I'm just back from an excellent lunch at Rocksalt. I was meant to go on opening night but Jim's work schedule made it inconvenient and I gave the booking to my boss (yes, still brown-nosing with the best of them). After a rather scathing review by the Independent, I was a bit concerned but I needn't have been.
The building itself is beautiful both outside and in. Outside it blends in to, and compliments better than Jetty's managed, the harbour surroundings. Inside it is cool and fresh, dredging up memories of hip bars by the Thames in London or cool little restaurants by the marina in the Costa Del Sol when I was younger. The balcony, and thus the whole restaurant, affords wonderful views of the harbour itself and the sounds of the seagulls calling to each other and the sea lapping against the harbour walls makes for a wonderful venue.
We were greeted and seated quickly; the staff were charming and just the right side of chatty. The lunch time set menu was very reasonably priced (£17.50 for three courses compares very well with some of the more undesirable restaurants in town). Jim and I both had the salmon pate to start, which was creamy, tasty and served with delicious sour dough bread. We followed that up with the lamb, carrots and spinach with a side of duck fat chips to share. The lamb was cooked perfectly, the carrots crisp and the spinach just perfect. The duck fat chips cannot be described with mere words (except perhaps nomnomnom) but were faultless in everyway. There was a half hour wait for the dessert but it was dealt with well by the staff (and we got one of the desserts free for our troubles, so can't complain about that!). Jim had the Bakewell tart which was beyond beautiful. The combination of flavours and textures were absolutely spot on. I had the rhubarb fool which, and I say this having been to many a fine restaurant with Euroffice when I worked there in London, was the best dish I've ever had. Anywhere. Even better than the yellow curry at the Balcony Pub in Bangkok or the spaghetti carbonara in Il Bordello in Wapping. It was fresh and sweet and the rhubarb melted in your mouth. I cannot sing it's praises enough.
I'd go back just for that, but there are plenty of other very good reasons to return (and we shall be). The wine was also fantastic, Pinot Grigio 2010 Friuli Banear, and extremely well-priced given the quality.
So don't be put off by other reviews, the service was excellent, the food gorgeous and the surroundings sublime. Go now. Do not delay.
If you feel benevolent and particularly generous, this writer always appreciates things bought for him from his wishlist