Smoke + Salt is the newest pop-up to find a home at Pop Brixton. Innovative chefs Aaron and Remi use ancient cooking techniques like smoking and salting to create imaginative and unique flavours. They received rave reviews for their previous pop-ups and have deservedly found a longer term venue in this vibrant South London food market.
The kitchen spaces at Pop Brixton are very limited so both food and drinks menus have to be condensed to fewer dishes. But I was impressed at Smoke + Salt to see three creative cocktails on offer and an eclectic range of small savoury dishes (all meant for sharing). Our favourite drink was the Boston Sour, a whisky based short cocktail with a herby kick of sorrel.
Smaller plates arrived first, Sourdough bread (from the old post office bakery) with malt butter – an irresistibly yeasty, salty butter which reminded me of marmite. Summer Tomato Salad with heritage tomatoes and smoked ricotta was a perfectly simple and seasonal treat… the fresh sweet tomatoes paired with a decadent smoky rich cheese. I also loved the Rilette-style Duck with duck jam, grilled flatbreads and lavender. The pulled duck meat was full of flavour, seasoned with a zingy hint of floral lavender.
The larger plates were full of colour and vibrancy. The Trombetta Courgettes with toasted seed & walnut crumble and summer savoury dressing was a triumph, a brilliant combination of textures and flavours which made me realise how versatile courgettes are. The Miso & Honey Glazed Lamb Belly was a meaty extravagance, high quality slow cooked meat oozing with flavour served with english pea tartare and a pickled gooseberry dressing. It was an unusual but successful mix of ingredients.
Dessert shouldn’t have worked, but it really did, in fact it might have been my favourite dish of the night… sweet seasonal amarillo peaches with english strawberries and sweetcorn. The base was a comforting custard made from the cooked sweetcorn, topped with lightly charred peaches, crunchy popcorn, finely diced strawberries and fragrant tarragon leaves. It was punchy but summery, a lovely palate cleanser for the end of the meal.
Many are mourning the departure of Kricket on this site in Pop Brixton but in my opinion Smoke + Salt is a more than worthy replacement.
More information and book a table here.