Singapore: Salt Tapas & Bar by Luke Mangan

7 Jun

Recently, things are looking exciting at Raffles City. Menya Musashi and Salt Tapas & Bar by Luke Mangan, two new foodie destinations just opened a stone’s throw away from each other. I wanted to try Menya Musashi first since I had a mega ramen craving and it seems so raved about. But even on a weekday at 7pm, there were like 20+ people ahead of us so we went with tapas instead. It turned it to be a blessing in disguise.

Salt Tapas & Bar took over the space occupied by the former Double Bay, and if you’re thinking the names ‘Salt’ and ‘Luke Mangan’ sound familiar, it’s a sister restaurant of the more upmarket Salt Grill & Sky Bar at ION Sky, and of course Luke Mangan’s flagship Salt restaurant in Sydney. The concept here is Spanish tapas, but with an Australian (according to their website), Mediterranean and North African (IMO) twist. I never got down to trying Salt Grill, since even the lunch set is quite pricey so I was glad to learn that this was the more casual, affordable outlet.

I love the decor of this place! Something different from the usual minimalist look with some Eames replica chairs thrown in. Some features: antique fishbowl lamps, red brick walls, plant wall fixture, Moorish tiles and a communal bar table for drinks and grazing. It’s quite the hidden oasis literally in the heart of the city, I almost forgot that I was in a restaurant in a mall. There’s also outdoor seating by the roadl but that’s not for me in this humidity, thankyouverymuch.

Dim lighting and a warm orange glow – good for casual dates, bad for food pictures.

To accompany our tapas, we had Luke’s sangria ($17/glass) which was very citrus-y and pretty good. If you can make it, they do a happy hour at 4.30pm to 7pm. I can never have enough of sangria and here they actually do a huge punchbowl serving of it at $70, which is really worth it if you’re a bigger party. Anyway beyond sangrias, the wine and bar list here is also quite extensive (though nothing too fancy).

We went with the 8days review and ordered their recommended dishes. The roasted garlic flat bread with Romesco sauce ($6) was absolutely delicious and a must order if you ask me. The freshly roasted bread was so redolent of garlic and olive oil flavours, and honestly good enough on its own – but the accompanying red pepper based sauce was also very addictive. I don’t mind paying for my bread when it’s this good.

The baked bone marrow with shiitake duxelles, Parmesan & air dried olive ($13) was easily one of the best baked bone marrows I ever had! Even the one at Dinner by Heston has nothing on this one. The combination of the bone marrow and shiitake duxelles is just genius as the duxelles loan the marrow flavour without being too rich, and provide a good texture for spreading onto the cheesy toast. Delicious!

I was late in snapping a picture of the coned cover, but this was the Tagine of snapper with octopus, chickpeas, silverbeet, date & lemon ($32). The fish and the octopus were perfectly cooked here, and the tangy sauce that had a strong lemon flavour gave the dish an extra special kick. Memorable.

Though we were full by then, we had to try a dessert. We wanted something adventurous so we went for the roasted figs with candied ginger, baklava and yoghurt sorbet ($13). It’s my first time trying a baklava (made of filo pastry, nuts and sweetening) so I have nothing for comparison, but I thought it was okay though it would be better served warmed up. The accompanying figs weren’t juicy or sweet either. I probably would have preferred the churros and chocolate :) Nice sorbert though!

Overall, I thought it was a good meal and prices are quite reasonable for the quality (~$50 per pax with one sangria). There were so many other items on the menu that I wanted to order, so a return trip is a must! The service staff at Salt Tapas were also friendly and efficient, and took the initiative to offer us ice water, so absolutely no complaints there. What I also like is that the menu offers more exotic ingredients and spices (to Singapore at least) including dukkah, sumac, tabbouleh, etc. which makes it stand out from the other tapas places or cookie cutter European restaurants in Singapore.

Price: $$-$$$
Location: #01-22A, Raffles City Shopping Centre, 252 North Bridge Road, Singapore 179103
Opening Hours: Mon-Sat 11.30am-midnight, Sun 11.30am-11pm
Tel: +65 6837 0995

2 Responses to “Singapore: Salt Tapas & Bar by Luke Mangan”

  1. anonymous June 8, 2012 at 10:42 am #

    hello! how are the servings here? how come you ordered so little?

    • chowandthecity June 9, 2012 at 3:51 pm #

      hi, servings here are decent, not very large but enough. we were actually quite full, prob because of the carbs from the flatbread and toast from the marrow. and my friend has a small appetite, so more for me. :)

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