If you are as old as I am and remember watching My Restaurant Rules back in 2005, then you’ll remember the birth of the restaurant, Pink Salt. I think this was one of the first “reality shows” I ever watched and I REALLY loved it (I was also gutted the stopped the show after just two seasons). Whilst I never got to dine at Pink Salt whilst they were (briefly) in Manly I’ve finally made it to Pink Salt nearly 10 years after they first opened!
The restaurant has recently undergone a major refurb. Prior to its sleek, warm interior we’re told that this place gave new definition to the work PINK! A quick Google Search will confirm this, but gone is the pink overload and in its place is a fit out that is chic, comfortable and that feels just a little bit suave French bistro.
Pink salt has recently launched its Spring menu and that’s what we’re here to try. We ask if the chef, Mark Williamsom - formerly from Bondi Hardware, the Botanist and Bayswater Diner – would mind sending out a selection of dishes for us. I think this is:
a) a good strategy for lazy buffoons like us;
b) a great way for the restaurant to showcase the dishes they feel best highlights their menu; and,
c) lets me focus more on the cocktails at hand!
Speaking of cocktails, I’m also a bit lazy in this respect and ask the restaurant manager for his suggestions. I LOVE both of the cocktails he sends out for me. The Pomegranate and Malibu Mojito is fresh and light and crammed with fresh pomegranate muddled with brown sugar, fresh mint, Malibu coconut rum and topped with a super zesty grapefruit soda. Perfect Spring drink if there ever was one.
I also LOVED the Blood Orange Amaretto Sour that is a sweet, yet sour mix of Dissarno, fresh blood orange juice, gomme and fluffy egg white on top. This of course is topped off with a sweet, Maraschino cherry. Oh yeah, Dave had a beer. It was beery…and not a cocktail so let’s not talk about that.
The menu is split into a few different sections. We start off with a few offerings from the “Fare to Share” section. First up is a delectable Charcuterie Board ($29) that is almost overflowing with delicious sopressa, bresaola and truffle prosciutto. All of these beautiful meats are served with wholgrain mustard, pickles, charred Brasserie Bread. We told by Pink Salt owner, Evan, that all of the charcuterie comes from Pino’s Dulce Vita in Rockdale which is quite renowned for fine quality meats and charcuterie. Only the best in Double Bay folks, only the best.
Dave was a bit...upset when I asked the chef to send out some dishes for us. He was worried the popcorn chicken would pass us by. Lucky for him the chef had his back and a plate of hot, crisply battered chicken makes its way to our table accompanied by shreds of fresh chilli and a tongue tingling sriracha aioli ($15).
We also try a lovely, fresh salad of grilled haloumi (yum) that sits next to a pile of delicately sliced kale, quinoa, pomegranate and hazelnuts ($17). It seems to blow Dave's mind a little that kale can be used for something other than kale chips (which we both kinda agree really are a poor substitute for a packet of Smiths Crisps). We both really liked this salad - it felt sooooo healthy - and we even talked about (perhaps) trying to replicate it at home....especially now that pomegranates are in season.
We now move onto the “Larger plates". The blue eye cod has the most lovely, crispy skin yet the fish is still moist and tender. If you're wondering what could possibly make crispy skin better, well the addition of bacon crumbs lifts it to a WHOLE new (tasty) level! The fish is served a top a celeriac mash with a side of fresh, crunchy asparagus ($33).
Moving along to the “sweet”section of the menu, we didn't really have room for dessert, but when it's for the blog we need to step up to the challenge, right? I really loved how light and summery the
buttermilk panacotta, milk crumb, strawberry sorbet ($15) was. Perfect for the hot weather we are having - the flavours are tart, sweet and cooling.
The white chocolate brownie, chocolate ice-cream, raspberry sauce ($15) was probably Dave's favourite of the two desserts we tried. At first glance the brownie looks quite dense, but it is actually very soft and light.
Double Bay really is a lovely suburb and I think it's experiencing a bit of a renaissance after a few tough years where businesses and hotels shut down. The area is now buzzing again and Pink Salt is a great spot to sit, eat, relax and watch the passing parade.
Pink Salt is at 2/53 Cross St, Double Bay. Phone them on 9328 1664.