Wednesday, 23 May 2018

Dinner with a View: Salt and Malt, Chew Valley Review

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

Hey Owlets,

Living in Bristol for two decades, you'd think I would've found everything there is to see, but when I was invited for dinner on the bank of Chew Valley Lake, my first response was "there's a lake near the airport?" Salt and Malt is a small restaurant and takeaway less than an hour's drive from Bristol city centre, offering dinner with an incredible view. Unfortunately it's one of the few places that you can't get to without a car, but if you can drive it's worth the trip.


Walking into the restaurant, this place is a blogger’s paradise of marble tables, beautiful views and instagrammable food. We were greeted by Terrance at the door, who couldn’t have mustered a cheerier “hello” if he tried, and his infectiously sunny personality continued throughout the whole evening.

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

On Tuesday evenings the restaurant offers tapas at £3.50 each, or 3 for £10 which considering what's on the tapas menu, is incredibly good value. We ended up ordering 6 tapas plus a starter for Dad as he couldn't eat as much of the tapas due to his allergies (I did pretend to be sympathetic!). I absolutely loved the range of seafood available - there was squid (which unfortunately I can't eat!), scallops, crab, seabass (all of which I did eat and very much enjoyed!). My favourite was the citrus bass, but both me and Dad were a little confused as I expected it to be served cold like a salad, and it was weird biting into it to find it was warm.

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

As Dad was allergic to most of the menu, he opted for the mackerel starter, which was the day's special. I'd love to be able to tell you how amazing it was, but it was gone before I got a look in, so I think that tells you everything you need to know!

 Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

One of the things I loved about the restaurant was the feeling that it had two sides to it. If you wanted to go for something that was really high end then you could, but equally if you just wanted traditional fish and chips, you could have an upgraded version of fish and chips that tasted incredibly fresh, without paying a premium. Dad's cod and chips cost £8, came with garlic and mint mushy peas (I can't comment on these, we both hate peas!), chips and fresh cod, and from our usual chippy we'd pay £7 for something that sort of resembles fish, and some mushy chips.

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

I went for the more fine dining option (typical me, isn't it?!), and went for monkfish from the specials board. From memory this was £16.50, but unfortunately I didn't see the price because Terrance recommended it to me, so I might be wrong. I've got to say, I'm not the biggest lover of asparagus but I got to the end of my plate and thought " can I have some more?". I'm not sure what it was cooked in, but Salt and Malt have managed to make me love a vegetable that I previously wouldn't go near.

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

Neither me or Dad are the biggest fans of dessert - I'm one of those people that would always pick a starter over dessert. However, our plates were cleared by a lovely Northern lady called Zoe, who absolutely insisted that we couldn't leave without trying the sticky toffee pudding, so we ordered and went for some air outside. The view was beautiful, but they don't serve food outside and it was so hot in the window that we were starting to feel a little ill!

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

When our dessert was ready, Terrance actually came and got us from outside so that it didn't melt. Dad loves sticky toffee pudding but doesn't normally bother with dessert, whereas I don't like it at all. However, war almost broke out after Dad gave me one spoonful of his dessert to try, then wouldn't let me have anymore. Considering I hated this dessert before, I now want to go all the way back there just for this!

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

The food at Salt and Malt was incredible, but it came second to the attitude of the staff. You always want to feel looked after at a restaurant, but Zoe and Terrance went so far for us that it felt like we were having dinner at their home. I honestly can't say that we've ever felt more welcome in a restaurant before, or since.

Salt and Malt Chew Valley Review where to eat bristol restaurants

Having eaten way too much (I blame the staff - their recommendations are well worth listening to), we waddled out of the restaurant clutching our stomachs and went for a walk around the lake. Massive thank you to Salt and Malt for inviting us. I'm lucky enough to get to try a lot of restaurants and if we find one we enjoy we always say we'll go back, but we've actually already made plans to take Mum to experience the Salt and Malt welcome for herself, and I think that's the highest accolade I can give.

Love and Feathers,
 The Owlet 💜 
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