Worth its Salt
Salt, famous for bringing the food truck trend rolling into the UAE, has now introduced an indoor dining area: enjoy quality burgers in a beach setting, while beating the heat
I admit I was more than curious about trying out Salt. And that was only heightened by the intriguing #findsalt hashtags that seemed to be trending on just about every social media platform. After all, why does a person have to hunt down his or her meal? Well, the answer, as I soon realised, all boils down to a fairly new concept in the UAE - the rise of the food trucks.
One of the first joints to introduce the food truck concept in the UAE in 2013, Salt has already set itself apart from the pack. But this is a brand determined to pull out all stops when it comes to being unique, so it introduced yet another innovation: it became the region's first 'treasure hunt' restaurant on wheels. This is no run-of-the-mill fare, limited to hungry beachgoers who can't quite will themselves to get up and buy a real meal. No, those wanting a taste of a Salt fare have to earn their grub.
With the summer upon us, Salt has now extended its staying power with the help of a makeshift, air-conditioned indoor dining area on Kite Beach in Jumeirah - The Beach House, as they call it - thus putting an end to the 'treasure hunt on wheels'. However, it does give us a slightly more permanent destination for late-night burger cravings.
Which is why my dinner date and I couldn't wait to check it out. Finding the place was a bit tricky (but hey, if we didn't have any trouble, we wouldn't have the satisfaction of saying we "found salt!"). On getting there, you realise how much more than a food truck it is - well-lit, with a large seating area and plenty of potted palms. While few diners decided to brave the heat and sit outdoors, a majority of them opted for The Beach House, which is as minimalistic as it gets. See-through glass walls, crate-inspired furniture and a pineapple for a centerpiece give the place a laidback feel.
Salt has also managed to preserve the seaside experience - those entering The Beach House will find themselves standing directly on the sand. If this isn't beach chic, I don't know what is.
The menu, much like the interiors, is minimalistic and unfussy. There are three options for sliders, three options for fries and two options for drinks (unless you're counting water or soda). My dining partner opted for the Cheetos Chicken Burger and was quite delighted to discover actual Cheetos nestled within the burger, making it a crunchy, delectable treat. The Original, which I went for, was perfectly cooked Wagyu beef served with melted cheese and pickles - undoubtedly one of the best sliders I've tasted this side of town. The fries were good too - not quite mind-blowing - but a neat accompaniment. Things can get a bit messy though, with the food being delivered in brown paper bags rather than the usual tray.
When it comes to the drinks, the Pink Lemonade is a decent bet for those parched, but it was the Lotus Milkshake that impressed. I also tried the vanilla flavoured one, and although I'm not really a milkshake kind of person, this was something unique - a thick, not-too-sweet shake with the subtle taste of caramel and crushed cookies. Delicious.
Salt has all the makings of a favourite hangout - it's low-key, fun, and value-for-money. Sure, there's no cutlery involved whatsoever, and most of the other diners will probably be barefoot, but that just means it's the perfect place to kick off your own shoes, grab some grub and join your friends for an evening of fuss-free gorging.