Oh my god. It’s a miracle. Han’s written some words, so it means she must have eaten something seriously good. A four month blogging hiatus apparently would make it seem I haven’t eaten good food in a while (and definitely not because I got p****ed off and fell off the bandwagon…)
So Salcooks is definitely worthy of the return blog.
They’re even more worthy of my rare, one day ‘lunch out’, on two recent consecutive Thursdays.
Tucked under the cool, damp arches of the JQ, particularly damp during this drizzly October spell, just up from Indian Brewery, Sals feels like a lunchtime hug.
The food is so lovingly homemade, with warmth, care and all that good stuff but also punch and flavour, served with the biggest smile from Sal herself. A Portgueuse-British affair, they’re open only during weekday lunchtimes, their daily menu shared via Instagram always featuring fresh & interesting salads (usually vegan), yummy pies and sandwiches, light snacks like croquettes, and a hot special every day.
The first Thursday in my consecutive run I made the mistake of appearing under the arches post 1 o clock, and missed out on the veggie chilli I had worked my belly up to since my 10am menu study. The second week, a fool no more.
I get straight down there for the fejoida (pronounced so saucily by Sally as fej-wada, putting my simple ‘hot stuff’ ordering to shame); a chunky stew of pork belly, chorizo, beans and veg, served with a super generous portion of sourdough on the side for dips.
Be the woman who makes sure you get your ‘good few fair chunks of chorizo’ without even having to ask. Yes Sal.
It was similar to a minestrone in content, but as thick as a stew, with a strong, tender meaty base, supported by a chorus of vegetables like carrot, savoy cabbage and topped with coriander to make your heart smile. I love beany, chunky things and this was beautifully both.
Also thoroughly enjoyable (the first week’s choice after my regrettably tardy arrival for hot stuff), was this salad pot, made up of roasted harissa aubergine, chickpeas, pickled cabbage, rocket, herbs and rice. Noms.
I *probably* didn’t need the chorizo croquette on the side as this was a proper salad portion, leaving me satsified and pretty full for once. As lovely as they probably are hot, these croquettes did not add an awful lot to the salad, instead I wished I stayed vegan for the entirety.
Also, no words needed about these bad boys. You’ve probably most definitely heard about Sal’s pastels de nata – who needs Lisbon when you’ve got Sal? Mate. Just go get get one, or four and at least pretend you’re sharing them round the office for afternoonsies.
Not forgetting the pies, far from boring sandwiches made on their own Madeiran ‘Bolo de Caco’ bread and other sweet stuff piled high on the counter before you.
All round, a very satisfying lunch spot indeed.Venture to Arch 33 and you’ll leave with the contented feeling you’ve most definitely made Sal smile, whilst you too skip away with your merry lunch bag.
Round the corner from Snow Hill (the back entrance) and Indian Brewery.
Card only, open 11.30-14.30 Monday-Friday.
Insta is the one you’ll need for menu hook-ups: @salcooks