Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Little Nibbles at Salt Tapas Bar by Luke Managan

Cute Cute and Cuchi were invited by Miss Saab to a private pre-opening food tasting session at Salt Tapas Bar helmed by celebrity chef Luke Managan, credited as a champion of Australian culinary culture on the international stage. He had successfully launched the fashionable Salt Grill & Sky Bar serving Mod Oz cuisine, complemented by panoramic views of Orchard on Level 55 of Ion Shopping Mall.

Salt Tapas Bar is his more casual joint at Raffles City Shopping Mall. But the food is no less stellar despite the more accessible vibe and tapas-style bites.

The lions were greeted by rustic red brick walls with patches of greens that made up the exterior of the restaurant. The interior was reminiscent of a casual European bistro with high ceilings, wooden accents, old-school European tiles and tall windows that ran from ceiling to floor, allowing for a sport of people-watching.

Their own brand of house wine named after their celebrity chef.
Our Pinot Noir and Rose wines came in cute little decanters.
Hmmm the Sangria was better than most mediocre
ones found in local Spanish restaurants.
Moroccan steak tartare was an absolutely outstanding
dish that was well-spiced with the flavours of the Middle East.
Crack the quail's egg over it and enjoy with the wafer thin crackers.
Roasted garlic flat bread with Spanish romesco
Stuffed zucchini flowers with feta and corn puree
with sauce vierge.
Chorizo with sofrito.
Aged rib of beef charcoal grilled with chimichurri. Highly
recommend it to be done medium rare as the original flavours
of the beef is retained and juxtaposed with the crispy charred
exterior. This was a highlight of the meal. Deliciously tender as well.

Tuna tartare, ruby grapefruit, wasabi mayo with daikon chips.
This was also an outstanding dish with complex sublime flavours. The
small avocado cubes and crunchy ebiko added to the delightfully
contrasting textures.

Seared Tasmanian trout, clams, Jamon Serrano, Israeli couscous,
cucumber sherry. The light and fragrant stock was refreshing and
whetted our appetites for more. The trout was fresh and raw in the middle.
Yums! Interesting combination of seafood and red meat.

Exotic ingredient of Israeli couscous. Texture was spongy
like sago!
Taco of tempura prawn, pineapple salsa, chipotle aioli. This
dish was the only let-down, mediocre.
Roasted figs with candied ginger, baklava and yoghurt sorbet.
Miss Saab gave the sorbet 2 thumbs up :)
Only for the adventurous palate! The liquorice parfait has a rather strong
liquorice taste that is tempered by the accompanying tangy lime sago.
The churros with chocolate was a disappointment.
Indulge only to satiate your spanish dessert craving.

Overall the tapas were memorable epicurean delights. What was brilliant and executed well were the accompanying sauces of the tapas. Bravo to the saucier in the kitchen! It was a great experience savouring the Spanish tapas with an Aussie slant.

For those interested, Salt Tapas Bar is located at the ground floor of Raffles City Shopping Centre.

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