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Review for Salt Tapas & Bar

3.6

Eatability rating

27 reviews

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AustralianEuropeanMediterraneanSpanishWestern
Address: #01-22A, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, 179103
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09 Aug 2014
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Big portions, quality food - just avoid those sumac meatballs!

I've had my eye on this place for a while, as it is situated right near where I work.

To get the full narrative review and lots of photos, please visit my blog:

http://www.thedarksmile.com/blog/review-of-salt-tapas-by-luke-mangan-01-22a-raffles-city-shopping-centre-252-north-bridge-road-singapore

We went for the truffle fries, wagyu sausages with polenta (a special), pork belly sliders, and the haloumi and chickpeas.  All excellent, and generous portions (we probably over-ordered).

But we also made the mistake of choosing the sumac meatballs: these were, frankly, weird-tasting, and the meat was too moist and crumbly.  I would avoid these at all costs!

We rounded it off with the dulce de leche semifreddo with strawberries: another success.

I do recommend Salt Tapas, just not those meatballs... and do get them to triple-confirm your reservation (and you WILL need a reservation, most nights), as they had no record of mine when I arrived...
Must Tries
Wagyu sausages and polenta
Average Spend
$139 for 2 pax
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The great sangria challenge!

For pictures and more reviews, visit my blog at ms-skinnyfat.blogspot.com

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!

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Meh. Disappointing afternoon tea.

Full review and photos HERE
 
 We headed over to Salt Tapas & Bar on Christmas Eve to try out their afternoon tea sets. Unfortunately, it was… Christmas Eve, and they didn’t have that. It being Christmas Eve and there being people everywhere, we decided to stick with the place and order off the standard menu.
 
 The food was mehhh. While the food had all the makings of fancy, and the presentation good, the flavours were unequivocally… disappointing. In conclusion, below average, but this could be because we only had the bar bites menu they serve in the afternoon, and not the proper tapas they are supposedly famous for.
 
 I'm not sure if we'd give this another go for dinner though...
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A good set lunch option at City Hall

I don’t know why, but I only just discovered the amazing set lunch menu at Salt Tapas & Bar. At around $35++, the set lunch comprised a starter, a main, and a side dish and was a good deal especially when compared to the a la carte prices.

I definitely made a great choice on my main dish, but as for the side, not so much. See what we ate and find out what was absolutely worth your money (and what isn't).
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Average food but ok for chill out at lunch

The food tasted average to me. However ambience was not bad for lunch. Food presentation was not bad too. The seafood paella's seasoning had too strong a mustard taste for my liking. And the churros taste like the typical flour taste you get when you buy churros from stalls. However their Parmesan truffle fries were nice.
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Good food, average service and lame drinks

The food is very good, we definitely appreciated the food. However the service and the cocktail are very disappointing.
 The bar has the nice and modern Spanish vibe, however the service from the staff is similar to what you get from the Asian eateries downstairs.
 The first round cocktail coming from the bar made us wonder- Did we order a 'Long Island Iced tea' or we order a 'Lemon Iced tea'? I order a margarita and it was tasteless, and it’s full of ice cubes in the cup. I have never had a margarita like this.
 After we talked to the manager, she asked the bar to make the drinks for us again. This time, it tasted so much better.
 We decided to order one more each since we are having a good time and enjoying the drinks. Well, the Long island iced tea turned back to Lemon Iced tea this round! My margarita still tasted ok though, but different.
 It is just too much effort and hard work if every time we need a decent drink, we need to get the manager involved.
 So we decided to leave..
 When we asked for the bill and presented our privilege card, the staff went away and came back 10 minutes later - 'sorry this card has expired in 2014'.. I was confused, so I asked 'Are you sure? We only got this card in 2015 though’? Then the staff said: ' don't yell at me, you can talk to my manager'.. What a great problem solver... and just for the record, I wasn't yelling at him.. :-) The manager later came over and explained the mistake was due to their systems not synced, so they couldn’t see this card in the system.. I still wonder how the ‘your card expired in 2014’ excuse came up when the staff couldn’t even see the card in the system?
 I don't think I will go back to this place.. Although I did enjoy the food and the atmosphere.. But I don’t enjoy it when service is bad and drinks are watered down...