Pop Brixton has a knack for having some seriously good restaurants. We all know about Kricket – the slick Indian restaurant has gone from strength to strength since making its mark over there – but now Smoke and Salt is ready to lay down its roots and follow suit.
Calling it tight is an understatement, this restaurant is very narrow indeed but its definitely still got the style and character to appeal to people. With just a few tables (inside and out) and a counter by the wall, this spot can get busy very quickly. What I love about the place though is that its engaging, warm and casual. The music is funky and ranges from 90’s style hip hop to classic rock, but I’m particularly shocked by the open kitchen, just because it’s something you would expect to find in a studio apartment although what makes it even more impressive is the kind of food they create from there.
The food has a wonderfully unusual mix of different style of flavours, techniques and influences. Somehow it just works and each plate flows nicely without the table getting clogged up with multiple dishes.

To start, the sweetcorn fritters are deliciously moreish, sweet and juicy and just like a dog to a bone, you’ll be gnawing away until there’s nothing left. Delicately deep-fried and dipping it in the kale dip, gives it that extra pizazz.
The mushroom gnocchi is a veggie’s dream with lots of different textures and flavours all on one plate. An assortment of wild mushrooms are beautifully pan fried and dotted around with fluffy pieces of yam “gnocchi” (would have liked more on the plate), crunchy cobnuts as well as spoonful’s of pesto getting in on the action. It might seem a lot is going on but it works ever so well.
Then there’s the chalkstream trout, delicate fillets which are slightly cured and boasts big earthy flavours. Alongside it, the gentleman’s relish – a classic accompaniment for this divine piece of fish – gives it a slightly salty edge and with blow torched pieces of green tomatoes, it’s an attractive looking plate of food.
Perhaps my favourite dish from Smoke and Salt is the curried goat with its huge, fiery palate. It certainly packs a punch but when it comes to curries like this, that is exactly what you want. With chunks of goat slowly braised in a rich and dark liquor, it is given that precious time to soak up all of the those pungent spices. Even better is that the meat is cooked to the point where it still retains its shape, locks in that moisture but instantly peels away when tucking in. Spooning the goat onto the steamed buns is the only way to tackle this bad boy and after a few bites, you’ll slightly feel the warmth coming through. I hope the boys keep this dish on the menu for the foreseeable future, it certainly is a winner!

Smoke and Salt’s only dessert is a worthy mention because its simple, but surprisingly not too heavy considering its main body is a soft and buttery fermented honey crumpet. Topped with a healthy quenelle of whipped cream, pieces of crumbled honeycomb and plump blackberries, the portion size is more than enough to share between two people.

 

Sourdough, Whipped Butter

Sweetcorn Dogs

Mushroom “Gnocchi”

Chalkstream Trout

Curried Goat

Fermented Honey Cake

 

With its seasonal menu always changing and offering something new, diners will undoubtedly want more and more. Pop Brixton seems to be a good spot for new, up and coming places, but I reckon Smoke and Salt are looking like they will be well on their way to bricks and mortar, rather than staying inside a converted shipping container. The food is great and the prices is mind bogglingly good value for money.

Pop Brixton, 49 Brixton Station Road, Angel, London SW9 8PQ

07421 327556

Opening Hours
Monday
18:00 – 22:00
Tuesday
18:00 – 22:00
Wednesday
18:00 – 22:00
Thursday
18:00 – 22:00
Friday
18:00 – 22:00
Saturday
17:00 – 22:00

Foodpunk Joe

Foodpunk Joe

The whole idea of FoodPunk is to showcase the awesome food that London has to offer, whether its going to various restaurants, eating at food markets or even finding some hidden gems tucked away in the heart of the city. Whatever it may look and taste like, I want to shout about it and get people involved, tucking into some delicious food and getting to know some funky places.
Foodpunk Joe

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