense flavours. We picked the following:
Spiced butternut soup with coconut cream
Roast Chicken, avocado, mixed grains, sun dried tomato
Confit duck, couscous, pickled red cabbage, almonds
8oz Flank Steak,fried duck egg, confit potato, spicy sauce
Skinny fries in truffle oil with pecorino salt
Salted caramel panna cotta
Bitter chocolate and manuka honey truffles
As the evening progressed the hubbub of unwinding Friday diners created a lovely atmosphere in which to sit back, relax and let satisfied stomachs digest. The desert which followed didn’t disappoint. The bitter chocolate and manuka honey truffles were powdery and smooth - teeth slipped through each cube. Such was their softness that it was hard not to eat them without ending up wearing them! Their richness was such that non-chocolate fiends would no doubt struggle to manage, but this wasn’t a problem for me. The panna cotta was surrounded by shards of meringue, fresh fruit and salted caramel, which challenged the sweetness with a salty aftertaste. Salt & Honey demonstrated how small flavours can make a big difference - using sugar and salt to stimulate the taste buds.
The bistro also offers street dining, making it perfect for those balmy evenings which surely must be just around the corner - the daffodils are already sat out, eagerly waiting for spring to start. Walking back to Paddington it was clear to me that Salt & Honey is exactly what the area needs; a friendly little place with enough sweetness to be welcoming, and a pinch of salt to make it interesting. Next time I find myself by Hyde Park I’m hoping to stop by again…the blueberry pancakes on the brunch menu have already caught my eye.
Salt & Honey Bistro, 28 Sussex Pl, London W2 2TH