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    Salt stone cooking picks up steam at Radisson Blu Hotel GRT’s new restaurant, Salt Co 531

    SALT3I’m a little thrown by the interiors. Namely the white male forms looming from images that I am later told represent salt mines. That, at least, sounds thematically appropriate for a restaurant named Salt Co 531. The kitchen and bar with 75 covers is the new all-day dining destination at Radisson Blu Hotel GRT on GST Road that replaces the Garden Cafe. As the name suggests, Salt Co 531 is mostly about salt — pink Himalayan salt to be precise. The restaurant’s USP is food cooked on pink Himalayan salt slabs, apart from 15 different organically mined salts from across the world that are used in cooking the dishes — from kala namak to Moroccan salt.

    On the cards
    The menu, which focusses on comfort food urges you to consult their selmelier for suggestions. Parminder, the aforementioned gentleman, brings me five different salts on a slab of salt. I get through three before I decide it’s time to get some real food. Executive sous chef Abhiram Gona suggests the margamdam soup (Rs 495) for my cold and F&B manager Makendra Singh recommends the Moroccan grilled chicken (`1,095) based on my fascination with the salt. The soup arrives in a mug with a papad cone filled with rice accompanying it. The pepper hits the back of my throat and for a few minutes I feel healthy again. The moment passes and I realise, the soup is missing something. Ironically enough, it’s salt.

    Finding balance
    A mammoth watermelon and feta salad follows, laid on a slab of pink Himalayan salt (Rs 495). It’s a meal by itself, competently done. I try the fabulous karuvapillai meen kuchi varuval (Rs 745), served like fish fingers with a lovely Chettinad aioli that could have had a smidgen less salt. The Moroccan grilled chicken is a disappointment — the lovely exterior betraying a dry, mealy interior. I seek consolation in the dark chocolate mousse (Rs 595) that seems forlorn atop a slab of salt. It’s grainy and cloyingly sweet. I discreetly lick my salt slab for relief before calling it a night.

    The restaurant is open from 12 pm to 12 am,  from August 3, and will serve breakfast and lunch buffets. Every half an hour the waiters congregate for a short dance or song. Details: 22310101

    — Ranjitha Gunasekaran

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