Nestled on the edge of a secluded mews just north of Hyde Park, this three-storey modern bistro is a new local for the lucky people living in the huge flats and houses nearby. Being relative foreigners to these parts, we made many a wrong turn and did some serious Google-mapping before we found it.
Salt and Honey is the second restaurant from Kiwi chef Tyler Martin of Manuka Kitchen. It feels cosy. You’re close enough to your neighbours to ogle their food, far enough that restaurant chatter prevents serious ear-wigging. It’s a moneyed crowd but there is no hint of pretension.
Mussels with white beans and chilli (£6.50) and scallops wrapped in lardo (£9.50) were both excellent starters. However, we waited nearly 40 minutes for the mains to arrive. The downstairs kitchen is small and the restaurant was packed, with waiters having to clatter up and down stairs -- it felt like a very new team.
But the food was worth the wait. Fish of the day was an excellent pan-fried sea bream served on truffle mash (£16.50). Food envy over our neighbours’ Wagyu bolognese (£14.50) disappeared when our slow-roasted pork belly (£14.50) arrived -- with crunchy crackling and the meat firm but neither dry nor stringy. Truffles feature heavily on the menu, so you may as well order the truffle fries (£3.50). France and New Zealand dominate the wine list, with all but one bottle available both by the glass and the half.
Again, dessert took ages. A restaurant that doesn’t turn tables every two hours is refreshing, but there is a line.
Given its location, a better way to experience Salt and Honey might be for weekend brunch after a walk in the park. Some of the dinner menu is available alongside various eggy things. And poor timekeeping may be less of a problem at that time of the day – although we hope this has been ironed out by now. The food is worth it; just make sure you take a map.