Some months back, I attended a cooking workshop conducted by Chef Ronald Li, head chef of Salt Tapas & Bar where I got the chance to see him whip up some delicious brunch comfort food. This time, I was back for a tasting session following the launch of their new brunch menu.
Located at Raffles City just opposite the Raffles Hotel, Salt Tapas & Bar is a casual dining restaurant that exudes a modern Spanish vibe with a laid-back Aussie ambience. It specialises in tapas with an Australian twist.
Let’s take a look at their menu (click on image to enlarge):
Do note their brunch menu is only available on Saturday and Sunday from 11.30am to 3.00pm.
We started off with fresh juices that made the perfect pre-meal palate cleansers. On the left was Fruitango (S$8++ per glass) which was a combination of apple, lemon, lime, orange and pineapple juices. This was super refreshing as it had a tangy and deep citrusy flavour with all the goodness of immunity-boosting vitamins. On the right was Mr Romaine (S$8++ per glass) that consisted of romaine lettuce, celery and apple. It had a predominant flavour of celery and tasted somewhat grassy. I liked that the juices were kept all natural without added sugar, syrup or colouring.
Moving on to the starters…
These Pork belly sliders (S$13++) were filled with sliced pork belly (with slightly crispy crackling), BBQ pulled pork, pickled cucumber, chilli, red onion and coriander. They were like the mini burger versions of the banh mi. The sauce was savoury and packed full of flavour; the fresh chilli gave a welcoming spicy kick. The meat itself was tender and moist so every bite was a juicy one. Bread was also soft and pillowy. There wasn’t anything I didn’t like about these sliders. Highly recommended!
These Chilli salt and pepper squid ($14++) were fried to a lovely, light crisp. It had a distinctive yet balanced flavour of spiciness, saltiness and pepperiness. The accompanying yuzu mayo dip was a bit on the soury side and there was also a slight bitter aftertaste of the yuzu. However, the seasoning of the squid was tasty enough so there really wasn’t a need for any dipping sauce. My only gripe was that the squid was sliced too thin so it was sort of lacking in texture when I bit into it. Nonetheless, I thought this would make an ideal beer grub as it was still pretty addictive. Suggest to tuck into this as soon as it’s served because it loses its crisp pretty fast.
This was the Taco of tempura soft shell crab with pineapple salsa & wasabi mayo (S$14++). Every bite was like an explosion of flavours and textures – crispy soft shell crab, juicy salmon roe that popped in the mouth, tangy pineapple salsa and creamy mayo with a wasabi punch. The wasabi mayo was well balanced and tasted absolutely delicious. However, the soft shell crab had more batter than body which was a shame. Though it was quite a feat to hold up each messy taco, it was definitely worth getting our hands dirty for this.
Moving on to the brunch mains…
We were recommended their house favourite Club sandwich with Cajun fries (S$16++) that came filled with layers of bacon, omelette, chicken mayo, tomato slices and mesclun salad.
What I loved the most about this was the house-made olive bread that made it different from other regular club sandwiches. The bread was a little oily to the touch but it was really fragrant. Just a tad pity that some parts were burnt so that tasted bitter. The fries were really addictive – crispy, crunchy and very well seasoned – all were evenly coated with the cajun spice mix.
The Egg berentine with bonito flakes (S$14++) was an interesting combination of Egg Benedict and Egg Florentine with a fusion touch of Japanese cooking.
The eggs were cooked sous-vide before being poached and then paired with spinach, ham and a hollandaise sauce that was infused with dashi stock – all served atop house-made crumpets and garnished with bonito flakes. Egg with a runny centre – what’s not to like, really?
The Cigar omelette with mushroom cepe sauce and green onions (S$15++) was my favourite dish because it really brought the ordinary omelette to a whole new level with a touch of finesse. I could be biased because I love eggs a lot but this was just delicious.
The omelette was smooth and the inside was still wet and runny. It was like a soft-boiled egg version of an omelette. The sauce was made with cepe mushrooms, button mushrooms, butter, truffle sauce and dashi stock. Though overall it looked like a really simple dish, it had pretty amazing flavours. Highly recommended to all egg lovers!
And finally, we ended the meal with a sweet dish of French toast with Okinawa ice cream, clotted cream & jam (S$15++). This was still as good as the first time I sampled it during the cooking workshop. It was a french toast that didn’t taste bready and heavy at all. The house-made brioche had fully absorbed the custard so after it was pan-seared in butter and then baked in the oven, the exterior had a crispy crust whereas the interior remained soft, moist and pudding-like. The ice cream was made using Okinawa sugar from Japan which added this intense aroma to the dish. The house-made mango pineapple jam, clotted cream and grated Italian meringue also lent different dimensions to the toast. I could easily have another one of this to myself!
Tasty brunch fare. Reasonable pricing. Convenient location. Relaxing atmosphere. Who needs another reason to return? 😉
Salt Tapas and Bar
252 North Bridge Road
#01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre
Tel: +65 6837 0995
Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/SaltTapasAndBar
Mon-Thu: tapas 11.30am to 10.00pm, drinks till 11.30pm
Fri: tapas 11.30am to 11.00pm, drinks till 11.30pm
Sat: tapas 11.30am to 10.30pm, drinks till 11.30pm
Sun & PH: tapas 11.30am to 9.30pm, drinks till 10.00pm
Disclaimer: This was a hosted meal, courtesy of Salt Tapas & Bar. All opinions expressed on this post are author’s own personal views.
PS: Thank you Salt Tapas & Bar and FNPR team for the invite and hospitality.