Nordic and French Fusion at Salut! Islington
Restaurant Review: Salut! Islington, London
Style Points: 3/5
Salut! in Islington offers a relaxed take on modern-European food which fuses Nordic and French flavours with German influences in their seasonal menu. The interior of the restaurant is simple, fresh and full of natural light in the day, white paint and wooden interiors are perfectly matched with the relaxed nature of modern European dining menu.
What's on the menu?
Once seated we begin with a refreshing glass of Prosecco and a plate of soft sliced bread with a small dish of creamy butter. The butter was homemade which was smoked with wood-chip and tasted like it may have also had sea salt in it, I found it very addictive and it filled me with promise for what was to come.
For my starter, I ordered the Whiskey smoked breast of wood pigeon (celeriac remoulade, pickled heritage carrots, juniper and blackberry). Now this took some real convincing, mostly from myself as when I looked at the menu prior to my visit - it was the one thing I said I wouldn't try and there I was ordering it! I did it for you guys, at least that's what I told myself.
The wood pigeon comes medium, served slightly pink in the middle and was a lot more pleasant than I expected. It was served finely cut and the meat itself was quite soft and tender but was less meaty than a steak but somewhere between a minute steak and a slice of pastrami. The celeriac was refreshing and contrasted the meat however I often think celeriac doesn't have much of a taste of its own but together with the salad and sauces, it was very tasty.
My guest ordered the king crab, avocado & roast pepper sauce (with pea shoots and fennel salad), this dish is served cold and was a light and refreshing summer appetiser. It's very fresh with bright colours and subtle flavours.
For my main, I opted for the pan fried sea trout with asparagus (sauce hollandaise, warm potato salad and pickled cucumber) which was served pink - quite soft, it had a really good tasty skin which was well seasoned. The dish also came with small balls of potato the size and shape (thankfully not the taste) of Maltesers which was interesting and the clams and mussels all tasted very fresh.
My guest went for the paddock farm 45 days dry aged short sirloin steak, (kale, kale, oyster mushrooms & truffle pomme puree) served medium rare which was tender and had a great chargrilled flavour accompanied by a lovely steak sauce, the truffle sauce was a little sharp but the flavours complemented each other really well. The mushrooms again had flavour and the kale had a light crunch.
On to desserts! My guest chose to sample the selection of cheese (gooseberry puree and caramelised hazelnuts) which was accompanied with a smooth, sweet glass of port. Each cheese has a different scent, taste and character which is illustrated in the separate menu that comes with this course. Particular favourites were the rouille and sharpham goat Brie. The purée on the side was also very pleasant.
For my dessert I ordered the poached pear with marinated berries, white chocolate epsuma & hazelnuts). This was truly delicious. The textures and sweet tastes were a great combination and although I'm not supposed to eat dairy (I realise I sound like a stuck record on every review now) it was a delight. I was surprised by the crumbling of biscuit so it was almost like a cheesecake explosion but less messy.
In between meals staff are attentive and are open to offering recommendations and describing dishes to help the indecisive diners among us. It's a small restaurant and I imagine it would be buzzing on a busy evening.
Could I afford to dine here again?
Salut! is a restaurant which serves quality food at reasonable prices. My three course meal come up to approximately £36 not including the glasses of Prosecco. This is a good price to pay for the amount of food we had.
All in all, we enjoyed our meals at Salut! very much. Staff are well informed, friendly and attentive. The food is beautifully presented and it feel like they have fun with experimenting with tastes and textures. Pop in soon and say Salut!