Supper at John Salt, Islington

The ever-changing restaurant scene is definitely a thing about London I LOVE. Even someone who gets bored easily can’t be bored with food here.

One restaurant I’ve heard a lot of buzz about is John Salt in Islington, which re-opened a couple of weeks ago with a new chef. Neil Rankin, the current master of the stove, earlier worked at the much hyped Pitt Cue Co and that heritage is definitely visible in the barbecue elements of the menu.

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Laura and I settled for small plates to share so we could taste as many dishes as possible.First up was fried oysters with beef fat mayo served in oyster shells on a bed of ash. Utterly delicious and it gave us a promise of what would follow…

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Like the exceedingly delicious squid with caramel. Juicy, charred and sweet it melted in the mouth. And we definitely did the right thing ordering a plate each-  this dish is too good to share with anyone, even a significant other.

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Next up was what I guess is one of their signature dishes; crab and fennel on pig’s skin. The skin was fried and puffy like scratchings and served as a plate for the creamy salad of crab and fennel. Absolutely lovely but almost too rich.

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We also had raw red mullet with black sesame seeds. Yummy but not my favourite.

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Last we had frites with pulled pork, kimchi and cheese. We expected this to be full-on heavy and greasy, but it wasn’t. The kimchi was light and consisted if very thin strips of cabbage and had a nice kick to it. The frites were crispy and the pork soft and stringy and the cheese almost not noticeable.

After all this we were far too full to even consider pudding, although I am still curious of the bacon pannacotta.

We ate our meal in the course of an hour, and although it was quick we didn’t feel rushed at all. The staff was friendly and relaxed but still had full control over the service. We stayed on for a while longer just digesting the food and chatting and it was pleasant to just sit there and people watch.

It is safe to say we will definitely be back, and I so wish I had a restaurant like this on my doorstep. Luckily Laura does, and I hope she won’t be surprised if she sees a lot more of me in the months to come…

John Salt

131 Upper Street

London N1 1QP

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