The portions were so big, I had to loosen my skirt button (I have no shame), I was not giving in before the sweet course. I like a small dessert list, as it proves that they’re more likely to be homemade. Despite only having 5 options on their ‘guilty pleasures’ list, we were finding it difficult to pick just one. However our prayers were answered as our waiter informed us that the kitchen had prepared a very special dessert for us… miniatures of every one on the list so we can taste a little bit of each! Like a work of art, we were presented with a board adorned with rich, chocolate brownies, fluffy W Burgers with chocolate and hazelnuts, tiny pots of delicious cheesecake sundae, and other petit four sweet treats. I’m surprised Tom and I could walk afterwards…
SALT, W Barcelona’s beachside hideaway was exactly what we needed after a manic day of sightseeing around one of my favourite cities in the world. For those of you that have visited Barcelona, you know that the winding streets can become an obstacle course, navigating locals zooming about on mopeds, tourists clambering in and out of shops and local restaurants throwing menus at you to come and try their cheap, price-fixed lunches. This means at times, it’s quite hard to relax – which isn’t a bad thing because its vibrancy is what drew us, and many others, to the coastal city. However if you’re after a little break from the hustle and bustle of city life, SALT, one of W Barcelona’s six restaurants and bars is where you need to head.
The hotel itself isn’t hard to miss, it’s the huge sail rising out of the skyline, juxtaposed against the backdrop of the older city, nestled at the very tip of the more modern Barceloneta beach area. Because it’s tucked relatively far away from the rest of the city, its exclusivity and luxury was just what we needed in the late afternoon rush. Taking a long stroll up the beach (you can cab it, or even take the cable car there), our sweaty, and hungry selves arrived at the stunning beach club.
We already knew we were in for a treat, passing tables of happy, stomach-filled guests, with plates licked clean, and a long bar where their resident mixologists were creating the most delicious looking cocktails. After settling in at a table overlooking the hotel’s private beach (there is plenty of inside space too), we poured over their carefully selected menu – SALT specialises in burgers and an eclectic mix of cocktails.
If you like dark spirits, I recommend the Gold Digger – Brugal Rum, complimented with the sweeter tastes of vanilla and passion fruit, and for a unique twist to a classic glass of fizz, the High Roller, consisting of Veuve Clicquot champagne, topped with Bombay Sapphire gin and Martini Blanco. However, my favourite was the W Gin Series – Spaniards love their gin, as do Tom and I, and this stunning mix of London No3 gin with elderflower liquor and tonic (Fever Tree, my fave), garnished with a cinnamon stick, orange peel and juniper berries, was by far the best G&T I’ve ever taste – no fuss and generous measures.
Perusing the menu we were pleased to see an eclectic choice of dishes. Although relatively small and only offering burgers as the mains, SALT ensures choices aren’t boring and they’re certainly adventurous with their dishes – from a classic burger with all the trimmings to a salmon burger in a wasabi bun. I was also pleased to see a delicious looking vegetarian option as my veggie friends regularly complain about the lack of thought into non-meat dishes.
I went for the Cocktail Ceviche to start, whilst Tom went for the beef tacos with chipotle sauce. Both were generous portions for a starter, and although Tom’s tacos were delicious, my ceviche stole the show. Stunning red prawns and white fish bathing in a creamy soup of coconut milk, citrus, avocado and coriander. The prawns had an incredible meaty crunch to them, complimented by the citrusy flavours of the grapefruit and smooth coconut milk.
I’ll admit, I’m not a huge fan of burgers, so I knew these ones had to be good to win me over. And luckily, I wasn’t let down. We chose two between us and the chefs kindly cut them in half and put one of each on either plate. One half was the Salt Icon (I hear this is the most popular), with crunchy onion rings and velvety guacamole sauce, the other, the French Connection burger, dripping with Brie. I was pleased that SALT doesn’t scrimp on meat and fillings as the burgers appeared like huge, meaty towers held together with skewers.
The food was fantastic, the cocktails were delicious, and the waiting staff were friendly, helpful and attentive, I really couldn’t fault the restaurant. What I loved the most, was that SALT made the experience an occasion rather than a quick bite to eat – which is what I look for in a dining experience. I live to eat good food, so I hate it when a restaurant rushes me through the courses and out of the door so they can get the next lot of people in. It seems that SALT really values its guests and their experience; we were in there for over two hours because we were enjoying the atmosphere and surroundings so much! It was certainly the city escape we were after for the afternoon without getting a train out of the city. It is well worth visiting the SALT beach club, whether it’s for a long, late lunch, or a romantic evening dinner, it was a much needed, perfect addition to our busy city break.
(* This post is marked with an asterisk because W Hotel Barcelona kindly invited us to enjoy a meal for free at their SALT beach club. I didn’t have to write a blog post, or sing their praises, but I chose to because I really enjoyed the food and my experience there. I’m always 100% honest with everything I write.)