Review: Afternoon tea at The Salt Room, Brighton
Located between the piers, The Salt Room stands on the corner of the Hilton hotel. Originally a seafood and grill restaurant, they’ve recently decided to offer a classic: afternoon tea. When they invited Brighton Girl down to try their new menu option, we jumped at the chance! Who doesn’t love a spot of tea!?
The restaurant itself has a simple interior with exposed brick walls and metal work, leaving the real show to the food, which I’ll waste no time in getting to.
We both decided to go for individual loose leaf tea. I went for the Lemongrass and ginger, Fanny opted for the blackcurrant and hibiscus. Both were served at a perfect temperature with a fresh flavour and vibrant colour
From a choice of five, we were allowed to pick four of the savoury options: salmon and squid ink bun, Rockerfeller oyster, crab scotch egg and truffled grilled cheese. We opted out of the beef tartar due to Fanny being vegetarian and awaited our goodies.
All options were served warm, which, on a horrible windy day was the perfect way to start an afternoon tea. Each element was served in pairs, except the salmon and squid ink bun, which made sense considering the size of it! It was a perfectly balanced start to the meal, with fresh salmon, smooth cream cheese and peppery rocket.
The Rockerfeller oyster was soft and perfectly cooked, something I have never tried before, though the parsley crumb on top overpowered it slightly. Fanny enjoyed the truffled grilled cheese, which had a slight hint of truffle and was deliciously gooey. The crab scotch egg was a highlight for me, with a crisp exterior, fresh crab meat and a runny egg (which you just can’t go wrong with).
The scones were slightly on the smaller side at first glance, but the classic miniatures were not an issue considering the sheer amount of treats on the stand. Served with butter, house-made clotted cream and a beautifully sweet strawberry and elderflower jam, it was a perfect introduction to the sweets on the top tier.
Let’s be honest, the most exciting part of any meal is the sweet part... for me anyway! All of the sweets were again served in pairs. The chocolate pebbles were a creamy truffle of dark chocolate covered in a light powder. The pistachio and raspberry battenburg was a rich and nutty cake with a moist texture; the freeze-dried and fresh raspberries added a combination of textures and tastes that was amazing.
Unfortunately, due to the heat in the restaurant or the wetness of the weather, by the time we got to the candy floss it was looking pretty worse for wear. However, an amazing manager saw this without missing a beat and swapped our sad candyfloss for fresh ones. The candy floss brought back childhood memories with the addition of, wait for it… edible glitter!
The orange and yuzu posset and rhubarb and custard macaroon were an absolute highlight of the sweets section; the orange posset was served in a thin meringue cup, with an orange segment and vibrant orange jelly, whilst the rhubarb and custard macaron was a perfect balance of a crisp outer shell and soft interior with a perfectly balanced filling and a cooked rhubarb slice on top.
The salt room ask for allergy information ahead of time, which is the perfect solution to any allergy worries you might have. However, on arrival, they didn’t seem to know of our allergy requests (an orange allergy for me and a nut allergy for Fanny) and we did have to tell them again.
Unfortunately, the food was all served on one plate despite our request, with a couple of the nut options touching the non-nut options. Luckily, neither of our allergies are so severe that we couldn't eat the food, but this is definitely something to be aware of.
Overall, we had a fantastic time and plenty of food, leaving feeling quite full up after a wonderfully varied tea.
Fanny’s favourite: Orange and Yuzu posset and the chocolate pebbles
Amara’s favourite: Crab scotch egg and Rhubarb and custard macaroon
Written by Amara. You can find more from Amara on her blog Brighton Born and Bread.
Photography by Fanny. You can find more of Fanny's photography on her website.