It begins with the entry to a pitch dark lift with only the lit outline giving some sort of hint of the ascent of the elevator and on one corner an imagery of clouds plays in a loop. Besides the slight dizziness, one would not notice the high speed ascent from the 4th to 55th storey and within minutes, voilah!
I found myself face to face with a panoramic view of the Singapore’s evening skyline, a contrast to the pitch-dark space that I was in. This is the climax of the journey to the restaurant some 200 metres above ground on Orchard ION’s 55th floor.
Renovated just recently by designphase dba, the Salt Grill and Sky Bar by Luke Mangan now provides more room for group events on its 56th floor and repositioned its bar to the mezzanine floor. The interior design is elegant, complementing and letting the panoramic views and food take the stage.
Indeed, the modern Australian cuisine here is quite a show-stealer. The first course, an appetizer of Coconut Broth with Sydney Spice (a mixture of kaffir lime leaves, lemon myrtle, turmeric, ginger, galangal, chilli, garlic and salt) was a soothing, mild curried soup that resembles the Thai Green Curry.
*The dishes photographed are only tasting portions.
The momentum was kept with the next course, a Sashimi of Kingfish, Ginger, Eschalot and Goats Feta (33++ SGD) which is the epitome of the restaurant’s modern Australian cuisine which pairs fresh ingredients with a cosmopolitan touch. The dish is a simple but clever and amazing pairing of fresh, succulent sashimi-grade kingfish slices, a mildly sweet soy-sauce (+mirin?) mix and savoury goat’s feta.
Then there was the signature ‘Glass’ Sydney Crab Omelette, enoki mushrooms & herb salad with miso mustard broth (33++ SGD) which is a very smooth subtle omelette with a hint of spiciness from the miso-mustard broth.
For mains, there was also the unique Tea-Smoked Quail with almond cream, prunes, grains, grilled shallot and sorrel (31++ SGD) which has a mild Earl Grey flavour from the combination of earl grey tea and rice which was used to smoke it.
For something more classic, you could also go for their Sirloin Rangers Valley, New South Wales, 300 Days Grain-Fed with Moroccan Spice, sautéed spinach, eggplant puree and red wine sauce (74++ SGD). The sirloin, done medium rare came served on a bed of savour eggplant puree (a nice alternative to the usual potato mash) and comes with a choice of kind of mustards including dijon, horseradish or wholegrain.
Before order, the cuts of red meat are actually brought out with each order for you to choose, along with the preference of doneness.
Dessert was a surprising Luke’s Liquorice Parfait with Lime (18++ SGD), another signature of Salt Grill and Sky Bar. While I am not a fan of liquorice, this dessert turned out to be pretty good. The pairing of the sweet liquorice parfait with the refreshing lime makes this a nice finish to the meal preceded by the heavier meat main courses.
The restaurant is also a bar and unsurprisingly, they have a line-up of cocktails and mocktails. I had the Australian by Luke Mangan (18++ SGD) which is a concoction of lime segment, lime leaf, ginger, cognac, gin, cranberry and shaken with a secretive Luke’s syrup, a rather refreshing cocktail suitable for a pre-meal drink. Then there was the Grasshopper which is a mix of Crème de Menthe, Crème de Cacao White and Milk (18++ SGD) that resembles the minty After-Eights.
Many times, (and not just for Singapore) great views are often let down with sub-par and often overpriced food). Fortunately, this is not the case for Salt Grill and Sky Bar. Admittedly, the ala carte prices are rather steep, but the food was delicious for what I had tried and you could enjoy the sky-dining experience by going on their Lunch Set Menu and Executive Lunch Set menus priced $45++ and $80++ respectively for better value or opt for their Afternoon High Tea Set at $30++ from 2pm – 6pm.
by Luke Mangan
2 Orchard Turn,
ION Orchard, #55-01 & #56-01
Thank You Ivy, Hanis and Cyndiana from Food News for the invitation and hospitality!