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Souped-up seafront dining: we check out The Salt Room Restaurant in Brighton

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OK, we admit it, even on holiday we find it hard to turn off. So when a half-term trip down to Brighton coincided with the first day of official service at The Salt Room, we couldn't resist popping in to try it out.

This new seafront spot is by the folk behind Brighton’s award-winning (runner-up in the 2013 OFM Awards for Best Restuarant) The Coal Shed Restaurant. Owner Razak Helalat has brought in Darius Tamadon Nejad - previously Group GM at Mark Hix restaurants to run front of house with Alex Palumbo, previously at Hakkasaan and Zuma in charge of the bar. 

As with the original resturant the menu focuses on seafood and grilled meat. And it's in an enviable position, right on the seafront, opposite the West Pier and tucked into the frontage by the Hilton Metropole.

Inside there's a large dining room split into two parts - the top section by the window will be the area to try and get a table at - and when the weather gets better they'll be able to seat a further 55 on the terrace, which is going to be fully heated and open March - October. We hear that a Big Green Egg might be employed to knock up specials like grilled sardines, which definitely sounds worth returning for.

On our visit, we worked our way through a menu which ticked most of today's current trends, so there was an Asian twist to the beef tartare (£8) which had been seriously pepped up with egg yolk jam, burnt spring onion, ponzu and sesame. Rib eye steak was cooked on the Josper and charcoal mayonnaise is served up with the lobster. Our mains were thoughtful and well executed - we loved the shrimp and crab burger with kimchi slaw (£14) and the braised oxtail that came with the halibut (£20).

But perhaps the best was left till last with dessert proving incredibly inventive, rivalling and surpassing anything we'd had in London this year. Our younger guests loved their Taste of the Pier (£16 for two) - served on a driftwood board from the West Pier and containing candy floss, salt caramel and chocolate 99 cones, rum and coconut marshmallows, doughtuts, chocolate pebbles and honeycomb. And my dish of Sussex honey ice-cream, wrapped in a milkskin dumpling and served with a toasted rice milkshake (£6.50) was a showstopper all of its own.

The Salt Room Restaurant is at 106 Kings Road, Brighton BN1 2FU

Hot Dinners ate as guests of The Salt Room. Prices were correct at the time of writing. 

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