Whilst I can’t say I’m the biggest fan of traditional Turkish meat grills – nothing wrong with them, we just tend to find them dry and overcooked. Contemporary Turkish cuisine, on the other hand, is one that I enjoy a lot after good experiences at the likes of The Mantl and Kibele. So when I heard of a new contemporary halal Turkish restaurant, Salt & Plum, opening in Hammersmith, I was very keen to try them out!
Salt & Plum is located at The Assembly on Fulham Palace Road. I immediately took a liking to the bright and airy feel of the place, with abundant natural sunlight bathing its vibrantly coloured Turkish-tile floors. Interestingly, you won’t find a Turkish mixed grill anywhere on the menu. The menu is relatively small, with a highlight on pide, mezze, and more home-style Turkish dishes like casseroles instead of the typical meat grills & kebabs.
Salt & Plum: Contemporary Aegean Food
The name Salt & Plum came from the Turkish tradition of dipping green sour plums into salt as a way to signify the beginning of spring after the freezing winter months. The founders of Salt & Plum are particularly fond of this beloved tradition and it inspired them to open a restaurant to share their favourite hometown dishes! More specifically, the restaurant specialises in contemporary Aegean cuisine, which is more of a regional speciality in the Mediterranean parts of Southern Turkey.
All meats served are halal at Salt & Plum. No pork but alcohol is served at the restaurant.
The Food: What We Ordered
Date of visit: August 2022
Complimentary Turkish Bread
Complimentary bread is always welcomed and this basket of Turkish bread with cheese was a delightful start to the meal. The bread was warm to the touch and lightly brushed with olive oil for extra fragrance. They got a light crisp on the outside and were fluffy on the inside. As for the cheese, it seemed to be a mix of cow & sheep cheese. It was light, delicate and refreshing – just right to get the meal started.
Sucuk Pide (£11.50)
They are quite a few pide toppings options to choose from and we eventually settled with the sucuk pide. The pide was fairly decent – perfectly cheesy and laced with sucuk (Turkish garlic beef sausage) and sliced peppers. We felt that the dough wasn’t as fluffy as the ones we had in Turkey, but the filling flavours were great. You just can’t go wrong with the robust hint of garlic-ness from the sucuk though we would’ve liked it even more if it’s a little spicier!
Karides Guvec (£10.90)
Next up was the Karides Guvec, which was a simple shrimp casserole dish with tomatoes & mushroom, then topped with kasar cheese and baked till golden & melted. It’s a flavour combo that really can’t go wrong. That being said, whilst it’s a nice flavour combo, the dish did lack oomph and could use more flavour depth in it.
Lamb Guvec Kapama (£13.90)
For the other main dish, we went with the Lamb Guvec Kapama, which reminded us of the Lamb Benen Casserole we had at CZN Burak when in Istanbul, minus all the theatrics. The Bosporus Restaurant London is another place we’ve tried this dish as well. Tender chunks of lamb meat were cooked in a moreish tomato & onion sauce and the clay pot was then sealed with fresh dough and finished in the oven. The flavours were light and simple, and the baked dough on top was great for wiping up the sauce. Again, we wouldn’t mind having a little more fireworks and a kick of spice in the sauce, but overall, this was nice & delicious.
Moving onto desserts, seeing there’s Kunefe on the menu, there’s no way I’d leave without ordering it! We shared the Kunefe between the two of us and it had been a delight. The kunefe was not too sweet and got a nice balance of sweetness and cheesiness. It was served with chopped pistachio on top and a side of clotted cream. Overall, it’s quite light to taste and sort of refreshing to get heavily doused with cheese & syrup.
Restaurant Review Summary
Salt & Plum is a nice addition in west London but is also missing a wowing factor in their food to truly stand out. The clean simple flavours make it a great alternative to exploring Turkish cuisine outside of the heavy meat grills & kebabs. It also has its own charm with its lovely decor and interiors. In other words, we do feel Salt & Plum has potential and is a more affordable contemporary Turkish restaurant around town. But it needed a boost and further refining its flavours to make a bang in the market!
All meats served are halal.
Nearest station: Hammersmith