Pink Salt, Double Bay

24 February 2010
by Phuoc

It was only a while ago that I started thinking about the tv series My Restaurant Rules. Having been able to dine at Pink Salt when they were situated in Manly, I thought about what the winning restaurants are up to now. Are they still up and running? Pink Salt have  managed to re-open and re-locate the restaurant to Double Bay the year after they lost to the contestant from Adelaide (owners of The Greedy Goose). For my birthday I received a gift voucher for Pink Salt from my uni girls. I was excited to dine here again as it was enjoyable the last time.

The ride up to Double Bay with Ant was quite funny as we were picking on people in the East. You know, everything is so clean, pretty much everyone drives a BMW and there’s no ‘doof-doof’ music being blasted loudly.. We were almost beginning to feel as if we were in another city! We finally arrived at the restaurant and because it was a nice warm day we decided to sit outside. I love the entire decor of this restaurant; not because it is pink (that’s not even my favourite colour) but because it is very elegant and stylish.

Everything is PINK!

The drinks list had a lot of yummy cocktails on offer which made my decision quite hard.. So I asked the waitress for her recommendations and she suggested the Watermelon and rose petal martini (fresh cut and muddled watermelon shaken with ice cold pure vodka and sprayed with freshly infused rose petal water). However, I ended up ordering the Lychee Love (real luscious lychees and fresh mint leaves topped with crème de peche, cloudy apple juice and 42 below kiwi vodka) but she brought out the Watermelon martini instead. She was lucky that it was nice though; a refreshing and sweet concoction, perfect for a lazing about in the sun.

Watermelon and rose petal martini ($16); half a dozen oysters ($19)

For entree, we started off with half a dozen oysters served with cabernet sauvignon vinegar & shallots, shucked to order. The oysters were nice and plump and also fresh; we could taste the sea with every bite. At first I thought the accompanying cab sauv vinegar would be tangy and have a strong wine taste but it wasn’t at all, it was surprisingly sweet and lacked that strong wine taste (which is good). I wished we ordered a dozen of these babies..

Pan fried chicken breast; Suzuki Mulloway ($36 each)

The waitress told us of the special that were on offer for the day and after she left we both had a giggle because one of the specials was “Beef pie with potato puree”; we just thought it was funny to call something simple as mash as potato puree (even though that is what it is).. Ant ordered the fillet of Suzuki Mulloway fish baked in paper served with salt cod wontons, white wine, mixed herbs & saffron whilst I opted for the pan fried confit chicken breast served with asparagus, port & porcini mushroom veloute.

Firstly, this had got to be the best chicken breast that I had! The skin was nice and crispy and the meat was juicy. If only I could have more of that lovely crispy skin. Mmmm… The sauce was rich but not heavy; everything in this dish worked well together. Whenever we go out to eat, Ant has never been able to have a good fish dish. So every now and then he tries his luck to find a place that serves up something nice. Was Pink Salt able to serve him something good…? Not quite.. The fish was moist (most likely due to it being baked in the paper bag so it retains all the juices) but it was still somewhat mushy and the accompanying components of the dish didn’t go hand in hand. What a bummer! Back to square one..

Chocolate tart; Pink meringue ($16 each)

Before we decided on our mains we had already chosen what we were going to have for dessert. Does anyone else do that? That is, decided on their dessert before entree and mains. Ant bags the chocolate tart with orange sorbet and chocolate-covered pecans (he tends to choose the chocolate dessert everywhere we go which usually ends up being the better option) so I end up choosing the pink meringue with chantilly cream and mixed berry coulis. Let’s start with the meringue; it was crispy on the outside and soft and marshmellowy on the inside – exactly what all meringues should be rather than crispy all the way through. The mixed berry coulis, fresh berries and chantilly cream are a match made in heaven; combining creamy with slightly tart and sweet equals win.. Now on to the chocolate tart.. This chocolate tart was no match for the chocolate tart that we had in Fifteen Melbourne (where once you place it into your mouth, it explodes). It was however still a good chocolate tart indeed; the pastry was crumbly and the chocolate was nice but not too bitter. The orange sorbet provided a refreshing cleanser to the rich chocolate.

I now have to tell you about the incident that happened when I was taking a picture of the meringue. I was trying to get a nice shot of it up close and when I did I dropped the camera into the berry sauce! OMG I nearly cried but I had to laugh it off because it was quite funny… So if you noticed the chocolate tart picture being slightly blurry in the bottom corner, you now know why…

When I went to pay the bill, I managed to have a small chat to Evan (part owner of Pink Salt). I told him how I used to follow My Restaurant Rules and dined at their restaurant when they were located in Manly. I asked him if he knows what the other contestants are up to nowadays and he simply said that they are the only restaurant out of both series to be still running. Apparently the Adelaide team tried to open up a gourmet burger joint but that didn’t work out so well and they had to close both restaurants. That leaves Sydney ultimately on the top (where it should rightfully be :P)..

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  1. Ericka

    Mouth watering and tummy grumbling as I sit in a lecture hahaha! xo

  2. Phuoc

    Aww.. poor darling. That’s why you need to come up and dine with me so you don’t have those feelings anymore..

  3. foodwink

    Me, me, me! I always look at the dessert menu before deciding on the entrees and mains, hehe 🙂 And I quite like the blurry effect of the choc tart shot!

    Oh, I was a supporter of the Adelaide team (mainly because I was living in Adelaide when MRR was aired), so it was sad to know that they had to close down Greedy Goose.

    Also, did you ask Evan whether he’s still with Belle/Bella (or sth like that)? And do you know that the French chef who used to work at Pink Salt is now with Le Pelican in Surry Hills?

  4. Phuoc

    Oh man.. that moment had to be one of the funniest in my life.. I was in a state of hysterical shock! But thanks for your comment..

    I wish they would make more seasons of MRR; I really enjoyed following it. How are you finding MKR? No I didn’t know that Jean Francois is at Le Pelican.. I must try it out now; the restaurant looks great! I didn’t ask Evan but there’s an article on their website saying that the pressure of running a business (especially in hospitality) placed a strain on their relationship and that they are no longer together. But it’s good to see that they are still business partners

  5. Kellie

    Sounds fun, wish I knew it was there when I was living around the corner last week. It is funny how people from outside the east see us. Went to North Bondi Italian on Tuesady, location is great on the north wall over bondi, but food was okay. Jon was very disappointed. Cafe Sopra was better last Saturday, you must go there! Zucchini flower fritters to die for!

  6. Phuoc

    What a bummer! I guess it could be the same for us in the west.. People may think that there are drug dealers and gangsters around all the time (especially in Cabramatta) but it’s far from the truth – it has cleaned up its image within the last decade or so.

    Mmm… Zucchini flowers

  7. Belle@OohLook

    I used to love MRR! I even saw the Melbourne restaurant after it closed. It was very sad, all empty and dusty… Good to see that Pink Salt lives on. It’s very Double Bay, isn’t it? Food looks pretty good, and very pretty, haha!

  8. Lorraine @NotQuiteNigella

    I remember this show! I saw the Sydney winners at westfield BJ in the homewares dept and it took me ages to place where I had seen them. Good to know that the food is good, that chicken breast does look very nice! 😀

  9. Trissa

    I never knew that they were in the TV Series! Looks like you were right – maybe they do deserve to have won but I guess the best prize is staying open! 🙂 The chicken breast looks fab!

  10. Phuoc

    Belle: Don’t you agree that they should bring back MRR? Yeah everything was so pretty at that restaurant, sums up Double Bay quite well.. 🙂

    Lorraine: Their menu is pretty decent and they change it according to the seasons; so the more reason to try it out 🙂

    Trissa: The owners started off as a couple but now they are no longer together. They still own the business together and that’s a good thing as that means they are devoted to keeping this restaurant despite their differences..

  11. San

    Drools…..!!! Drool factor: 10!

  12. Phuoc

    Thanks darling!

  13. Larina

    Great review. I’ve been wanting to dine at Pink Salt ever since the MRR days. One day…. 🙂

  14. Phuoc

    Thanks Larina! The MRR days are long gone.. But now that we know how to drive and such, you should venture out there one day for lunch or so. It’s very nice.

  15. Gourmet Food


  16. Phuoc

    You’re welcome..

  17. Amy @ cookbookmaniac

    Cool. Thanks for the review. It all looks like so much fun and very refreshing.

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