REVIEW | The Salt Room, Brighton

It’s not often the opening of a new restaurant creates such a buzz in Brighton.

The Salt Room is the second venture from Raz Helalat, the man behind the city’s premier steak venue, The Coal Shed, and is everything you’d expect and more from such a well-loved Brighton institution.

Suave, sophisticated, and undeniably cool; The Salt Room stands proud next to The Hilton Metropole Hotel along the seafront, overlooking what will be the exciting i360 viewing tower by the ruins of our beloved West Pier.

The enticing 50+ cover terrace is empty at the moment but come spring will no doubt be overflowing with diners – the restaurant’s already had many requests for when it will be open for seating.

Inside is smart, sexy, and comfortable. Bare brickwork and reclaimed timber lines the walls with industrial low-lighting hanging from the ceiling. The floor-to-ceiling windows frame the terrace and seafront view, and the signature dessert, Taste of the Pier (more on this later), is delivered to you on a slab of reclaimed driftwood from the West Pier.

The leather-bound drinks menu oozes charm and you just know you’re going to the wonderland that is ‘Gin & Tonica’ later. But first, a bottle of the Savignon Blanc, please…

The Salt Room interior and menu is all about style and sustainability, bringing the best of Brighton to your table. I was lucky enough to be invited to the soft launch last night and enjoy 50% off all food so of course me and hubs went to town on that gorgeous menu.

The food 

Few things excite me as much as good food does. Those who know me in person will know that I’m someone who can never contain my emotions. If I’m excited about something, you’ll know about it, and so will everyone around me.

If that means bouncing up and down on my chair like a child in Brighton’s smartest new restaurant as the menu is brought out to us, then so be it.

Growing up’s overrated, anyway.

Having perved over the menu all week at work I’d made my decision on what to order no less than 30 times before the (very patient and knowledgeable) waitress came back to take it. I want the Fruits of the Sea with lobster. No, sorry, the roast halibut and braised oxtail, I saw that on Twitter earlier, that looked good.

– Oh, actually, what about the whole market Dover Sole on the specials board, cooked on the Josper?

Dammit I’ll have one of everything, please, and hubs will have the same…

In the end we opted for the Fruits of the Sea with crab to share as a starter (they were unfortunately all out of lobster), the shoulder of turbot (me) and spiced monkfish (hubs) with a side of sesame broccoli and new potatoes.

The shellfish were so fresh we could’ve been down to the rockpools to pick them ourselves, and the mains were just as delicious as they sound on the menu.

Oh, and we had some oysters before the main too as we seemed to be on some sort of inhale-everything-on-the-menu mission. Six weeks until Brighton Marathon…

After we’d devoured this lot we were presented with the dessert menu but I already knew what we were having, and so did the whole of my office as I’d been going on about it all week.

The Salt Room’s signature dessert: Taste of the Pier, is a one-way ticket to wonderland for any sweet lover. A sharing dessert (although I’d blatantly have a good go at this all on my own for carb loading / marathon training purposes), presented on a slab of reclaimed driftwood from the iconic West Pier, this bad boy’s got the lot:

Candy Floss, Salt caramel and Chocolate “99”,
Rum & Coconut Marshmallows, 

Pebbles and honeycomb. 

Can I get a HELL YES?

I don’t need to tell you how excited I was with every mouthful of this – the whole restaurant knew about it. #sorrynotsorry. (Excuse the poor quality photos by the way, I’m not up for bringing my DSLR to the dinner table…)

I washed this down with a trip to Gin & Tonica for a raspberry & orange blossom Fords G&T *happy face* and the hubs went for a generous measure of Talisker single malt to remind him of our honeymoon in the Highlands.

As you can see, boys and girls, The Salt Room is a force to be reckoned with in the gourmet restaurant stakes; Brighton’s swishest, swankiest spot in town with a really comfy ambience that’s as classy as it is stylish. It’s OK to ask the kitchen to pause the mains so you can have a serving of oysters. You can have anything you want.

The world is your oyster.

Oh dear. Food endorphins struck again, sorry.

Let’s just leave it at The Salt Room is proper epic, there’s no trout about it. Seariously, it’s fintastic, I’m not even squidding. You have cod to go.

OK OK I’m going. Sorry…

The Salt Room opens its doors to the public this Friday 20th (tomorrow) and to celebrate is holding a #SaltSearch Treasure Hunt with loads of prizes from cocktails for 4 to £100 dinner voucher across Brighton and Hove’s most famous landmarks. Keep an eye out on @TheSaltRoomUK from 10am tomorrow morning for the first clue! 


Have you been to The Salt Room yet, or have you already made your booking? 

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