Vintage Salt, The City
Taking the quotidian and transforming it into a luxury is an art. Whether it’s Hawksmoor serving salted caramel Rolos or Bubbledogs taking hotdogs into the haute arena, it’s great to have comfort food with decadent credentials.
With Vintage Salt, an up-market joint from big player Des Mcdonald, you get the portions and yum factor of Brighton chippies with a fairly un-ironic offering of hipster craft beers, exposed lightbulbs, polished surfaces, and good-looking pistachio hue booths. Yes the table condiments are Sarson’s but the butties come with a champagne vinegar and – if you visit at the right time – the faintest whiff of truffles.
Their City location (they also have one in Angel) is nestled in a crowd of slick offices and just the place for a chilled date with the colleague you may just love a little bit.
We visited during National Chip Week so it was all about the butties. However, as well as pints of juicy Atlantic prawns and classic fish and chips, their Devon red chicken, butter beans and bacon was a rich, warming and melting little piece of heaven. If you want to do this right on a date, tick the fish box and go to town on the homemade condiments but miss the chicken at your peril. That said, for hangover Friday dates, Cityboys and gals should call a spade a spade and go for fish finger sandwiches with a side of beer. That oughta do it.
There are two cute ways to play this. One, work late photocopying documents alongside the co-worker you fancy. Suggest sticking two fingers up at the corporate dinner account and venture down the road to F&C. Go for tonnes of wine and token tap water. Order at will and agree to share and pick at everything – if you didn’t it would be more like a targeted big feed. When the spunky waiter or Zoey Deschanel-like kook of a waitress ask if you’d like more, switch to the cocktail list and go to town. Skip dessert and shimmy across the booth to their side. Then neck like teenagers.
And the second way to play it: you hooked up last night and now face a day at work sharing hangovers. Hit this joint for a Friday lunch takeaway. Try and recreate last night while you wait propping up the bar with a cheeky IPA. Pick up your grub, head back to the office, snog in the elevators.
It’s a LOT of food. Sex might be off the table (unless it already happened).
2. More of a seaside town love factor.