With the introduction of a new head chef, Mathew Leighton, Salt Tapas & Bar at Raffles City Shopping Centre ushers in new additions to its menu. The young Sydney native began fostering his culinary skills at the tender age of 18, and is now a charming 26-year-old armed with vast experience.
The tapas menu of bite-sized delights is deeply influenced by celebrity restaurateur Luke Mangan’s Australian roots, celebrating the freshness of ingredients that complements the ‘Salt’ brand and image.
The ambience is vibrant and lively especially in the late evenings, where the clinking of glasses and laid-back chatter are the usual ritual for working personnel, business executives and expats alike.
To start off with something light, try the salad comprising freshly sliced beetroot, briefly poached asparagus, wedges of egg, thin shavings of radish and a handful of rocket greens. It is drizzled with a slightly pungent tarragon dressing that appears to be accented with a tinge of mustard.
Patatas bravas is typically served at tapas bars across Spain, containing cubes of oil-fried potato topped with a tomato sauce that is spiced up with the peppery pimentón. This rendition comes with an additional touch of garlic aioli (garlic mayonnaise) for that extra creaminess and piquancy.
As much as the pork sliders deserve compliments for their rich flavour and faultless seasoning of the patties, the dry buns turn out to be a downer.
Each time your nose twitches to the wafting aroma of truffle, your eyes will be gazing around the surroundings in search of its alluring source. If you scrutinise close enough, you can see that almost every table consists of at least one serving of parmesan & truffle French fries. Apart from the irresistible fragrance, the fries take on a crunchy coat enriched with Parmesan cheese.
Barramundi is no stranger to Salt’s brand; it is present on the menu of Salt Grill & Sky Bar at ION Orchard as well. This freshwater fish arrives from Australia, boasting clean-tasting, tender, meaty white flesh. The accompanying roasted squid turns out a tad tough for my liking, though the fish is executed to perfection. The tomato-based sauce is robust in flavour; you can find chunks of chorizo, cherry tomatoes and black olive amongst its thick consistency.
The paella rice is nicely infused with fragrance and flavour, accompanied by prawns, mussels, chorizo and chunks of chicken. The mussels are a little meagre in size, while the chicken chunks turn out a touch too dry. We are also missing that highly desirable soccarat (the caramelised crust at the bottom of the pan). If you’re a carb lover, you’ll have no qualms finishing every grain of that toothsome rice. Stringent traditionalists and those aiming at the proteins will be slightly disappointed.
S$34++ for small, S$64++ for large
The lamb rump with crumbed zucchini and salsa verde is available in two sizes suitable for individuals or for group sharing. Scrupulously executed to medium-rare doneness, the tender red meat blushes with pink in the middle. The crumbed zucchini is highly addictive; you get the crunch from its crust, and juiciness from the zucchini.
The berry and custard mille feuille is served with an outstanding elderflower sorbet, which steals the limelight from the predominant pastry. Refreshingly sweet, this has got to be one of the best sorbets in town. Without the sorbet, the pastry alone wouldn’t have left an impression.
The delightful sugar-coated churros are light and fluffy in texture, thick and chunky in size – quite a stark contrast to what we are accustomed to. You won’t be able to stop at one.
Raffles City Shopping Centre
252 North Bridge Road #01-22A
Tel: +65 6837 0995 | Website
Mon to Thu: Tapas 11:30am – 10pm, drinks till 11:30pm
Fri & Sat: Tapas 11:30am – 10:30pm, drinks till 11:30pm
Sun: Tapas 11:30am – 9pm, drinks till 10pm