I know Salt isn’t exactly NEW news in Abu Dhabi, but some may not be aware that you no longer need to #findsalt. Gone are the days of hunting down the once-elusive food truck via hashtag trail to nosh on gourmet burgers before it rolled on to the next location. Although Salt is still housed in the silver bullet of a food truck, it is now stationed at the new Mushrif Central Park. There’s been some speculation that they were only here during the Ripe night market, but the park is now their permanent home.
It’s quite a nice location and definitely reminds me of similar set-ups back home in the States, so it was a good reminiscent experience of living in a place where more daily life happens outdoors. However, given that it is now June and the temperature is already above 35°C, I’m not sure how practical this will be as the heat really soars. The giant misting fans throughout the eating area certainly helped, and I was almost able to finish my meal before getting too uncomfortably hot to enjoy the outdoors. I did notice that most customers were getting their orders to go, perhaps I should have followed suit but I wanted the whole food truck experience and, minus the heat, it was really nice.
All burger orders at Salt come in pairs; two smallish sliders ordered either as singles or doubles – I went for the double original. On sight, they definitely have that fresh made-to-order look: the burgers are not uniformly shaped and the meat is loose, allowing for more moisture and juices to be retained in the wagyu patty. These burgers remind me of Shake Shack more than anything else in that the meat is rich and juicy on soft but substantial potato buns. Salt hit a couple big positives compared to the Shack in that the meat is a bit less rich, which is sometimes a good thing, and the portion is more on point for me. With Shake Shack, I am usually left wanting more after one burger, even if I order a double. But then when I do order another one, I’m too full. So it’s hard to get exactly the right ratio. Salt’s two sliders seemed to be just the right amount. I still had another burger to look forward to after finishing the first and I left full, but not overly stuffed. Two sliders are roughly the same price as one Shack burger, so your stomach can be full before your wallet is empty.
The fries at Salt are also quite good, I like the added flavor that comes from leaving the potato skins on. It also reconfirms the message that everything is fresh, rather than the unnatural shapes or uniform color of frozen fries. But as with most burger joints the burger is the real attraction here, as it should be. And they don’t seem to try and portray it otherwise as you won’t find much else on the menu other than a “Cheetos chicken burger” (which sounds interesting but not enough for me to be enticed to try), drinks, and a shake. I imagine this has more to do with the fact that their entire kitchen is between two axles, but I rather appreciate the simplicity and no-frills approach which focuses on what people are there for; the burgers.
I still love Shake Shack, as well as other gourmet burgers here in Abu Dhabi. Salt is a very welcome and tasty addition to that line-up and one I plan to include in my rotation when I’m craving a really good burger. Eating outside and the novelty of the food truck scene definitely gives Salt an added advantage over the others in terms of overall experience, but that will soon diminish as the rising temperature makes air-conditioned malls a more attractive option. Nonetheless, these twin burgers will likely have me doing the drive-up/takeaway thing if they’re still at Mushrif Central Park this summer, and if not, they might just leave me hoping to #findsalt.