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La Salut

The Love, Tilly Devine and Ragazzi crew's latest venue is bringing brilliant bar food and Spanish vermouth to Redfern.
By Suz Tucker
November 11, 2021
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By Suz Tucker
November 11, 2021
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La Salut is a Catalan-inspired wine bar from the team behind Love Tilly Devine and Ragazzi, taking over a corner of Redfern's overhauled Norfolk House & Hotel.

The buzzy 40-seat venue replaces the Norfolk's sports bar on the meeting 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.

At the helm of La Salut are 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, but to do La Salut properly you should kick things off with a vermouth (from $8 a glass).

Nikki To

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 ($19-48). You might order several rounds of bites for the table — like an artichoke croquette ($5 each) or anchovy, tomato and manchego custard arranged on a house-made 'Jatz' ($8 each).

Elsewhere on the menu, you'll find large plates with even larger flavours, such as deliciously charred grilled octopus ($29) to a chorizo and bean dish ($30). Just like at Ragazzi, the menu is regularly changing, with the seafood dishes being informed by the catch of the day.

Come Sundays, the doors swing open at 11am and a Spanish brunch is available until 3pm. While pan a la Catalan toast topped with tomatoes and olive oil is a tradition both in the south and Catalonia, the La Salut brunch takes its cues from another style of Barcelona morning meals.

Executive Chef Scott McComas-Williams has designed the brunch offering around what he ate while working at Els Tres Porquets in Barcelona.

"One experience I'll always remember was going into the suburbs with Cesc Castro [a Catalan food journalist] and having a typical 'workers' breakfast'," McComas-Williams said. "The first thing that came to the table was a jug of lemonade, but Castro quickly explained it was only so you don't have to drink straight red wine, and then we proceeded to eat dishes like capipota [pork trotters], whole squid stuffed with morcilla and lots of beans —  and the idea was to set you up for a big day of work."

McComas-Williams' take may be missing the lemonade and capipota, but you will be treated to jamon, tetilla cheese and truffle toasties; mushroom and manchego tarts; chilli-spiced sausage; tortilla with manchego, lobster salad or mushroom sauce; and caviar-topped potatoes salad. Plus, there's cava and OJ or Spanish cocktails like a sherry-spiked bloody mary for those looking to kick off their Sunday in style.

Dexter Kim

Top images: Nikki To

Updated: Thursday, July 7, 2022

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