Rankin brings a BBQ influenced twist to the Sunday roast and I welcome it with open arms
John Salt opened with Ben Spalding (ex Roganic chef) in the kitchen doing a 6 month residency. For whatever reason, the residency only lasted 2 months and Neil Rankin (ex Pitt Cue Co.) took over in January. It describes itself as “A Neighbourhood bar with good beer”.
Antonia and I were due to meet up with an old friend of mine, Darren and his other half Sam for Sunday lunch, so after suggesting a few places around Islington we settled on John Salt (I’ve been wanting to go for a while). The roasts are a bit pricier than your average, with chicken at £16, pork for £15, beef for £17 or a veggie roast for £12 but I’d heard good things and I was impressed with Pitt Cue Co. so figured it would be worth the cash.
I was in need of a bloody mary, so was very happy to see one at the top of John Salt’s cocktail menu – the Beer Glass Mary – Finlandia vodka or beefeater gin, tomato juice, Taste No. 5, lemon, tabasco & horseradish, served with vintage cheddar & crackers (£8.50). It was great, pretty much a pint and plenty of kick. The cheese and cracker on top was a nice touch too! The others all went for an Angel’s Kiss – somerset cider brandy, beefeater gin, fresh raspberries, pineapple juice, lemon & sage (£8), which was also delicious.
There are some great sounding starters on the menu like the Raw beef, pear, sesame (£5), Crab and fennel on pork skin (£7) and Pork floss, popcorn, bay and smoked loin (£4). I went for the Tempura Oysters and beef fat mayo (£5). The batter wasn’t crispy but I appreciate it’s tricky to do without overcooking the oyster.
For our roast choices the others all went for Pork (belly / shoulder) and I went for Beef (sirloin / short rib). The menu was a bit confusing, we assumed it was pork belly or shoulder and sirloin or short rib but were very happy to find out that you get both! I was really happy with mine, the veg, Yorkshire pudding and gravy were all good and the meat was superb, tender short rob and beautifully cooked sirloin really made it worth the extra few quid. Likewise the others were impressed by the pork. Belly and pulled shoulder… The idea of having two cuts is genius.
On to dessert, one name caught Antonia and Sam’s eyes – The Banana Dog (£5). A whole deep fried banana with caramel, ice cream and crushed nuts. Darren and I skipped dessert in favour of a coffee. He went for an Americano (£2), which came with a cool miniature milk bottle that looked great but was completely impractical as Darren burnt his hands trying to pour from it, and I had a Flat White (£2.20).
John Salt is a great place to waste away several hours on a lazy Sunday. We booked but I’m pretty sure there was space if we’d just walked in and there was hardly anyone downstairs. There’s also a bit of outdoor seating if you get lucky. The Sunday menu impressed and I’ll certainly be back to try the full dinner menu. John Salt is a great option if you want a fancier than usual Sunday lunch.
By the way there’s a steak & film night from 18:00 – 22:00 on Sunday’s as well.
|Roast Pork x 3||£15.00 each|
|Banana Dog x 2||£5.00 each|
|Angel's Kiss x 3||£8.00 each|
|Beer Glass Mary||£8.50|
131 Upper Street,
London N1 1QP