1. Spanish food on a table.
    Photography: Dexter Kim for Buffet Digital | La Salut
  2. A flat lay of Catalan dishes, a beer
    Photograph: Supplied/Love Tilly Group
  3. A plate of grilled octopus with orange oil and parsley
    Photograph: Nikki To
  4. A plate of thinly sliced Jamon
    Photograph: Nikki To
  • Restaurants | Bars
  • Surry Hills

La Salut (CLOSED)

This neighbourhood bar fills a void in Sydney's Spanish dining arena


Time Out says

The folks that brought us Love, Tilly Devine, Ragazzi and Dear Sainte Èloise have set the standard pretty darn high in terms of Sydney wine bars (and the snacks aren't bad either). Their latest venture is a Catalan-inspired watering hole that isn't taking itself too seriously. 

La Salut is a joint venture between the Love Tilly Group and newly launched hospitality and accommodation group the people_ (helmed by Paul Schulte and Andrew Taylor). It aims to be a little piece of Catalonia in the heart of Redfern, with all the colour and vibrancy that comes along with it. The 40-seat venue features blushing earthy tones and polished concrete, with outdoor dining along Walker Street. 

Waiters will encourage you to start with a tipple from the extensive range of vermouths, and when in Rome (or Catalonia, as it were) it's not a bad way to kick off. Here, the fortified vino comes poured over ice, with three anchovy-stuffed olives and a little bottle of sparkling water, so you can choose your own adventure.

While La Salut is, for all intents and purposes, a wine bar – there's even an adjoining bottle shop where the old pokies room was – make sure you come hungry. The former sports bar corner of the Norfolk Hotel cleverly utilises the tiny space by churning out brilliantly simple, little dishes that largely come out of a tin. But don't feel shortchanged – Europe, and more recently Sydney at large has come to recognise that some of the best things in life need fewer flourishes and more can openers, such as a serving of smoked mussels paired with a handful of salted crisps, dusted with paprika. Sure, it may seem on paper a deceptively small number of humble ingredients borne of a tin or a packet, but the goal at La Salut is less about gorging and more about grazing; a fuss-free evening enjoying a few quality snacks while you savour a glass (or bottle). One could easily get lost in a plate of jamón ibérico, a dry-aged Spanish-style pork leg but if you want a quasi-religious experience, opt for the lesser-known paletilla iberico, a harder working shoulder cut that melts mere moments after it hits the tongue. 

However, that's not to say every dish is so restrained. Take, for instance, the pincho of hangar steak with slices of chicken liver paired with a herbal and sweet Olorose sherry jus. It's served on a dainty bed of mashed potato so buttery, it cleverly balances this lean, slightly dry cut of beef. Charred octopus with sobrassada is rich with umami punch, though the choice of the rendered mildly spiced salami paste is perhaps not the textural choice all would have gone with when a little crunch would go a long way. The execution of the grilled octopus, however, is flawless and goes down easy with a glass of chilled, savoury Adelaide Hills gamay.

This neighbourhood bar fills a void in Sydney's Spanish dining arena, and much like that siesta-loving nation, it's wise to embrace life at a slower tempo while you're here. If you manage to score a table, hold onto it for as long as you can. Eat, drink, be merry and drink some more. This isn't an experience to rush but one to be savoured over good chats and good times. 


Cleveland Street
Opening hours:
Wed-Fri, 5pm-midnight; Sat, noon-midnight; Sun. noon-10pm
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