The concept of Salt + Pickle is simple: it’s a celebration of preserves and preserving. Anything that requires salting, curing or pickling in anyway is on the cards on this concise, ever-changing menu. Is it a deli? Is it a wine bar? It could be both, either or neither. With a cool we-do-what-we-do vibe, similar to Barcelonatapas bars, it’s an exciting addition to Crystal Palace’s increasingly talked-of food scene.
Salt + Pickle Review
Salt + Pickle is a local deli owner’s labour of love. Already running the Good Taste deli on the London borough’s triangle, scientist-turned-food entrepreneur Manish Utton-Mishra thought his ethically and thoughtfully sourced meats, cheese and wine in the deli needed more space. Here at Westow Hill, there’s now a shiny copper-topped bar and a central island with soft-top metal stools, surrounded by restaurant-style tables and chairs, seating 40, all in.
The bar proudly displays the all-important, to-be carved legs of 36-month Iberico de Bellota, 18-month Serrano and 26-month Racebo ham, and an array of mostly British and French cheese, room-temperature ripe and ready to serve. Massive jars of homemade and locally produced pickles and chutneys sit on the shelves above. A choice of these and bread come with most courses, and you can choose to have a charcuterie or cheese board, or a mix, to serve one or two people or individual cheese or meat.
It’s a comfortable and relaxing space, and you can feel safe in the knowledge that Salt + Pickle prizes small producers and growers – local when quality and availability allows – and ethical rearing and sourcing. Share dishes like gin and beetroot-cured salmon with new potato salad, pickled samphire and cucumber, scallop ceviche or courgette carpaccio with the charcuterie and cheese for dinner (you also always find a couple of desserts on the menu) or just order nibbles to pick at while you work through the wine list and local ales.
Manish compiles the menu according to what treats he can get his hands on through the deli and last time we visited he recommended beef fillet cured with fennel and paprika, served with celeriac remoulade and corned beef with homemade dill pickles and mustard dressing.
Only on the menu when he can buy in Lincolnshire Red cattle fillet and brisket, from a Colchester farm that rears a limited supply (the ancient outdoor breed only supplying 50 cattle a year), the flavour is so strong and texture so delicate. Bright-red soft cross sections of the fillet, including a small line of slightly smoky sweet fat made our meal.
The varied and lengthy wine list is worth a gander and, as Salt + Pickle use the latest technology to extract wine from the bottle while leaving the cork intact, it’s an opportunity to try some expert, handpicked wines without blowing the budget on a bottle.
Lack of signage out front means it’s easy to miss.