★★★★☆ | Smoke & Salt, Brixton, London
Pop Brixton’s critically acclaimed and award-winning Smoke & Salt are now doing brunch, and in true Smoke & Salt style it’s different from any brunch menu you’ve seen before, and this is not just a tagline – it’s the truth!
Available on both Saturdays and Sundays between 11am-3pm, the new Smoke & Salt brunch menu is a new and exciting addition to the eternally loved London brunch scene.
Based on the ethos of ‘Modern Dining, Ancient Techniques’, founders and head chefs Aaron Webster and Remi Williams have created a menu of unusual and surprising flavours, perfect for livening up those taste buds on a morning. The menu has been divided into three sections, which are Lighter, Richer and Sweet.
Lighter – ‘Guacaleeky Toast’ – sourdough, homemade avocado-free leek guac, coriander. This is what I had on a recent warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, with the leek tasting, and looking, so much like avocado – it’s surreal! And with the sprinkling of coriander on top it was a dish too good looking and beautiful to eat, but eat I did. I noticed the guy next to me had ordered this same dish, and it looked like he enjoyed it as much as I did! This dish is highly recommended by me, but it’s on the light side (good value for £7.50) – so another dish is in order. So go, and indulge and go Richer – with the ‘Steak and Eggs’ – Bavette steak, crispy new potatoes, two eggs, and sriracha cheese sauce. It is a huge dish so perfect for two to share, with the Bavette (French for Flank Steak) amazingly tender yet moist and flavourful. The potatoes were nicely well-done, and the dish was smothered with a wonderful sriracha cheese sauce – but be forewarned – this dish has jalapeños – so if you don’t like your dish spicy (me and my lunch companion were clearly not expecting for the dish to be spicy as there’s no mention of this on the menu) then ask for no jalapeños – por favor!. But bear in mind that sriracha sauce is a bit on the spicy side, but it’s bearable. At £14.00 a great value because it’s so delicious. However, the piéce de résistance, which is also in the Richer category, was the Imbhams Farm Cornbread. Wow! Amazing dish. It’s so simple – basically, it’s cornbread topped with seasonal fruit compote and butter (on the side). The cornbread is a healthy portion (and cheap at £7.50) but it’s the taste and flavour, with the compote, that makes it so so so good. It’s a bit like jelly on toast but a million times better. I was going to ask for some cornbread to take away but held back – it was that good!
For the Sweet category, recommended is the – ‘Spiced Plantain Cake’ – seasonal fruit compote and whipped yoghurt – which we didn’t have but I am sure it is amazing!
The drinks menu is just as tantalising. Under ‘Refreshments’, guests can choose Iced Coffee, Grapefruit & Mint Iced Tea (very refreshing and different), Brixton Iced Coffee (with an option to add rum) or a Seasonal Bellini. There are also local lagers available including Smoke & Salt’s very own Modern IPA as well as a selection of red wines, white wines and Prosecco.
When the sun is shining, the front terrace at Smoke & Salt is the perfect place to bask in the South London sunshine. And when it’s not, Aaron, Remi and General manager Alex, and Sue, keep the brunch-party going inside.
They also do dinner! Choose from a selection of Fish (Ceviche, Monkfish), Meat (Pig Cheek, Grilled Spring Lamb), or Vegetarian (Spring Vegetables, Farm Cornbread, Asparagus) from their compact menu and with it have one of their many delicious cocktails or wines). Smoke & Salt is a cosy restaurant at very cosy prices.
Also, on 17th July, Pop Brixton’s Smoke & Salt will be heading over to the stunning East London Liquor Company for a night of delicious food and boozy drinks.
The menu, based on Smoke & Salt’s culinary ethos of ‘Modern Dining – Ancient Techniques’ will include mouth-watering dishes such as ‘Tomatoes | whey, smoked ricotta, tasted buckwheat’; ‘Grilled Pork Collar | baby beetroot, preserved orange relish’ and ‘Goat’s Curd & Berries | candied fennel, black pepper, sweet cicely’, complete with an East London Liquor Company summer cocktail on arrival.
Each dish can be paired with a sensational East London Liquor Company tipple, curated by Brand Ambassador Mikey Pendergast and available to purchase on the night.
The first gin, vodka and whisky distillery in East London in over 100 years, East London Liquor Company is known for their cocktail creations, highlighting their in-house made spirits.
The dinner is £35pp and places can be booked via Eventbrite
The dinner will take place at:
East London Liquor Company
Unit GF1, Bow Wharf
221 Grove Road
London, E3 5SN
And, if all the above were not enough, Smoke & Salt just recently won the ‘Newcomer Award’ at The Cateys – an annual award presented by The Caterer, and are the most prestigious awards in UK hospitality. Accepting the award were Aaron Webster and Remi Williams, co-founders and chefs of Smoke & Salt.
Smoke & Salt can always be found at Pop Brixton, minutes away from the Brixton tube station, and it’s open year round. It’s ideal to have brunch there on a warm and sunny Sunday afternoon, and especially festive with England winning their second game of the World Cup that day, but I would think any time, any day, you will find the food, both the lunch and dinner, cooked with care, sourced from local farms. The food is healthy, good-looking, amazingly tasteful, highly affordable, and just plain damn good.
Tables should be booked in advance via the website http://www.smokeandsalt.com/
Smoke & Salt,
49 Brixton Station Road,
London SW9 8PQ
Dinner | Monday – Saturday 6pm-10pm
Brunch | Saturday – Sunday 11am
Tim Baros writes film and theatre articles/ reviews for Pride Life and The American magazines and websites, as well as for Hereisthecity.com, Blu-RayDefinition.com and TheGayUK.com. He has also written for In Touch and TNT Magazines, SquareMile.com and LatinoLife.co.uk. He is a voting member for the UK Regional Critics Circle and the Gay & Lesbian Entertainment Critics Association (GALECA – of which he is the UK representative). In addition, he has produced and directed two films: The Shirt and Rex Melville Desire: The Musical.