Disclaimer: I was invited by the management and PR of The Salt House for food tasting. What follows next is an honest experience. Take it with A Pinch Of Salt!
My earliest memories of Europe encapsulated within the cinematic romantic musicals of Yash Chopra films – Open blue skies, lush green meadows and whiter than white snows.
European cuisine too made a sort of an Indianised entry in my life, in the form of many restaurants and cafes that often claimed to serve the most ‘authentic’ European food to its patrons. I sort of believed these felonies for a while till I traveled to Europe back in 2012, and since then, my idea of savoring authentic European food has been rather picky.
Jumping back to the present, I was invited to revel in Kolkata’s newest European destination that guaranteed I’d change my perception of European cuisine altogether. Curiosity led me to the 6th floor of the Shakespeare Point Building (that houses Club Boudoir and Fashion At Big Bazar) down number 40, Shakespeare Sarani; and what I encountered at The Salt House was nothing less than sheer bliss.
For starters, The Salt House is unlike any European restaurant I’ve visited before because The Salt House is in fact, a Modern European thoroughfare with a Bengali Twist.
How does this aspect render it authentic? Read On…
The 6th floor of the Shakespeare Court maybe a rooftop, but The Salt House is sprawled across 3 different sections, ensuring that there is something for everybody to soak in-
The minimalist decor, not to mention a terrace garden, makes the ambiance at The Salt House very classy and totally ‘instagramable’ for its patrons.
There is a dedicated coffee bar and an open wood-fired pizza kitchen where diners can see the process of cooking, thus, being visually engaged with the sight and smell of the delights being prepared.
Another great ‘Pinterest’ worthy part of the ambiance is their vertical herb garden- that kind of gives you a reminiscence of an old Tuscan cafe in Italy. Diners are given the liberty to pick fresh herbs of their choice from the garden that is used in their ordered dishes.
The menu at The Salt House is curated by Chef Auroni Mukherjee, who is extremely passionate about what he cooks and is completely against the use of preservatives. The food is primarily European in style but inspired by Kolkata ingredients.
Think Galda Chingri but cooked and executed like a Parisian Langoustine and served with Aioli, a Gobindo Bhog Risotto served with Pumpkin Flower & Ricotta Fritters or even a zesty New Zealand Sauvignon Blanc paired with a Pan-roasted Bhetki Fillet or Pancakes and Waffles, served with not a side of Maple Syrup, but with Nolen Gur.
Exciting isn’t it?
Well as a part of my invitation, I was treated to a plethora of dishes, each standing out with its distinctive flavours and thus becoming the dishes you should be ordering at The Salt House, Kolkata.
- Fried Brussel Sprouts with Feta and Pomegranate Salad
This was the first time I’ve ever tried a warm salad and I must say it was a perfect start to my meal. The crispiness of the Brussel sprouts, the salty feta cheese combining with the sweetness of the pomegranate makes a very delectable combination.
- Pan Roasted Bhetki
If you’re a fish lover you’d definitely be a fan of this, not to mention addicting. The succulent freshness of the bhetki comes through beautifully along with the additions of Kolmi Saag, Spinach, and Gondhoraaj Lemon. Perfect is an understatement.
- Beer Batter Fish ‘n’ Chips
Not really a part of the menu yet, but you can ask your server for this classic European street food and I guarantee you’ll be transported straight to the bylanes of London. The flaky texture on the outside and juicy fish inside, it’s something you’d definitely find me ordering at The Salt House more often.
- Pork Belly with Greens
Again, not incorporated on the menu yet, but soon you’d all be thanking me for writing about this sheer deliciousness of a delight. Smoked for more than 8 hours, this will surely become one of their future bestsellers, take it in writing!
- Poached Pear, Chevre, and Candied Walnut Salad
The perfect amalgamation of poached pears, the saltiness of the Chevre cheese and the caramelized crispiness of the candied walnuts is a match made in heaven; especially if you’re a doting salad lover!
- Mutton and Pork Ragu
A delectable ragu made with mutton and pork; tossed with handmade silky, pappardelle. Need I say more?
- Eggs Benedict
An English classic that will never go wrong! The eggs are poached perfectly atop a warm creamy unbroken Hollandaise sauce. Heaven is this!
- Fluffy Omelettes and Skinny Omelettes
Yes! you read that right! I said Omelettes! The fluffy omelet is completely adhering to its namesake- light, fluffy, melt in the mouth and guess what? it can be made with added veggies, cheese or ham! The Skinny Omelette, on the other hand, is unlike I’ve ever seen. A combination of veggies, pine nuts and chevre cheese wrapped in an omelet is a great breakfast/brunch choice.
- Mutton Sliders
Many a time, the sauces and veggies in a burger/slider tend to take away the eternal glory of its core ingredient; but not here. The Mutton sliders at The Salt House is all about the succulent mutton patty that’s perfectly seasoned and juicy.
- Ham&Cheese Croquets and Bagel with Smoked Salmon, Cream Cheese, and Arugula
Ham and Cheese Croquets is the perfect starter to your meal at The Salt House! Crispy on the outside and gooey cheese on the inside- simply ethereal. Give me Bagel with Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese with Arugula, and I’m all yours! Although I will be honest, it is a little steeply priced at INR 575 plus taxes; Taste wise, completely satiating! That cream cheese and smoked salmon melted in the mouth.
Desserts And Drinks
They say the best is saved for the last and I’m not complaining! The desserts and drinks are to die for at The Salt House and let me tell you, the drinks mentioned in the case in point are non-alcoholic!
What should you order? Follow my lead.
- Nitro Lemonade: The Classic lemonade with a cold-brewed coffee twist.
- Salt House Sikanji: Another Classic summer drink with a rejuvenating after effect.
- Kolkata Root Beer: Gingerale with Lemonade is a completely refreshing experience.
- Watermelon Mojito: My personal favorite!
- Doi, Berry and Kaos Granola Parfait: A total Instagram worthy dessert this one is! Beaten Mishti doi, blueberry, strawberry, raspberry and granola topped with nolen gur make a very healthy and a highly delicious affair.
- Hazelnut Mousse, Salted Caramel, and French Biscuit: Totally scintillating and something all chocolate lovers must try!
- The French Press Coffee: A must try if you’re a caffeine addict. This is basically coffee coming from the renowned Mumbai coffee roasters – the Koinonia coffee- that makes coffee from 8 different plants sourced from South India. The coffee is brewed with a lot of time and precision and the result is extremely flavorful!
All in all, The Salt House is classiness personified and is a great place for a good quality fine dining experience. Price for two is approximately INR2000 plus taxes, but don’t we all tend to spend so much for quality food anyway?
Thus, this place is something I’d highly recommend and personally go back to. Do let me know your experiences as well