It was the crispy heads in situ on their crispy prawn bodies that put me off eating at Smolt. It was in their first year and I never went back. It might also have been the noise, the acoustics are, err, ‘young’.
Then the other day, I had coffee there with a work colleague. The sun streamed in through the full glass frontage and we watched the world pass us by from the cool sanctuary of their retro-styled décor.
It was time to dust Boozy Friday Lunch Friend off and Smolt it was.
Gorgeous, thy name is Smolt.
Nowhere in Salamanca compares with its outlook or its interior; both are showcased on a beautiful summer day when the light is brightest and the day is glorious.
Smolt is an attractive establishment.
The restaurant is set out in three precincts. The two sections at the rear are smart restaurant style. The area at the front of the restaurant is a combination of bar type seating, a shared table and the groovy seating where we were positioned.
The kitchen lies the best part of the length of the restaurant and if you are that way inclined, as This Girl is, you can cast your eye over its industry.
Service, like the venue and the food, is modern and vibrant. The table attendants’ dress code is a little versatile, so Boozy pointed out.
That brings me to the food. Quite simply: it’s good.
Boozy and I chose three of the small plates to allow room for dessert. This is what we ate:
Jamon croquettes with aioli, dill and red peppers, $14.90
Strawberries, caramelized white chocolate, wild rice, yoghurt sorbet, $15.90
Catalan crème and chocolate truffles, $15.50
Smolt is presentation. When a meal is so beautifully plated it’s difficult to divide it up when you’ve already agreed to share. You want to preserve the aesthetic as long as you can. We did manage to find a way, but only after the mandatory ‘oohhing and ahhhing’.
There was no stand out amongst the small plates. They were all top quality. Three small plates were enough.
Desserts followed suit.
If you’ve read other reviews with Boozy Friday Lunch Friend, you’ll know he’s a brulee-freakoid. There’s no other way to put it. Smolt’s brulee was beautiful; ‘done perfectly’, with a crust that took a few thacks with the back of the spoon to crack. Goldilocks aka Boozy, said the volume was just right and demonstrated it by successfully cleaning up his plate.
Smolt is success. We were seated at 1.30 pm and expected to be at the tail end of bookings. A constant flow of customers kept the place mostly occupied into the early afternoon.
I thought the bill would be a bomb and it was around $80 each, but when you took away the cocktail each and bottle of Spanish sparkling, it wasn’t as scary as I first thought. Mains are in the mid to high-30s though so be prepared.