Salt Grill & Sky Bar, Ion Orchard
Just before I went to Singapore, I still had no plans of expanding FVSW into the island country because I felt that I would have no place there. But after being there for two weeks, I felt more at home than I did in Malaysia.
If it is one thing Singapore does better than Malaysia (but let's face it, pretty much everything is better in the Garden City), it would be upscale dining. Service standards in Singapore far surpass that in Malaysia and the overall vine is very accommodating.
We made a trip to one of the best restaurants (in our humble opinion) in Singapore and were not disappointed.
You're treated to panoramic views of Singapore, even so far as the sea. At 55 levels up, that isn't surprising. Singapore, though a concrete jungle it may be, is still beautiful in its own way. The buildings are well thought out and executed. As a result, the concrete jungle actually offers a nice view from high vantage points.
The view sets sets up a nice ambience for the brightly lit dining area - always a good thing. I like having natural light while eating, better for shooting and looking at the different colours on the plate so I can identify my food better.
We were given a bowl of complimentary chips to start off with. Of course, what stood out was the squid ink chips. Contrasted against the tomato cream tahini, it was a very pleasant start to the meal. We were also served bread but we decided to save some space for our 10-course seasonal spring lunch.
The first of our appetisers came quickly. We were served bone marrow with onion salad and garlic bread ($29). The bone marrow was so decadent and truly hit the home run with my tastebuds. The salty richness of the bone marrow was beautifully complemented by warm garlic bread and the fresh salad.
The next of our appetisers was an equally decadent confit foie gras ($35). I have never been a huge fan of goose liver for its grainy and powdery texture. But the one I tasted at Salt Grill & Sky Bar was incredibly smooth and melts in your mouth, just the way it is meant to be. I suppose I had based my dislike of foie gras on plain inferiority in preparation. But after tasting the silky and buttery foie gras here, I'm less put off by it.
Still in the appetisers, we were served a "salt" salad ($29). The spring-inspired salad offered seasonal baby vegetables, lentils, soft hen’s egg, sourdough wafer and a whipped burrata blended with truffle honey.
One of my favourite appetisers from the menu had to be the next one: the pan fried haloumi salad. The dish is Middle Eastern inspired, served with eggplant, pistachio tabbouleh, chick peas, tahini, puffed bulghur. There is nothing quite as satisfying as enjoying a plate full of refreshing ingredients put together expertly by a team of highly skilled chefs.
After four stunning appetisers, we finally moved on to the mains and sides. The first side we had was a roasted cauliflower bowl ($15). It is served with Bagna Cauda (a heady garlic dressing) and Pangritata (herbed breadcrumbs, also known as a poor man's parmesan). I would rank this as a must-order dish.
Pair it with the roasted baby chicken ($69). The chicken is complemented with a maple glazed pancetta, verde, baby corn and cauliflower. Expect rich, deep flavours from both the pancetta and the chicken. The chicken is seasoned with paprika and Luke Mangan spices which gives it an almost Indian flavour.
The beef sirloin ($75) in comparison is slightly less impressive to the chicken in terms of flavour because much of the flavour is focused on the meat itself. The 300-day grain fed steak is from Rangers Valley, New South Wales and is very tender and well-prepared. It is served with wholegrain marmalade, watercress and shallots. *mustards are available upon request.
The last of our savoury dish was a side of grilled asparagus ($15), served with king mushrooms, a poached egg, olives and parmesan.
For desserts, we started with a banana parfait ($19). The banana parfait was served with a praline ganache, candied pecan, and salted caramel. It is hard not to like this dish as it has a very ubiquitous flavour in the banana. It is both light on the tastebuds yet dense in texture at the same time.
This next dessert was by far the most attractive dish we had the whole meal. The brightness of the strawberry, kaffir lime, coconut snow and strawberry cream against the black and white patterned plate made it perfect for photography. But the dish goes beyond aesthetics as it is also impressive to the tastebuds. I think many girls would enjoy this dessert because the acidity of the fruits and lime is a good contrast to the savoury meal beforehand.
If you're planning on dining here in the evenings, there is an extra $20 cover charge for seats by the window to enjoy the sunset. It is also best to make a reservation early to avoid disappointment.
Salt Grill & Sky Bar @ Level 55 Ion Orchard