Thursday, January 27, 2011

Salt Grill & Sky Bar @ ION Orchard

While many people know about the spectacular rooftop dining in Marina Bay area, but not as many people know about Salt Grill over at Orchard Road.

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Salt Grill occupies the 55th and 56th floor of ION Orchard. In fact, it stands at 218m above the road, and I believe it is the highest point along the entire Orchard Road shopping district.

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Here, diners get to enjoy the view of River Valley and beyond. However, it may get a bit too glaring when the sun decides to shine directly through the glass panels. So do ask the service staff to help lower the blinds if it gets overwhelming bright.

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It's quite a fun journey up to Salt Grill. Diners first will proceed to the 4th floor of ION Orchard where ION Arts is. Check in at the restaurant's counter, and you will be ushered up to a private lift which goes directly up to the 55th floor in 15 seconds.

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As you will see later in the photographs, almost every glass, menu and plate here bears the logo (4 red cubes) and name of Chef Luke Mangan. A bit on the chef: Luke Mangan is quite the celebrity chef in Australia. He operates from the Hilton Hotel's Glass Brasserie in Sydney, Australia. And he has restaurants in Melbourne, Tokyo and even on board a cruise ship.

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Everything here bears the Chef's trademark. From the cold pressed extra virgin olive oil, to the salt and pepper.

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Free iced tap water served here, in the chef's own glass.

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Freshly baked bread with olive oil and paprika. The paprika had a distinctive Indian spice flavour. The bread was warm and I believe baked fresh in the kitchen.

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TarraWarra Estate Pinot Noir Rose 2008 from Yarra Valley, Victoria (S$15 per glass) - A single block of Pinot Noir was picked early to retain the natural acidity and elegant flavours.

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"Glass" Sydney crab omelette, with Miso mustard broth (S$29). This is the perfect comfort food for a lazy Sunday afternoon brunch. The omelette is moist and creamy. And it's filled with sweet crab meat and mushrooms flavoured by a light miso sauce. One of the signature starters by Chef Luke Mangan.

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Another of the chef's signature starter is the Australian Yellowtail Kingfish sashimi, ginger eschallot and goats feta (S$27). At first, we were not very keen to order this. The thought of minced ginger and cheese over sashimi was not attrative to us. But, we decided to go for it, and in the end, we thought that this dish was the best dish of our meal there. The fish was very fresh, sweet. And the combination of the ginger eschallot and feta cheese paired really well with the sashimi. I wonder where the ginger went, because there were not hints of ginger at all.

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Torbreck "Old Vines" GSM 2005 - Barossa Valley, South Australia (S$20 per glass). This is to go with the red meat we are having next.

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Maori Lakes Beef tenderloin, pan fried with celeriac puree, mixed mushrooms and sauce borderlaise (S$60). We like the beef tenderloin here as it is tender and moist. And quite a generous serving too. The Australian vegetable produce is sweet and fresh too.

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As sides had to be ordered seperately, we selected the Truffled mashed potato (S$13). The potatoes were creamy but perhaps sometimes, too much of a good thing, is not good at all. After a while, you will get tired of the taste of the truffle oil and potatoes. Best shared among 3 to 4 diners.

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The signature mains here is no doubt their Barramundi fillet 160g with miso mayonnaise, served with green beans (S$29) . The Barramundi is flown in fresh from Australia. The chef had done a wonderful job in grilling and baking the fish. The skin was crispy and had a nice sea salt taste to it. Fish was fresh without any stale aftertaste. The green beans were crunchy. No wonder this is crowned as one of their signatures.

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It's dessert time. We had 2 desserts. First was the Chocolate 3 ways - Valrhona chocolate fondant, wattleseed chocolate mousse cone, white chocolate and salted caramel macadamia semifreddo (S$18). I like the wattleseed chocolate mousse cone the best.

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This is their signature dessert: Luke's Liquorice parfait with lime (S$16). Liquorice is a herb used in medicine, especially for cough. But you don't taste any of those "cough syrup" taste here. But still, I prefer the chocolate dessert.

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There is a cool viewfinder at the gallery which cans how you day and night view of anywhere you point the viewfinder at. Very cool.

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And of course, nibbets of information about the weather, inscribed on the glass windows.

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We really think Salt Grill could very well be one of the best high altitude restaurant in Singapore. Great food, wonderful staff and a good location in the middle of Orchard Road.

We will be back for more very soon!


Salt Grill & Sky Bar
ION Orchard
2 Orchard Turn
#55-01

6 comments:

  1. Oh my! What a place, what a view! I think everyone has been so obsessed with MBS that other lovely places are getting overlooked. Definitely going there when I'm back!

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  2. Dorothy : I think you will like it. Enjoy!

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  3. I've read about this on ST few weeks back and it's the first time I"m actually reading someone blog about it! Looks like a nice place!

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  4. Chef Luke used to run SALT at the Kirketon Hotel in Sydney. BEST! I'm gonna have to go to SALT here too!

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  5. Glenn : yeah, I like the place. Organised dinner of 8 pax for my family during CNY, everyone thoroughly enjoyed it.

    Hossan Leong?? Is that you? Wow.

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  6. My wife has been at me to book for the last couple of weeks...Better get to it now!!

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