Remember that iconic scene “Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No! It’s Superman”. You might be thinking the same thing about Salt Meats Cheese (SMC) “Is it a gourmet food emporium? A cooking school? Or maybe a super eatery?” Well there is one thing for sure; the new concept restaurant at Ultimo is out of this world.
There are no sacks of interesting salts, racks of imported meats, cheeses or a chilled deli. But it blows your olfactory senses in other ways. A simple glass front with a takeaway window for ‘now I see it and must eat it’ temptations, give passers by a glimpse of greatness (plus good coffee). The main room is industrial chic; white subway tiles, metal seating, exposed ceilings and a sit up bar by a monster wood fired pizza oven. Who needs wall art when you have something this beautiful?
You might start with arancini balls a 3×2 combo of crunchy, silky saffron cheese, truffle and bolognaise. Fresh burrata gets the backing of house made pesto, pistachios and sweet confit tomatoes. The boards are where the fun is at; Fisher Board is a feast of a tangled of deep fried zucchini strings, octopus, spicy prawns and scorched calamari ask for the house made smoked paprika mayo. A criminally rich lamb ragu pappardelle and softly charred pizza laced with bubbling fior di latte, succulent prawns, crispy pancetta is a new type of ‘Surfers Paradise’ you won’t want to share.
There’s a minor problem; it’s an unusual one. There isn’t a signature dish. Zip, Niente! We have yet to find a single mouthful that isn’t bursting with flavour and provenance, perhaps having the backing of a food emporium is the way to go. One thing’s for sure; it will get the Nonna tick of approval.
Salt Meat Cheese
68 Bay Street, Ultimo NSW 2007
02 9281 5048