TO HAMILTON then – suddenly, the land of the big bao bun which, if you didn’t already know, is a puffy, white, steamed doughy thang which has lately enjoyed much success in America.

But here, tonight, on this corner of splendid Cadzow Street with all its stunning architectural beauty, it’s not having the same immediate impact.

“Ugh,” says Garry, “I don’t like the texture of that.”And he promptly tips six whole quids’ worth of crispy duck, round lettuce, hoisin this and hoisin that, sesame, pickled cucumber, Uncle Tom Cobley and all onto his plate.

Then tosses aside the poor, misunderstood bun. I feel a deep sigh welling within. Fortunately there are two more of these white folded pillows stuffed, squirted, squeezed and teased into giant toast rack contraptions and having alternatively soft shelled crab and prawn katsu fillings.

Taste? The bun is so neutral, so tasteless, it’s astonishing it hasn’t featured on a McDonald’s kids’ menu yet, but that comforting texture, suddenly enveloping crunch, then sharpness, soothing mayo action, pickley cucumber moments ... was that the prawn there?

Well, it works for me. I have eaten both bao before I even realise I didn’t pause to assess the soft-shell-crab, one of the world’s biggest culinary banana skins.

Oh well, must have been fine. Salt, then. Hugely popular I know from the people yada, yada-ing it to me. It’s certainly Japanese in theory, but not really judging by what I see looking around.

There are big, blousy Cherry blossom blooms by way of cultural decor, high windows, a low sushi prep area, up-down seating sections, lots of people in even on a Tuesday night. I spy, at least one off-duty and top-operative Daily Record reporter and over there – isn’t that a very senior civil servant?

Beef and shiitake yakitori slide off the skewers and down the cakeholes in a series of quick, greedy gulps. Good caramelised meats, sugary sauces, slippery mayos get the grunt, nod, grunt of approval.

A weird Korean corndog (battered Korean sausage on a stick) is gone too in a series of swift one-twos with crisp fries draped in a piping hot Japanese curry sauce. Get that before it congeals. Sticky-fingered raids continue, this time on a £5 log of California roll, made £1.50 more expensive by the addition of Salt’s crunch topping: sweet soy, fried onions and sriracha mayo. Phew.

At one point there is so much food on this table, we can’t see its veneer. At another point I have to admit I’m confounded by how much of this we are actually eating, especially having at first sat down and thought – uh-oh, big menus almost always equal bad restaurants.

Spicy shrimp half rolls, spicy tuna half rolls at six bangers each arrive. I manage to eat a whole side dish of moist, seared, chicken karaage (£6) without Bao Boy Garry even noticing.

Not all of it is finished, of course, but sprawling back waiting for the dessert (a must-try according to a couple of incoming messages) I’m trying to put my finger on Salt’s secret sauce, because – yes, pretty much everything on that giant menu is available elsewhere.

Here’s what I think it is. They have done what, and this never ceases to amaze me, virtually no other new restaurant on Planet Scotland ever thinks of doing.

They’ve created a unique selling point. Yes, it’s 20 years since David Chang’s Momofuku Pork Bao Buns electrified New York and yes, they’ve been around here too. But not as the main event, the USP, the memorable moment in a world full of instantly filling and usually very forgettable food.

That dessert then? Fried bao bun apple pie. Madder than a box of frogs, yes – but even after all the earlier bun action its crisp coating, soft centre, tart apple filling, dollops of that salty Biscoff crumb that’s everywhere and then lumps of cooling ice cream and caramel turn it into a sure-fire talker. Which is exactly what Salt is.

115 Cadzow Street

Open: seven days
Tel: Book online –

Menu: Big menus usually mean bad restaurants but not here where they have turned the old Bao Bun gig into a triumph and still manage to make sure the sushi, the sides and all look good. 4/5

Service: Pleasant and efficient, order taken in a warm and cheery way. 4/5

Price: It all adds up but what doesn’t, so with Bao from £6 to £9, half sushi at similar prices and even big bowls not hitting big prices it’s all-round reasonable. 4/5

Atmosphere: this corner of Cadzow Street is a lovely spot and the restaurant in a grand building manages to slide comfortably away from any bar vibes and into easy eating. 4/5

Food: They have a unique selling point, and they present those Bao Buns well, sushi was good and fresh, even the gloopy fries arrived looking crisp. Pretty decent stuff. Fun vibe. 8/10