One of the chief architects of the success of Caprice Holdings must include Lee Bull, who has worked as head chef at Scott's, Le Caprice and in different capacities at all the Caprice portfolio restaurants. When we heard he was running a weekly supper club at Vintage Salt, which would involve him bringing back some of the classics from his time at Caprice holdings, we knew it was an opportunity not to be missed.
Unlike the restaurants where he was a head chef previously, Vintage Salt is very much a relaxed and serene experience based on the feel and decor of a Cornish Village. With retro Coca Cola posters, rowing oars and vintage model ships, the restaurant has a distinctly traditional nautical theme.
There was a definite summer feel to the menu we tried, from the refreshingly welcoming watermelon Bellini to the dining options on the 3 course menu. A generous piece of premium roasted foie gras, rich and indulgent, was complemented with the sweetness from the apricot Gallette and contrasted with bitter leafs. Ingredients have been rarely matched as supremely well as in this dish.
The main course we went with was roasted cod, razor clam Thermidor and shellfish dressing – it was evident Lee Bull had kept his well-connected suppliers contact list from the days of working for Caprice Holdings. With seafood from Capital, which also supplies Scott's, it was a masterclass in letting fresh ingredients speak for themselves. The cod was melt-in-your mouth buttery, whilst the razor clam had the gentle chew you would expect from freshly cooked mollusc.
The outstanding meal ended with a classic Cornish custard tart, which was intricately made without being overly sweet. What was surprising was the fact that the small white strawberry on the tart actually costed £2 according to Lee Bull when he came out to answer a few questions from the assembled food writers. Given that the dessert costs £5 to diners, it showed Lee's dedication to creating the perfect dish regardless of costs.
There will be a revolving list of guest chefs who will appear at the Vintage Salt Supper Club on Wednesdays, including Steve Tonkin who has worked in various Michelin-starred restaurants before joining Soho House and Co. Get in touch with Vintage Salt to check out their latest guest chef and making a booking today.
Words by Baldwin Ho
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