I love a good crowd funding campaign. These sites such as Crowdcube and Kickstarter quite simply make people’s dreams come true!
Way back in February 2016, scrolling through Kickstarter, I came across a campaign by Paul Foster (a chef that’s been part of a 5 rosette winning team and staged at gorgeous places such as The French Laundry) looking to open a new restaurant. Two things I love are food and newness, so I happily pledged £105 in return for tasting menu lunch when the restaurant launched. I was not alone, the restaurant was backed by a whopping 605 people who pledged a total of £102,334
The restaurant opened in March 2017, and Matt and I made the 5 hour round trip to Stratford Upon Avon on 13 May to see what Paul had created.
The restaurant itself I would describe as cosy, natural and warm, lots of wood and a neutral colour palette. A lot of restaurants go overboard with décor or flowers, but this was like a wrap dress stylish, fits any occasion and does not succumb to the whims of fashion. The natural vibe followed into the crockery, with gorgeous grey, cream, textured and bespeckled plates and bowls. Even the butter knife was true to form and was made of wood, which felt a bit skandic.
Now most importantly… the food! We had a six course tasting menu, but on top of those six courses it is worth noting the snacks (olives and pickled onion popcorn) and the malty bread with cultured butter (divine) that get your juices going, and set the tone for the menu, classic made modern with a sprinkle of art.
The asparagus dish, which seems to be a bit of a poster child on the website came out first. Clean, simple and fresh but taken to the next level with crispy chicken skin. The salty, crispyness of the skin clashed beautifully with the asparagus to give it so much more depth of flavour.
Without going into detail on every course (we would be here all day!) the dishes all followed on the vein of the asparagus. They looked beautiful and simple, but had so many twists of flavour woven through them that they were a delight. The pork belly with mushroom ketchup was immense and left you wanting more, and the duck was so tender it was like running a knife through butter. Being “that kind of girl” I loved the dessert of white chocolate mousse, with what was essentially a white chocolate aero with a super tarte passion fruit ice nestled next to it.
Another amazing thing about this restaurant is that they managed to adapt the menu to lactose intolerant Matt, without blinking. He was chuffed and felt this was one of the best meals he has had as he was not made to feel like a pain and did not miss out on anything.
This restaurant has truly achieved its goal of being relaxed fine dining. The food, décor, service and details are of a high standard but it is also warm, friendly and inviting a far cry from the Michelin starred restaurants of old. I would thoroughly recommend spending an hour or two sampling the delights of Salt in Shakespeare’s county!