Thursday, January 20, 2011

Restaurant Review: Salt at the Ambassador Hotel

So what would you do if, hypothetically, you were given three extra days leave right at the end of your holiday in the middle of a heatwave? Head for the beach? It was 40°C! Spend time with friends? Everyone was still away! Tantrum, stamp feet and scream that you wish you'd known earlier? Well, there may've been some of that, I'm no saint. But, no, you'd do what I did, and head for a place with shady tables, overlooking the waves breaking on the rocks, and cold, delicious wine.. Yes, I'm talking about lunch at Salt.

There's been a lot of talk in recent months about the Salt Deli and Bar across the road where Carlucci's used to be, and I had breakfast there a few weeks ago (delicious Eggs Benedict, by the way), and I'd heard good things about the new chef at Salt. You see, the husb and I (when we started dating) went through a rather fancy restaurant phase. We went to Savoy Cabbage, Ginja, Shoga, The Showroom, Rueben's, and Salt all within a few months of one another. Yes, I was richer back then, what can I say, I had fewer bills and it was a boom! Anyway, fast forward a few years, many restaurants and a wedding, and over those years, I'd heard mixed things about Salt. Some said it had gone downhill, and others were raving. I remained unconvinced it could live up to its former glory, and didn't go back.

Enter Twangoo. Yes, I know it has a funny name, but go to that site and register! They arrange group deals, whereby if a set number of people join the deal, they get it at a special or reduced price. Two for one deals, extra things added, freebies, that sort of thing. So when I saw that Salt was offering a 3 course meal for 2 with a glass of wine for R250, I was hooked.

And what a lunch it was. They were polite, knowledgable of the special, had a special menu printed with the Twangoo offer in it, and we were treated with impeccable politeness. I mention that because at another restaurant that we've visited hosting a Twangoo special, we were treated a bit like lepers, as we had gone for the 'cheap' voucher, instead of paying full price. Salt, on the other hand, treated us like honoured guests, which was great.

And the food.. oh the food. A herb crusted salmon trio was the star of the starters, with a delicious cool herby greenness that was SO attractive in the heat, while both the mains (a linefish with carrot sauce and a beef sirloin and shortrib) were incredibly flavourful and delicious. The desserts, a cappuccino crème brûlée and a pineapple and granadilla compote stuffed Yorkshire pudding, with caramel ice cream, were just the cherry on the top. 

The photos above are not of the food we had (I was having waaaay too much fun enjoyed the atmosphere and, well, the food, to be taking pictures), but they are representative of how beautifully presented the dishes are. What also struck me at the time, was the portion sizing. While the menu we had was designed for the offer, and was as such never going to be had as a single or even two course meal, the main was sturdy enough to have satisfied as a stand alone meal, which is rare for a three course meal and this type of restaurant. Often, you'll opt for just a main, and leave feeling hungry, but this will not happen at Salt. However, that being the case, the three course meal was not a case of over stuffing. The starter and dessert were light enough to complement the main, and the timing (we were given space after our mains to settle before dessert), meant that we left comfortably fed, rather than uncomfortably full.

Now, this lunch was a few weeks ago (in the week before most of us went back to work), and this still stands out as one of the best lunches in memory. In fact, the husband rates it as THE best lunch ever. The combination of venue - the restaurant seems to hang over the sea, with the waves breaking on the rocks beneath; the timing - a few extra days leave was exactly what we needed; the food - delicious, well presented, well timed, and just wonderful; and the company - we do love a good lunch together, and much as we love our friends, nothing quite beats the time we spend together. The combination of effects was just superb, and we left so happy, contented and cool. A quick dip in the ocean at Bantry Bay was really all we needed to finish off the most wonderful day of our holidays.

The final analysis?
Twangoo offers rock, provided the one you get is something you would go to anyway, and the saving is just a bonus. Sunny days are the most wonderful ones for quiet lunches for two. Salt and their new chef, Jacques de Jager are pushing all my buttons right, I'll be going back there for lunch special or no special. Oh, and I love my husband.

And with that, I leave you.
Take care, my friends :)

**Disclaimer: Neither Twangoo or Salt have paid me for this review. Yes, I got a voucher from Twangoo, but that option was open for many people**

Bookmark and Share


  1. ? Is it a part of ?

  2. @John Yes, from what I can gather, is simply the South African version. I did read, though, that the American company Groupon recently bought SA Twangoo, and will be taking it over to their branding within the year.. Hope that helps!

  3. I keep meaning to utilise Twangoo, but have not got round to it yet. Needs to be rectified stat, obviously. The food at Salt sounds amazing and the time spend with polkadotbeefcake (*grin*) sounds super special. Yayness all round!

  4. The place is perfect to dine in and relax while eating some delicious food. Thank you for the review.


The only thing I love more than cooking and eating, is hearing from you, my lovely readers! So feel free to comment away, just keep it tidy!

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...