When cousins Stefano de Blasi and Edoardo Perlo came to Australia to chase the summer, they ended up staying for a lot longer than they expected. Hailing from the town of Alassio in Liguria by the Italian Riviera, the duo was accustomed to the trappings of warmer weather, including picturesque beaches, cold drinks and plenty of colour. It’s no wonder that the two decided to stay, but when they started up Salt Meats Cheese as an Italian grocer within Sydney’s Grounds of Alexandria they discovered their purpose. Five Sydney and one Surfers Paradise restaurant later and the duo have finally brought Salt Meats Cheese to Brisbane, opening up a swish and airy venue at Haven next to Newstead’s Gasworks. The fit-out has been assembled in partnership with Clui Designs and includes the hallmarks of the Alassio aesthetic – light cherry wood tables, a colour palette of white, light grey and blue, floral murals, greenery and as much seating outside as there is inside to catch errant breezes coming off the river.
The food and drink
Northern-Italian cuisine is notably lighter than some of the heavier dishes made popular in Italy’s southern regions. It’s this style of dining that Salt Meats Cheese offers, with this new location taking advantage of the best Queensland produce with an emphasis on freshness. Like any good Italian meal, the key is to share – so don’t be afraid to order a few different things. We are loving the sound of entrees such as gnocchi fritto (fried gnocchi) with Parma prosciutto and stracchino cheese and the fried prawns and calamari with lime mayo, but we’re never ones to say no to an antipasto board, either. The pasta proves tempting with the likes of pappardelle with lamb shoulder ragu tantalising our tastebuds, but the white and red-base pizzas – cooked fresh in a pizza oven imported from Verano – are equally tempting. Salt Meats Cheese also serves up vegan and dairy-free pizzas, as well as pizzas with gluten-free bases so no one is left out. The drinks are also pretty damn enticing, with an ever-expanding range of signature cocktails, Australian and imported wines, local craft beers and digestives to choose from. Of special note are the gelato-infused cocktails, which mix peach and kaffir sorbets from La Macelleria into two refreshing bellini varieties, as well as an espresso martini blended with salted-caramel gelato.
Salt Meats Cheese is looking to reconnect with its providore roots by introducing a selection of meats, cheeses and freshly made sandwiches available to purchase on site and online, in addition to its established grazing-table catering service. Lunch deals are available during the week, and the La Macelleria cart parked out front stocks a range of flavours for patrons to purchase. For more contact details and opening hours, check out Salt Meats Cheese in the Stumble Guide.