Ending the week at Salt Tapas & Bar

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This is how one should end the week – with a nice cold drink! In my case, it’s a glass of frozen lime Daiquiri (S$15++) at Salt Tapas & Bar.  I’ve always been meaning to try the food out here but one of my directors had said that the food was so-so while my bro and his friends also gave that same review.

Nonetheless, I would like to try it out for myself since they do have a steady flow of customers and it is by a ‘celebrity’ chef Luke Mangan.  So Mel Li and I headed over for a nice Friday dinner.  First dish on our table was the Chicken Liver and Foie Gras Parfait with Pear Chutney & Toasted Brioche (S$18++).

This is perfect for 2 people who love foie gras! The brioche was nicely toasted and still soft.  The foie gras was not too rich and the pear chutney balanced all the flavours.  I can imagine washing this down with beer as well…but I always prefer the cocktails.

The dish above was the first thing that really caught my eye when we were seated.  Why? Because it is a Wagyu veal sausage with capers and chilli on soft polenta (S$18++ for the small portion).  Mel Li and I had some similar as well as opposing views on this dish and I think our conversation below will better explain:

Me:  Ooh…yum!
Mel Li:  Hmm…it is yummy but the spice from the chilli takes away the wagyu flavour.
Me:  But I really like the slight chilli taste and I thought that it’s what made this really yummy!
Mel Li:  But you can’t really taste the wagyu…
Me:  I think I know what you mean…this could be any type of beef. Doesn’t need to be wagyu.  Maybe it’s wagyu to just hook suckers like me.  But the polenta is super yummy!!
Mel Li:  Yes! I love it!

Yup, there’s cheese in the polenta.  It’s really delicious and if you want to know how it tastes like, iImagine super silky mash with cheese.  Yup, that’s how this polenta tasted.

To balance the meat, we ordered the Salt & Pepper Squid with lime mayo (S$20++). Both of us liked that you could taste the pepper in the batter as other Salt & Pepper squid dishes tend to be more salt than pepper.  The squid was cooked perfectly and is served resting on the lime mayo.  That made it a bit sad because you could hardly get a nice dousing of the mayo for the top layer of calamari.  We had to ask for a separate sauce plate of the lime mayo.  It’s really pricey at S$20++ per serving and I couldn’t help but think that we should’ve ordered the prawns paella (S$38++) instead.

We also ordered the Asparagus & Beetroot salad (S$10++) where there is an official number of TWO asparagus spears.  Only the head of the spears.  Wow.  It’s supposed to be the highlight of the dish (it is called Asparagus & Beetroot after all) but only 2 spears??

Overall, the experience was an expensive one but it was not too bad.  The staff was efficient to a fault.  They are very eager to clear your plates and when it approaches 10.30pm, be prepared to feel like you’re being chased out.  The bill will come at 11pm.  It’s a bar but it operates more like a normal restaurant so forget about nursing your drink but think of Salt Tapas & Bar as a place to fill your tummy.

I don’t know whether I’ll visit again because the overall experience for me was a little mixed.  On a cool day (like today), it is perfect to dine al fresco with the drinks and tapas. As such, I did enjoy sitting outside while we wined and dined.  However, the wait staff didn’t make me feel very welcomed.  They were polite but there is a sense of forced courtesy from some of them.  I reckon that you should go to Salt Tapas & Bar in a group of 3 or more because you’ll then be able to sample more tapas without really breaking the bank.  Nonetheless, I also think that this is a place to chill out on a Friday evening when you really want to semi-treat yourself.

Salt Tapas & Bar by Luke Mangan
252 North Bridge Road
#01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre
Singapore 179103

Website:  http://salttapas.com/contact-reservation/ 
Tel:  +65 6837 0995

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