If you work in Leeds business district and your lunch option of choice is a Boots meal deal, then you can't know about Salt's Delicatessen. If you do and still go for the £2.99 packaging feast, then quite frankly you ought to be locked in a walk-in fridge with Ramsay, Fearnley-Whittingstall and Pierre-White and beaten with the full force of their combined gastro-fascism. And a baguette.
The jewel in the Salt's lunch crown though is the hot daily specials. The summer chicken casserole I had the other day was a delight. Tender chicken with smoky bacon and chunky seasonal veg in a creamy tarragon sauce with roast new potatoes all for £2.50.
For those that don't know, Salt's Deli is a Spanish-style delicatessen tucked just around the corner from The Cockpit in the heart of Leeds's answer to The City. It's an incongruous little place nestled amongst the soulless high rises, but this cosy food outlet is releasing its warm gastronomic delight onto an otherwise aloof corner of the city centre.
No relation to the Salts Diner recently reviewed by Hazel Davis on this site, Salt's Deli is a grammatically sound establishment that specialises in all manner of locally sourced, expertly selected and freshly prepared fine foodstuffs. Opened in May 2005, it is the baby of Bruce Salt, a former tax advisor whose passion for food and Mediterranean travels inspired him to ditch accountancy in favour of bringing a flavour of independent, Spanish-style food retail to Leeds.
The result is an attractive delicatessen offering foods you definitely won't find in Tesco. Cheery, knowledgeable staff serve behind a raised counter in front of shelves stocked to the ceiling with chutneys, pickles, olive oils and wines.
Big bunches of deep red dried chillis and paella pans hang above the counter top where glazed fruit frangipanes, chocolate brownie slabs and large, moist-looking cubes of toffee and walnut cake are ready to satisfy mid-afternoon sugar cravings.
It is cheese and meat that maketh a deli and Salt's knows this. Local cheese treasures Yorkshire Blue and Hawes Wensleydale sit alongside six month mature Spanish sheep's cheese, Manchego, and creamy Spanish goat's cheese, Murcia al Vino. For the meat there are hocks of English roast hams, Artisan Italian salamis, German smoked blacky ham and, of course, Spanish chorizos.
Lunch options are where they truly come into their own. Sandwiches range from classics such as mature cheddar and Elizabeth Smedley’s Yorkshire Dales Pickle (£2.35) to the specialities like Bresaola Italian cured beef, roasted courgette, parmesan flakes and rocket (£3.45) on their own baked ciabattas, as well as fresh salads and soups. The jewel in the Salt's lunch crown though is the hot daily specials. The summer chicken casserole I had the other day was a delight. Tender chicken with smoky bacon and chunky seasonal veg in a creamy tarragon sauce with roast new potatoes all for £2.50. Yep, I kid you not, a proper hot dinner for £2.50.
Still tempted by a limp egg mayonnaise sarnie and a packet of ready salted? Thought not. Head to Salt's, your appetite will thank you for it.
0113 243 2323
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