We originally booked John Salt when it was still under the direction of Ben Spalding. Sadly he and the John Salt organisation parted ways, but the appointment of Neil Rankin (formerly head chef at Pitt Que & Co) blew new life into the project and the initial reviews were promising. So we decided to pay John Salt a visit during a rainy Sunday afternoon.
John Salt is much more spacious than we expected it to be. The interior consists of a downstairs area and an upstairs area. The decoration is somewhere in between that of a coffee lounge bar (with comfy couches and all) and a restaurant. There is also a large bar area on the ground floor and the large open windows at the front let a lot of light into the area, which gives it a nice & open feel.
On Sunday afternoon’s John Salt offer a lunch roast menu and we opted for:
- Octopus (7.5/10)
- Crab on pig’s skin (8.5/10)
- Roast beef (8/10)
- Roast Flannel (8/10)
We thoroughly enjoyed the food at John Salt and each dish we tried was very good (particularly the crab on pig’s skin is an absolute winner). However, the same can not be said about the service.
While the service staff was very nice (particularly the Spanish barman), the overall level of service was sub-par on the day that we visited. We had ordered the seabream starter, which originally didn’t arrive. When we pointed this out to the staff we received the seabream, but parts of it were uncooked. Given that one of us was 8 months pregnant we certainly couldn’t eat uncooked fish so we sent it back. When a new seabream was brought to our table we noticed that there was still blood running from the fish when cutting into it. We gave up on the seabream, as the health of an unborn child is not worth taking the risk.
The overall bill at John Salt came to £50 (including service charge, a mocktail and a glass of wine).
Food rating for John Salt: 8/10
Service rating for John Salt: 4/10
Overall rating for John Salt: 6.5/10
(Overall rating is based on personal taste, opinion of ambiance and price)