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We headed down to Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan's Salt Tapas & Bar at Raffles City Shopping Centre for our catch up session. Luke is also behind the Salt Grill at Ion Orchard (which has an awesome view) but Salt tapas definitely has a more relaxed atmosphere. The mix of warm lights, raw brick walls, Spanish tiles and wooden table tops radiates a laid-back ambience. We decided to sit at the alfresco section where we had a barrel for a tabletop and high stools for our bums. That gave us a good view of the Raffles hotel minus all that Cityhall crowd.
The food is an Australian style tapas with Middle Eastern and North African influence. There are only a few dishes reminded us of Spanish tapas e.g. Chorizo and Iberico ham. That was pretty fine with us since our main course was in fact the sangria and the food was just to prep our tummies for the drinking ahead. :)
For starters, we had the Oyster in chickpea cumin batter and tzatziki ($5 each). I must say that the oysters are really puny. I could hardly taste much of it but the chickpea tempura batter was light and buttery. The tzatziki at the end was refreshing even though the taste was a little bland. We kinda like this but wished it the oysters were bigger.
We also had the truffle fries which were a miss ($10). Could hardly taste the truffle oil and the fries were soggy after a while. I must say PS cafe
still has one of the better shoestring truffle fries. The Coastal Settlement
also has yummy truffle fries.
Tapas- Soft shell prawns with chilli and garlic aioli ($15). Crispy fried shrimps tossed with a salt and spice mix, Chinese Canto style. Perfect savory snack to go with beer or in our case, sangria. I'm usually uncomfortable about eating the entire prawn with head and all but these were crispy enough to eat and the meat were still juicy. The aioli dip is a tad heavy and kinda masks the taste of the prawns but it's nice if you just add a dash.
We love the chewy, sinewy texture of the BBQ spiced beef tongue with fried cauliflower, pistachio tabbouleh and harissa yogurt ($14). Tongue can be kinda iffy but trust me you will fall in love after eating it. The chewy texture is kinda like pig's liver (another iffy thingy) but liver is a little more powdery. This is chunky, moist and somewhat tender. This dish is definitely Moroccan inspired. Love the mix of pistachio tabbouleh with the yogurt but the sourish cream kinda overpowers the meat. The pistachio tabbouleh reminded me of my favorite Walnut cake at Pasha (read about it here
). Nevertheless, it's definitely a healthier substitute for mayonnaise. Really interesting dish.
The highlight of the night was obviously the Sangria! How can you do Ladies' night without drinks right? The economists in us decided to go for the Punch Bowl ($70) because 2 glasses per pax ($17/glass) would already cover the cost of the Bowl. That was despite knowing that we could never ever finish it. 4 freaking litres of Sangria! I had 5 glasses and Z another 4 and it was still half full/half empty.
Read on about my full experience at Salt Tapas here