Salt Tapas Bar By Luke Mangan, Singapore

Salt Tapas Bar  is the latest outpost of Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangans Singapore empire.Conveniently located near Raffles City shopping centre, I have been meaning to try it out for a while now and today I finally got my chance.Colourful Moorish tiles line the bar so I suppose I shouldn’t have been surprised at the Arabic influence, spices such as ras el hanout, dukkah and sumac are liberally scattered throughout the menu, along with ingredients such as Persian feta, harissa and Israeli couscous. Yet more surprisingly tacos make an appearance, as does sashimi as well as German charcuterie which whilst you might think could leave your taste buds confused, it all seems to blend nicely without getting confused giving a global approach to the menu as opposed to the more classic, Hispanic approach at Esquina. Whilst the menu was highly appetizing, I wasn’t too hungry so just selected a couple of light dishes, first up came a roasted garlic flat bread with romesco ($6) which was also generously smothered in fresh rosemary and had the taste and  appearance of being freshly baked which is always a treat. Next up came the feta stuffed zucchini flowers with corn puree and sauce vierge ($11). These are not ingredients I would have thought of putting together but then I’m not a chef. They certainly worked well together although the tempura batter could have been lighter (whether or not this would have sustained the stuffing and frying of the delicate flowers is another thing – again I’m not a chef!) The last dish was the most disappointing, tempura prawn tacos with chipotle aioli and pineapple salsa ($13/$26). The chipotle aioli lacked any punch or spice which was a shame as the smokey chipotle flavour would have really perked the dish up no end. The prawns were nicely done, as was the salsa but it was still a little bland. I love salted caramel and cannot stop myself from ordering it when i see it on a menu, so for dessert I chose a scoop of salted caramel ice cream ($4) which was a nice conclusion to the meal. I paid $70 which included a glass of wine and a small San Miguel so this is not a place for every day but somewhere I would definitely return with a group of friends to try some of the other dishes such as the sumac spiced veal and pork meatballs & fontina mash or wagyu sausage, soft polenta, capers and tomato (available in small or large portions from $14 to $25) or the Tasmanian trout, clams, Serrano ham, Israeli couscous and cucumber sherry ($25/$32).

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