Salt Tapas & Bar by Luke Mangan

9 May 2012




TGIF! Last week Daniel, Claire and I met up to have dinner at Salt Tapas & Bar by Luke Mangan. Salt Tapas & Bar is an extension on the existing image of the ‘Salt’ brand. The 120-seat restaurant exudes an updated Spanish vibe, melded with a laid-back ambience. Offering a high standard of food, wine and service, Salt Tapas & Bar, brings an Australian twist to the modern tapas bar. Situated at the part-alfresco locality of Raffles City (facing Raffles Hotel), patrons experience a unique combination of delicious unpretentious cuisine, at affordable prices. In addition, the bar-restaurant carries a grand selection of wines and cheeses from all over the world. Luke has created his own take on a Sangria recipe and serves a number of other unique cocktails, including his own signature – The Australian. The fun vibrant furnishings and industrial chic décor takes precedence and radiates a welcoming dining atmosphere. The premise features an exciting showcase of stunning designed glass, raw brick walls, and authentic Spanish tiles.

Before we drool together over the food, let me introduce you to my dining companions that evening.

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Claire, who has the most interesting genealogical ancestry ever. She is part Asian, part German… bet you can’t tell unless she tells ya.

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And Daniel, whom I regard as a walking food directory whenever I am craving for something local, something Singaporean. Be sure to pop by his food blog for his review of this place. I’m trying to get him to guest post on my blog, let’s hope he agrees to do that soon. ;)

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I ordered the red wine Sangria to accompany my food and this turned out to be VERY good. I haven’t had good and/or memorable sangrias in Singapore, but this one tastes just like the sangrias that I’m used to having at the Spanish tapas joints back home in NYC. I think sangria is so awesome in the summer because it’s refreshing and fruity. Yummy! I can easily have an entire jug of this for myself… ;P Looks like it’s time to start making this at home in large quantities now that the humidity has descended upon us.

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Oysters served natural with Smoked Tomato Salsa.
Oysters were a bit on the small side (I usually like ’em plump and definitely have had them much better elsewhere) but the smoked tomato salsa topping really went quite well with the briny taste.

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Roasted Pumpkin with Dukkah, Spanish Blue Cheese, Caramelized Pear and Walnuts.
This salad is light and had mild flavors. It was very beautiful to look at, it tasted not bad, but for me, it could use a bit more oomph! Don’t get me wrong, I love blue cheese, I love caramelized pear, I love pumpkin, but this salad could use just a tad more kick somehow.

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Sumac-spiced Veal and Pork Meatballs over Fontina Mash.
These are not Ikea meatballs, okay. These are very tasty and soft. I honestly don’t give a hoot about how Ikea SG had recently changed/improved its meatball recipe or whatever, because imo they are still a mass produced item and they are meant to be served as fast food. THESE meatballs, however, tasted like something you would make at home. Not a lot of breadcrumbs or fillers, and the ground meat is very smooth in texture. The Fontina mash is quite delicious too, although I’m not sure about the soft on soft approach in terms of texture juxtaposition. Nonetheless, this was clearly the winning dish on the table for all three of us that evening.

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Crispy Soft Shell Prawns with Chili and Garlic Aioli.
Actually, when it comes to prawns, whether soft shell or not, once they are deep-fried you can pop the entire thing into your mouth without de-shelling. Good, now that we are on the same page about that, this dish is bold. And reminiscent of Cantonese-style Pepper-and-Spice [insert fave seafood here] — otherwise known as 椒鹽XX. With that said, I like this dish and I think it went very well with my Sangria. :) Creamy garlic aoili is always a good condiment to tone down the fire from hot peppers and spices, so I appreciate that it came in a small jar for dipping. This dish wasn’t spicy though, it was salty so the garlic aioli helped to blunt the saltiness for me.

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Gooey Hot Chocolate Tart, Caramelized Banana, Salted Caramel Ice Cream.
Mmmmm, there’s always room for dessert, isn’t there? This tart was really nice and deliciously chocolate-y. The caramelized banana and salted caramel ice cream made delightful companions to the chocolate tart. Warm + gooey + chocolate. That’s a winning combination right there, if you ask me.

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My verdict: Salt Tapas and Bar is probably more suited as a place to go for pre-dinner munchies or a late night drinking destination that also offers some food on the side. Why I say this is because the food is somewhat overpriced, imo. I understand that this is tapas ie. small plates, but a plate of five meatballs for $22?! That’s kinda like main entree price point. For a group of three or four people, I’d normally order 6 to 8 different tapas dishes to feel adequately full; throw in some drinks too and going by that formula, a meal here can easily set you back $250-$400 total. That’s kinda steep for most people who just want a simple night out in town for a regular meal, don’t you think?

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Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying I didn’t enjoy the food, I did. But the company was better and I’d have been cool hanging out with these pals elsewhere (with more cash to spare at the end of the evening). Thank goodness I generally don’t eat much, so I was a-okay at the end of the meal. But other people with normal appetite probably will leave still feeling hungry. Or feel the burn in their pockets. Just sayin’. ;P

SALT TAPAS & BAR
#01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road
Singapore 179103
Tel: +65 6837 0995

Check out more photos of my dinner at Salt Tapas and Bar on my Facebook page → http://www.facebook.com/MBxMB.

♥ℳ


If you are a foodie like me, please join me in standing up for real food!

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Food Revolution Day on 19 May is a chance for people who love food to come together to share information, talents and resources; to pass on their knowledge and highlight the world’s food issues. All around the globe, people will work together to make a difference. Food Revolution Day is about connecting with your community through events at schools, restaurants, local businesses, dinner parties and farmers’ markets. We want to inspire change in people’s food habits and to promote the mission for better food and education for everyone.




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