13th November 2014.
There is something beautiful about dining 200 metres off the ground in the tallest building around Orchard area. The opportunity to admire the view of the city during the day or night is part of the whole experience and arguably the whole point of sky dining!
Salt Grill and Sky Bar by Luke Mangan is such a place but with a keen attention paid to the food. Salt Grill and Sky Bar does not serve your usual run out of the mill Western classics. It does it with a cosmopolitan attitude, imbuing European dishes with a spices found in Thai cuisine or combinations reminiscent of washoku.
This New Year’s Eve, Salt Grill and Sky Bar has a special menu that presents its cosmopolitan portfolio to celebrate the coming of 2015. To complement your sky dining experience within the elegant contemporary interiors designed by designphase dba, there will be the ubiquitous Mumm Champagne on New Year’s Eve, or the berry flavoured Salt Cooler if you prefer something to cool off in the equatorial heat with.
The dinner begun with a fragrant and light Coconut Broth with Sydney Spice that resembles a refined version of the Thai green curry anda signature of Salt Grill and Sky Bar. Alternatively, you could opt for the Oyster Tasting Plate (available only in the second seating).
For the entrées, you will observe the infusion of Asian flavours with Australian ingredients and western cuisine in dishes such as the Star Anise Pork Belly with seared scallops, cauliflower puree and pickled cucumber that reminds me of the stewed pork in Chinese cuisine. While the attempt is admirable, I thought the pork came out slightly dry in the centre.
Then there is the Tuna Tataki with ponzu, smoked enoki, onion and puffed rice. A nice combination of savoury, succulent tuna slices with crispy puffed rice.
For something slightly more different, the Cigar of Whipped Goats Cheese and beetroot hummus and fig was quite decent as well especially if you prefer to have more bite for an entrée.
However, it was the Seared Foie Gras, pine nut crust, scallops, peach and brioche left a good impression for the dinner with its excellent execution and absence of a pungent aftertaste. I like the combination of the oily, smooth foie gras with a delicate crispy caramelized coating which went pretty well with the peach, crunchy pine nuts and crusty brioche.
The mains are on the heavier side with strong seasoning. For example, the Portuguese Baby Chicken with grilled corn, chorizo, chili and olives has a distinct paprika flavour and the spices from the chorizo. Nonetheless, this was a really good dish with tender, juicy flesh and very flavourful.
The Sydney Spiced Barramundi, with char sui mushrooms and bok choy is slightly overcooked for our meal but flavours wise, I like how it went well with the mushrooms.
The Cape Grim Striploin, grilled asparagus, eggplant and salsa verde is quite interesting if one does not treat it as a normal striploin.The salsa verde gives it a flavour that reminds me of the Japanese curries and I quite like the sweet eggplant puree that comes with it. Cape Grim refers to an area in Tasmania where the beef was sourced from.
The dish that I was quite uncertain however was the Pan-fried Potato Gnocchi, corn, asparagus, zucchini, parmesan, thyme and truffle verjuice dressing. I enjoyed the gnocchi’s rice-mochi like texture as well as its pairing with the truffle and parmesan. Despite so, I thought the parmesan was too strong for my liking and the flavours come monotonous after a while. This would have worked better as an appetizer. Unfortunately, this is also the only vegetarian option for the mains, I hope Salt Grill and Sky Bar would provide more vegetarian options.
Last but not least, there are the desserts. Without hesitation, my vote goes to the Chocolate Tart, praline ice-cream and brulee banana if you prefer something classic. Or if you prefer something slightly more exotic, the Mango and Coconut Bomb Alaska seems like a Thai-inspired version of the Baked Alaska.
Also available but less impressive in my opinion are the Raspberry Cheese Cake which has a strong overwhelming raspberry layer and the cheesecake’s jelly-like texture didn’t sit quite well with me. The accompanying berry sorbet sprinkled with dehydrated berries was way too strong for the delicate cheese flavour in the cheesecake.
The Cheese Selection quince paste lavoch is a matter of personal preference. We had Swiss Gruyere and a French Pouligny-Saint-Pierre both of which are similar in textures and strong in flavours.
There are limited seats for the New Year’s Eve dinner which is only available on the 31st of December 2014. There are two seating for the dinner, one at:
6pm to 8pm (125++ SGD per pax)
and 8.30 pm to 12 am (148++ SGD per pax)
**For reservations, call (65) 6592 5118 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
2 Orchard Turn, #55-01 & #56-01
ION Orchard, Singapore 238801
Thank You Nicole and Cyndiana from Food News for the invitation!