Compliments to the chef as Denmark restaurant Pepper and Salt listed in top spots across Australia

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Shannon SmithAlbany Advertiser
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Denmark-based chef Silas Masih.
Camera IconDenmark-based chef Silas Masih. Credit: Laurie Benson/Albany Advertiser, Laurie Benson

Pepper and Salt has been ranked among the top restaurants in the country in Tripadvisor’s 2021 Travellers’ Choice Awards.

The Denmark restaurant came fifth in Australia in the fine dining category of the annual Tripadvisor awards, based on the quality and quantity of online reviews. From 515 reviews, Pepper and Salt has a 4.5-star rating.

Owner and chef Silas Masih said the customer-driven award meant more to him than a typical restaurant award.

“It is always good to get an accolade or an award from people who have eaten your food, know your service and know the hard work and effort that goes on behind the scenes,” he said.

“Food is culture for me, having grown up in Fiji with Fiji and Indian heritage, it is so much about family and including people like they are my family in the restaurant. That is the really cool thing about this award, it’s like your family saying well done and we love you. That means more to me than a physical award.”

After 15 years in the region, Masih said his passion for food is as strong as ever.

“Exciting people and infusing people with my passion for spice and food and stories and laugher — that’s what I thrive on,” he said.

“I thrive on seeing smiling faces in the restaurant. I just want customers to come in and enjoy our hospitality and love for food, keeping it real and soulful and spicy.”

The restaurant is closed until September for its annual break.

“The forecast is for a busy summer ahead so we are putting systems in place now in regards to staffing in readiness for a busy summer,” he said.

COVID-19 has made things tough for the restaurant industry but it has also presented opportunities for regional WA.

“A restaurant’s success is based on a team effort, and over the last two years the industry has suffered terribly with shortages of staff across the board, but I am so lucky that I have got some key people into roles that have stood by me,” Masih said.

“One of the good things about COVID-19 was introducing new people to the Great Southern, Denmark and Albany, and specifically to the restaurant.”

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