The Love, Tilly Devine and Ragazzi crew's latest venue is bringing brilliant bar food and Spanish vermouth to Redfern.
November 11, 2021
The buzzy 40-seat venue replaces the Norfolk's sports bar on the corner of Cleveland and Walker streets, where the curved bar has undergone a sleek new rendering, televised footy is replaced with rows of ready-to-drink wine bottles, and the old carpet's been ripped out to reveal an attractive stone-paved floor.
They've got the style part nailed down. So what about the substance?
At the helm of La Salut is Love Tilly's Matt Swieboda and Nate Hatwell, alongside Executive Chef and co-owner Scott McComas-Williams, so the food is just as keenly masterminded — and executed — as the booze selection, which Hatwell describes as "wine-focused, but not wine-serious".
The wine list is broad and dynamic, largely represented by different regions of Spain and a good selection of quality Australian drops. And while the options are exciting, the price range is by no means oppressive. By-the-glass pours start at an extremely reasonable $12 (for a 2018 Sierra de Toloño viura rioja), but to do La Salut properly you should kick things off with a vermouth (from $8 a glass).
McComas-Williams' approach to the menu invites a no-rush leisurely flow of snacks. Choose from a selection of jamon, sliced fresh to order and served up with sourdough. You might order several rounds of bites for the table — like a pork belly and kimchi croquette ($5 each) or anchovy, tomato and manchego custard arranged on a house-made 'Jatz' ($7 each).
Elsewhere on the menu, you'll find large plates with even larger flavours, such as deliciously charred grilled octopus to butifarra (Spanish sausage served with clams in a zingy sauce). Just like at Ragazzi, the menu will change regularly, with the seafood dishes being informed by the catch of the day.
Great atmosphere. Excellent non-intimidating service. Quality food and drinks. La Salut is a welcome addition to Cleveland Street.
Images by Nikki To