By Hans Ebert


It’s a little confusing and a tad chaotic to absorb during these early days as the original and tiny neighbourhood restaurant Black Salt is apparently open only for private functions and takeaway s whereas Salt And Barrel situated close by has now become the Black Salt branded mothership- Black Salt Tavern (G/F, One South Lane, 1 South Lane, Shek Tong Tsui, Western District)

It’s a lot of BS to absorb, but frankly, the changes are for the better. Salt And Barrel was something of a “work in progress” which we didn’t really understand. This included the name of the restaurant and what it was serving.

We had dinner there before the name change with a few friends including a jockey and his wife. Some dishes worked for us and others went over like UFOs.

It was a pleasant enough evening, but with some very heavy dishes to handle. Especially for our jockey friend who had to ride light two days later.

It’s now back to the Black Salt Asian fusion menu and we have our favourites. Why be adventurous and be disappointed when we can be boring creatures of habit?

For starters, this time around we had the Wok-Fried Kothu Roti ($140), apparently inspired by traditional Sri Lankan street food- and which, being from Ceylon, we know extremely well- jackfruit kari plus red and green sambal. Not anything Sri Lankan, but certainly filling.

With this, Konkan Coast Fish Cakes ($175) and an order of Cauliflower Hot Wings ($105), which is really not as bland as it might sound. It’s one of our favourite dishes. Anywhere.

For our main course? There just wasn’t room at the inn for anything else. Along with the delicious free appetiser made with lentils, the starters were more than enough.

It really is too much of a good thing. When we head back for another meal, we need to “strategise” our ordering technique better and go with one starter and two main dishes or just two appetisers.

The dishes are extremely creative and very good. The question is, the portions are so filling that there’s just no room nor time to try anything else. And with the restaurant closing at midnight the night we were there this week, there was the feeling that we had overstayed our welcome.

Perhaps the staff can help in recommending a couple of dishes first before ordering 2-3 main courses plus starters as we did when Black Salt was still Salt and Barrel and which were hardly touched?

Teething problems, but the restaurant will soon get there. And that’s no BS.

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