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Salt & Honey | Paddington

Paddington, 28 Sussex Place , London, United Kingdom, W2 2TH
Critics Review 4/5
Restaurant info
Opening Information


Tuesday to Thursday 12:00 till 15:00 &17:30 till 22:00
Friday Saturday 10 :00 till 15:00 & 17:30 till 22:00
Sunday 10 Am till 20:00

Facilities
  • Private Dining
  • Free WiFi
  • Outside Seating Area
  • Families and Children Welcome

About Salt & Honey | Paddington

Modern European Neighbourhood Bistro

Dress Code: Casual
Price point:
£ £ £ £ £

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Critics Review
Steve Dinneen is Life&Style editor of City A.M
4/5
The internet has done for the food scene what cheap international flights did for travel: it made it accessible. There are no secrets – a new restaurants barely needs to open its doors before an army of breathy bloggers have pawed over it. I’m not saying this is a bad thing – far be it from me to hold back the tide of progress, and anyway, the appetite for new places to eat keeps me in new hats – but it does detract from the sense of wellbeing you get when you find a place like Salt & Honey. It’s the second venture by Tyler Martin (food) and Joseph Antippa (the other stuff), the first being Fulham Road’s Manuka Kitchen, which is named after a type of New Zealand honey that’s said to have medicinal properties. The first thing you’re greeted with is a flight of stairs leading into mysterious darkness. You’re not to go down those stairs – they’re not for you, try to put them out of your mind. Instead you should take a left, squeezing past the coat stand, where you’ll find a place that looks a bit like someone’s living room with all the furniture chucked out and replaced with dining tables. I guess that’s just a description of any restaurant, but this looks even more like that, as if the discarded furniture may still be lying in a heap on the side of the pavement waiting for the council to come and collect it. It wasn’t; the artfully distressed furniture outside was strictly for dining purposes. They’d probably be mad if the council tried to take it away. There isn’t a front desk, so I just wandered in, which gave me the same illicit thrill you get walking around someone’s house when they’re not home. The walls are hung with paintings of spooky forests and gigantic mirrors are scrawled with the specials. There is a mezzanine level with what could charitably be called a private dining space. There’s also, I discovered, a second set of stairs that leads to another forbidden place, and I was making my way down that when I finally made contact with a member of staff. “Where are you going?” “Erm, I don’t know, aren’t you supposed to tell me that?” He showed me to a nice table by the window, and handed me a menu that was simple but intriguing, consisting of things like heirloom carrots with ash goat’s cheese and quinoa, and peach with endive and truffle honey (manuka makes an appearance on almost everything). There’s a very reasonable wine list, which starts at £18 and tops out at £65, although they fluffed it when I asked for a recommendation. And the food? The food is brilliant. So brilliant, in fact, that it makes you reassess everything else. The awkward spaces become charming recesses. The service becomes refreshingly whimsical. Even the paintings take on a new air of endearing kitsch. This is the power of great food: it makes everything else seem okay (I am, though, still curious about the staircases). Three fat scallops with radish and a thick fold of lardo (£9.50) were spot on, the sweet flesh just warmed up, the fat full of flavour. Cured salmon with lemongrass and manuka honey (£5.80!) was sweet and beguilingly smoky. Wagyu bolognese with pappardelle and pesto (£14.50) was the best bowl of comfort food I’ve eaten in ages – thick, bouncy ribbons of pasta in a rich, oily sauce, tossed with cherry tomatoes and slivers of parmesan. The Pork belly (£14.50) was a vast slab of meat so tender you could cut through it with a spoon, the crisped outer fat glued on by a seam of molten blubber. This is where pigs go when they die, both literally and metaphorically. It came with carrots in more honey and butter-bean puree. Chef Martin was doing the rounds as we were polishing off desserts of caramel panna cotta and cold, smooth bricks of honey truffle (both good). I normally go out of my way to avoid talking to chefs, on account of it tending to end badly. I once saw Typing Room’s Lee Westcott in a bar after I’d given him a glowing review. He looked me up and down and said: “I remember you, you’re the critic who didn’t like my scallops”. It’s worse if you hated the meal: you have to either single out and praise the least offensive thing you’ve eaten or brazen it out and tell the truth, which is mortifying for everyone. And there’s the time I had a nice chat with Shaun Rankin at his (excellent) Ormer restaurant. I don’t remember a word of it, nor, indeed, anything that happened after the eighth glass of matched wine that went with his tasting menu. Now I can never go back to Jersey. But I digress. I was more than happy to tell Martin how much I enjoyed Salt & Honey. I cheerfully explained how it was one of those meals that makes everything seem better, as he hovered uncomfortably at the end of the table. The bill came to less than £100, which, frankly, makes me think they’re not charging enough. I really can’t say enough good things about this restaurant: I implore you not to tell anyone else about it as I plan on returning often and would like to be able to get a table.
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Visited On Sunday, 01 July 2018

This restaurant has closed I was not informed and had I not gone the day before to check as I couldn’t get hold of them I would have been in a very awkward position. It is disgraceful that there was no notification message on there phone nothing

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Visited On Tuesday, 05 June 2018

Not a very good experience. I won't be coming back. First of all, the menu on the website wasn't correct so the dishes I was looking for weren't available. Then when we had ordered, we were told there was no Steak - with an already simple/ menu, and a gluten allergy, this is really limiting. Fine that the menu is simple but not to have the dish that most people would want to order is pretty bad. The nuts were very old and tasteless, the olives were very nice on the other hand. The Cod with raisins was a strange combo, it was nicely cooked but the dish in itself wasn't very well balanced or thought out. My friend had the mussels which were lovely and the green bean side was really nice - side dishes stingy portions. One of the waitresses was very nice however at the end we were told we could only pay cash. Non of us carry cash. This was not mentioned at the beginning of the meal. She brought the card machine and it worked fine. I get the feeling she was asked to get cash payments. Not cool. I research online and the menu seemed nice and had good reviews, what a shame the reality was different. I hope I've highlighted the areas that should be improved. Thanks Rebecca

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Visited On Sunday, 03 June 2018

Booked Salt and Honey for my step mum's birthday and was really excited. Unfortunately there quite a few issues- the mussels were very small, some hardly had anything in the shell. We ordered a bottle of wine and when we tried to order another they had ran out. The cod was a little undercooked and we asked for it to be put back in the pan. I ordered the steak and prawns for main- the prawns were tiny, some were about the size of a 5p piece. We ordered a bottle of prosecco and it was served warm and not put in an ice bucket. The restaurant took some money off the bill which we were grateful for but to be honest the evening was quite stressful and my step mum didn't have a nice time.

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Visited On Sunday, 03 June 2018

Food was uniquely great and I liked the casual and comfortable atmosphere. Will come back.

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Visited On Thursday, 24 May 2018

Service incredibly slow - just to get a drink took a long time. Food was good though

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Visited On Thursday, 24 May 2018

Very disappointed with the evening as we had booked it after visiting Buckingham Palace for a presentation with our daughter. Before catching train home. Reviews looked great, but we found service very slow even though there were only 2tables in, The food was only adequate! Need side dishes. Staff seemed more concerned with getting there own supper. I know the other table had to ask for there bill as they also had trains to catch and we all had early tables. Won't bother again..

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Visited On Tuesday, 08 May 2018

This was frankly one of the worst meals I have had in many years. I know you are changing hands etc but seriously it was awful. At least you didnt charge :-)

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Visited On Saturday, 28 April 2018

All the mains took too long and there were not very elaborate after all. The service was not that good either. The place is nice though, but overpriced. I wouldn’t go back or recommend it

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Visited On Saturday, 21 April 2018

Improvement with service: We got little attention from the waiter, despite few other guests. After serving the main course we did not get any more contact with her. The food was good, service bad, we expected a more friendly atmosphere in a «neighborhood bistro»

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Visited On Saturday, 14 April 2018

The food was excellent but the wine selection was poor. Some of the wine was not the right vintage (too young) and the premier wine was not in stock. For a Saturday evening it seemed very quiet. None of the vibrancy if our previous visit.

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Visited On Sunday, 11 March 2018

this email was sent on March 12th and we have yet to receive a reply: Dear Mr Antippa, After living around your restaurant for several years and never having the chance to indulge in the culinary delights of your little bistro around the corner, I though what better time than Mother's Day to treat my wife and children at your establishment. We arrived at 11am, the first in the bistro, welcomed by your wonderful staff. My daughter has a real fondness for pancakes so was delighted to see them on the brunch menu so she immediately knew what she was having. We were all starving and everything on the menu looked fantastic. We were given menus with different prices so when we saw that the pancakes had jumped from £7 to £9 we were slightly taken aback but this is brunch and we'll be well fed for that price. Funnily enough, I had read reviews from 2015 mentioning a few times that Salt & Honey was under priced - obviously that was rectified by yourselves. I'd say now overpriced may be more realistic for 2018. 45 minutes later we were still waiting for our food, by this time, the bistro had filled out and we were noticing that other tables that had arrived 15-30 mins after us were being served. I assumed that as my wife had ordered the beef roast (she had wanted the chicken but when she found out that only the leg came, she wasn't sure if that would fill her up enough) so she went for the bavette but knowing it would take longer. The kids were starving, we asked the waiting staff who were wonderful but their polite 'it's coming sir' translated into another 10 mins of waiting. My wife had gone downstairs in the meantime to the ladies and noticed the steak resting on the stove top (15mins before we were served). Obviously by this time, we were absolutely famished so when the food arrived, our hearts dropped as we saw one small pancake with 2 strawberries on top (whether we were charged the extra 50p on top of the inflation raise to £9, I can't recall) but both kids loved them - my 11 year old daughter, quite a pancake connoisseur, declared they were the best, fluffiest, delicious pancakes that she had ever had and wanted more ('sorry but not one for £9 darling!'). My 9 year old son liked the pancake but the 2 strawberries on top seemed a little lacklustre to him so were not eaten (and this is a kid who shuns sweets and chocolates in favour of fruit - Halloween trick or treat is always interesting- his dream day would be Legoland or strawberry picking eating his weight in juicy, succulent strawberries which these were clearly not - Tesco has juicier ones out of season). However the Eggs Royale ordered by myself were wonderful, albeit on the small side and my wife's roast was lovely and the best, tastiest, fluffiest roast potatoes she'd ever had and she asked for extra potatoes. Our initial 3-4mins, turned into 10mins (which I noticed we had been charged £5 extra on the bill but she got some extra broccoli and this is Central London). The boiled carrots were hard and inedible -raw carrot batons would have been favourable as at least the kids may have snacked on them while waiting for their pancakes. To say I was disappointed once I received the bill for just over £70 (no wine but a free flat Prosecco for my Mother's Day, which was as flat as the pancakes that my kids ate. I ended up drinking it to be polite as the waitress was very sweet - my wife wasn't impressed - it was Mother's Day after all). We walked out and I was starving, my kids were starving -they're only 9 and 11 years old, we would've gone across to the Queen Victoria pub for a good Sunday roast if it wasn't being refurbished. We didn't complain as we didn't really feel that the waiting staff could have done anything to our satisfaction other than apologise (hence my email). Obviously I walked out with a smile, it was Mother's Day and my wife had been amply fed but myself and the kids were wondering if we should pop over to Pret A Manger in Paddington Station for a sandwich. If brunch cost me just over £70, I don't think I'll be returning for brunch or anything else. London has many restaurants and we were really happy to try a neighbourhood bistro but will definitely not be returning for brunch. The Lounge at the newly opened Pilgrm hotel on London Street is fab value, good portions and cheaper. I don't believe you can rest on your laurels on the basis of Manuka Kitchen (which btw I've heard is great but never been to). My point is that the cooking is great but the portions and wait time absurd. If the waitress had tried to sell us some starters pointing out that the mains may be longer (presumably due to the bavette), then I think our expectations would have been met but the costly bill for portions which were minuscule seems ridiculous. I can honestly say that I will never return and never recommend Salt & Honey to any of my friends living locally (we have lived in Marylebone for 18 years before moving here and I've never had to write to a restaurant explaining my dissatisfaction). Next time I will stick to the Duke of Wellington on the Portobello Road for a roast - my wife's favourite (they give you chicken leg + breast with ample amount of veggies - no asking for seconds here for not much more, although your gravy is definitely superior) but I thought we'd try something new. My wife actually told me she felt bad the next day for spending that much on a small meal. I understand the restaurant business is tough but 'disappointing' for Salt & Honey is putting it gently. We do dine out frequently in London, all the favourites for brunch and more - Nobu, Cut, Natural Kitchen, Hakkasan, Goodmans, Burger & Lobster, Riding House Cafe, Jean Georges at the Connaught, Jamavar, Granger & Co, even Pizza Express - all across the board, we're happy to pay for great food and ample servings but what you're charging for brunch, is simply not good enough. There are 8 million people in London so with only 20 covers, you have enough Londoners who are willing to try once but it's simply not good enough for me to come back again. I really feel sad as I wanted us all to like it as it's convenient and easy to go. The kids didn't want to return, even with the best, fluffiest pancakes in London as they left hungry and that's saying something. It does not give me pleasure in writing this but I want you to survive as a neighbourhood place where I want to come back all the time but to be honest, the food is brilliant, the portions & prices for what I had, they're not. Thank you for your time in reading this, happy to receive any of your feedback, positive, negative or nothing. With the kindest regards, A local resident,

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Visited On Sunday, 11 March 2018

Lovely local bistro for very decent homely food. Pleasant and informal

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Visited On Sunday, 18 February 2018

Dear Joseph - we love Salt and Honey so just two minor points. Coffee lukewarm and I do think someone should be on the restaurant floor to meet and greet customers at all times. Your staff are lovely but perhaps need your guidance on this- something you do so well. Caroline

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Visited On Thursday, 15 February 2018

I had a 18:30 seating for myself (which is early for London, as I think I was the first one in the restaurant). The staff were great, the food was very good, and the value for money was exceptional with the three course menu! I will definitely dine at Salt & Honey again when I return to London.

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Visited On Sunday, 11 February 2018

We had a very nice evening at this restaurant with our family. The fusion food 😋 was very lovely such like the service. As French food lovers we enjoy the meal.

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Visited On Thursday, 08 February 2018

I think th e whole place has a extremely casual feel, homly. But the prices are are too high for decor and level of service- staff was quite clueless- bringing wrong dishes etc- also hate to be charged for bread brought but. It ordered. Food sounds much more interesting than it tastes

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Visited On Sunday, 04 February 2018

False advertising on the website - one of the worst roasts we've had. As it says on the website: choose between beef, pork and chicken, we got there and there and the choices were beef or duck. We ordered the beef which was served more like steak with rock hard potato wedges on the side, a few carrots and a smear of parsnip on the plate, no Yorkshire pudding as advertised on the website (which is the highlight of a good roast!). The food was pretty lukewarm as well and we had to ask for a steak knife to cut through the beef. For £16.50 a complete waste of money. The only saving grace to the meal was the lovely quiet off road location and the friendly waiter.

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Visited On Thursday, 25 January 2018

Quite and cozy, with great service and tasty food!

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Visited On Tuesday, 23 January 2018

Expensive for a bit of cauliflower and peppers. Service was very poor, almost hostile. Toilets were revolting. Very disappointing.

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Visited On Friday, 19 January 2018

A classy place. Excellent ingredients. Well made. The service staff a bit inexperienced. Do check the bill.

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Visited On Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Great experience!

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Visited On Sunday, 07 January 2018

simply fantastic

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Visited On Saturday, 16 December 2017

We had a delightful pre-Xmas lunch - the food was completely delicious, the service attentive but not intrusive, the atmosphere cosy and the wine was really well priced. Thank you so much.

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Visited On Thursday, 14 December 2017

Very accommodating. Helpful with two babies+ 12 adults. Lots of coats and suitcases and prams. Prompt service (two had to leave early). Food very good.

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Visited On Thursday, 14 December 2017

Way overrated - staff gave us the ‘rush’ treatment at end of evening BC they wanted to go home (9PM!) - food was ordinary- and service odd, poor - disappointing after having read several reviews that indicated otherwise - better places all over London than this.

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