Tag Archives: Modern Australian

Salt Tapas & Bar

Dukkah crusted Tasmanian trout with Israeli couscous in a cucumber, tomato and dill broth

Salt Tapas & Bar at Raffles City is a place to sit back and relax and enjoy lots of little (or larger) plates of tapas with a modern Australian influence. They have a lunch menu on weekdays – where you have a selection of entrees, larger plates and sides.

I started with slow-cooked octopus with celeriac, apple, saffron rouille and dried black olive. The octopus was sweet and tender with no hint of toughness that can sometimes come with octopus (I watched a Greek cooking show where they tenderise the octopus first by bashing it repeatedly on a rock until its “soapiness” is released on the rock. Apparently in commercial kitchens they do this in a cement mixer !). The celeriac and apple were finely julienned and provided a crisp freshness to the rich saffron rouille.

Slow-cooked octopus with celeriac, apple, saffron rouille and dried black olive

For my main I had dukkah crusted Tasmanian trout, Israeli couscous, cucumber, tomato and dill broth. This is the first time I’ve had Israeli couscous and it’s delicious. It has a very satisfying springy, chewy texture that I equated to the tapioca balls in the Taiwanese “bubble teas”.

The trout was perfectly cooked so it was still pink in the centre and that broth it came swimming in – absolutely divine. It really brought that entire dish together with the acidity from the tomatoes and was so fragrant from the dill. And the dukkah crust on the trout gave the dish a lovely nutty flavour and texture.

You can also order a la carte during lunch but I was in a “can’t decide” mood and the only thing I ordered off the lunch menu was a side order of Jamon Iberico. Not because I felt I needed it because the portion sizes are pretty generous here. Just because I could.

Salt Tapas and Bar
#01-22A, Raffles City Shopping Centre
No 252, North Bridge Road

Tel: +65 6837 0995

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Chalk

Tuna carpaccio

On a rare decision to go out to eat on a Sunday night, D and I were surprised to find a lot of the places we wanted to eat at were closed on Sundays. Fortunately we found Chalk to be open and so off we went to the top of Mount Sophia at the Old School.

Surprised at the size of the restaurant (big), we were also pleasantly surprised by the friendly, attentive and competent staff. There’s a lovely outdoor area for those who like alfresco dining with a great view of the Dhoby Ghaut which D and I always think would be nice if it weren’t for the humidity that would ultimately spoil an evening for us.

For starters D had a tuna carpaccio and I had a rocket rolled in prosciutto with fresh fig salad. Both were very well done, with delicate and strong flavours perfectly complementing each other. The tuna was wafer thin, and the prosciutto, rocket and fig were a wonderful combination of salt and sweet with a touch of peppery sharpness.

Mains were equally as delicious – nothing remarkable but solidly good.  I had the ribeye steak, D, the lamb chops.  Big servings – enough to fill us up to not have any space for dessert.   Very nice place for a cosy dinner.

Chalk
The Old School 11 Mt Sophia
#01-03
6883 2120


Graze at Rochester Park

It’s been probably about three years since I heard about the Rochester Park area and also about Graze.  Figuring it was high time to rectify this and also impressed that Graze was still around in a very fickle and ever-changing landscape, we went with some friends last Saturday night.

The restaurant is an old black and white, and it had been raining, so unfortunately the bar area outside was damp, so we chose to sit inside (also where there is airconditioning).  The mozzies were still out in full force, but delightfully, the restaurant was able to give us some mozzie spray so we could enjoy our meal buzz-and-bite-free.

The meal itself was outstanding.  I had the tuna sashimi, fresh, thinly sliced tuna around a wasabi and dashi panacotta in a mirin soy.  I so regret not taking a picture but the flavours and textures worked so well together.  D had the tiger prawns three ways with our favourite being pan-seared and served with a chilli, coconut and coriander sorbet with cucumber oil.  Absolutely stellar.

For mains how could I steer away from the restaurant’s signature dish of crispy hand rolled pork hock with a bean shoot salad and redcurrant chilli caramel.  Thin, crispy, marinaded pork hock almost melted in your mouth,

I would however, not fully recommend Graze’s desserts, which were sadly disappointing given the standard of the entrees and mains.  We ordered three to share at our table between four of us. We tried the pavlova (which turned out to be a meringue instead, so missing the light fluffy lightness of egg whites encased in a crisp outer shell) – although the passionfruit sorbet that it came with was bursting full of passionfruit tartness.  We also tried the apple tartin that was accompanied on the plate with a slice of blue cheese and a balsamic reduction which should have all worked but really didn’t.  And finally (the winner of the desserts) was a chocolate tart that was served warm and runny, like a fondant.  That was served with a mint sorbet which again, should have worked, but didn’t.

The menu at Graze and the splendidness of our meal had us interested in going back for more.  I would definitely utilise valuable stomach space by skipping dessert though.  See you again soon !

Graze
http://www.graze.sg
4 Rochester Park
6775 9000