Michelin-starred chef Josh Eggleton goes back to basics with his new fish and chip shop, Salt & Malt…
You can’t beat a good old-fashioned fish and chip shop, but how many have you visited that boast a Michelin-starred chef at the helm? Not many, I wager. If your thoughts are flitting to fancy-pants fish and dressed up chips, think again – after attending the pre-launch party of Josh Eggleton’s Salt & Malt in Chew Valley it seems the impossible can be achieved: Michelin star quality, down to earth food.
His tea room, fish café and takeaway overlooking Chew Valley Lake, near Bristol, lies just a short stroll from Josh’s family-run pub in Chew Magna, so this is an area he knows and loves. The award-winning Pony & Trap, which boasts a Michelin star, has already succeeded in putting this rural village on the culinary map, and Salt & Malt is sure to further raise its profile.
The chippie opened first with its takeaway in late December, but the 2nd March marks the official opening of the restaurant. Josh explains: ‘This new venture is one in which my father, Chris Eggleton, and I have been working on with Bristol Water for over 12 months.’
With Salt & Malt, the 31-year-old chef is harking back to his roots: ‘I’ve always loved fish and chips as it’s where I started my career.’ Eggleton worked in Crispies fish and chips in Whitchurch, Bristol, when he was 15 years old.
The already popular teashop has been sympathetically revamped to include a marble countertop from Italy, comfortable booth seating and new bi-fold doors which open up to spectacular views of the lake. Much like the Pony & Trap, the place has a genuine down-to-earth feel.
As for the all-important food, ‘it is fish and chips, but with a focus on quality ingredients, fresh dining and sustainability. Everything will be handmade on site with fish delivered each day from Cornwall.”
And so professional were the staff that we never guessed that they had still been putting the finishing touches to the restaurant a matter of hours before we all arrived.
The gluten-free fish and chip menu is complemented by fresh mussels, squid, crab and line-caught fish. There are a few non-fish options, too – handmade burgers and sausages are sourced locally from The Story Farm and Blagdon Butchers, and home-baked cakes, quiches and sandwiches are also served through the day.
This is no ordinary chippy, that’s for sure, but, as at the Pony & Trap, the emphasis here is on simplicity and getting the basics right. Isn’t that what good food is all about?
Salt & Malt officially launches on 2nd March, and rumour has it that a site on Bristol Docks could be on the horizon…
Fans of Josh Eggleton keep reading:
Fed Up & Drunk ask Josh Eggleton some probing questions
Eggleton’s delicious pork shoulder with bubble and speak recipe
Getting tiddly at The Pony & Trap