Double Bay restaurant Pink Salt, which first caught Australia’s attention in series two of My Restaurant Rules back in 2005

(it is the brainchild of contestants Evan and Bella), recently re-opened to reveal a brand new look – its been completely renovated, plus there’s a new menu and head chef in Mark Williamson, who’s worked at hip Sydney venues including Bondi Hardware and The Tilbury.

The new outdoor dining area is green and leafy, and it wouldn’t look out of place on the Mediterranean coast, meanwhile inside has New York written all over it – think exposed copper pipes and light fixtures hanging from the roof, white marble mosaic tiling, and large chunks of recycled timber comprise the tables. There’s dark wooden floorboards on the bar level and multiple seating options – choose from a cosy dark leather couch, a booth or take a seat at the bar.

The new menu is broken into several different sections – and as a result it seems to cater to the different needs of customers quite well.

The ‘fare to share’ section includes share plates that are great for a quick bite, the Charcuterie Board ($29) is perfect for those looking to graze and catch-up over drinks, meanwhile the entire menu works for those who seek something more substantial.

The first share plate of the evening – a Grilled Haloumi, Kale, Quinoa, Pomegranate and Hazelnut Salad ($17) offers an amazing combination of flavours and textures – there’s the saltiness of the haloumi interspersed with the crunchiness of the hazelnuts and pomegranate, and the kale keeps things nice and light.

The Popcorn Chicken ($15), which is served with fresh chilli and sriracha aioli, complements the salad well – its very much like a much less greasy, more gourmet version of KFC’s creation of the same name.

As an avid fan of labneh, the Grilled Bread with House Made Labneh ($6) simply could not be avoided – this one was has a subtle lemon flavour.

For mains there’s everything from gnocchi and spatchcock to pork belly and varying cuts of beef, which are sourced exclusively from Glenburn farm.

The Slow Cooked Lamb Shoulder ($62), which is to be shared between two people (or more… expect a generous serving), is said to be one of the restaurant’s signature dishes, so we opt for that one, along with two sides – Harissa Roast Carrots with Tahini Remoulade ($11) and Steamed Broccolini with Lemon Olive Oil ($12).

The lamb is cooked for at least 12 hours, making it incredibly tender – it literally falls off the bone. It is served with a selection of roast potatoes and carrots, and the garlic cloves, which are scattered throughout the dish, add an amazing flavour – there’s no marinades or sauces needed for this one.

The tahini remoulade accompanying the side of baby carrots has a unique flavour that works well with the lamb; meanwhile the brocolinni proves great for cleansing the palate.

The dessert menu includes sweet and savoury offerings – there are decadent things like a Passionfruit Cheesecake, which is served with mango and coconut sorbet and an Apple Parfait with pecan shortbread and dulche de leche (all $15), as well as a Cheese Board ($27). If you’ve still got room after a selection of share plates and a main, then good on you, as I sure didn’t!

Images 1-3: Brea Carter. Final image: Pink Salt

November 18, 2014 – 11:50am — Brea Carter

The AU Review