Having won over Sydney, Australia, Salt & Palm has now opened in the colourful neighbourhood of Joo Chiat, bringing its fun new take on the flavours of the East Indies to our shore. Helmed by Executive Chef Natasya Soetantyo, she seeks to change the perception and introduce the diversity of Indonesian cuisine as a whole archipelago through contemporary cooking techniques using traditional spices, recreating the complex flavours and dishes in a modern way.
Fresh Oyster 4/5
We kickstarted our meals with a couple of starters, beginning with the Fresh Oyster ($28 for 3 pc). The freshly shucked Amelie oysters from Marennes-Oleron, France, can be paired with either a choice of lime wedges or tomato tamarind and basil kemangi pandan oil.
Hokkaido Scallop 4/5
Next is the Hokkaido Scallop ($22), lightly torched and paired with tempe chips, fried garlic, chilli peanut lime, sweet soy and lemon basil herbs. The combination gives a glimpse of Chef Natasya’s philosophy of incorporating her Indonesian heritage into her cooking.
Fish Cake 4/5
The Balinese-style Fish Cake ($12 for 2pc), made from minced fish and a blend of traditional spices, is topped with chilli lemongrass shallot salsa which enlivens the flavour. The accompanying chicken skin tuille provides that extra textural enjoyment.
Potato Cake 3.5/5
There are also several Vegan dishes on the menu, such as the Potato Cake ($12 for 2pc). The potato cake is topped with vegan mayo and vegan caviar to finish. The combination and flavour are straightforward, which didn’t come with any significant surprises.
Prawn Bisque Pasta 4/5
Moving to the mains, we had the Prawn Bisque Pasta ($32), inspired by Palembang Mie Celor, a seafood noodle in coconut broth. The interpretation, which comes with king prawns, south sumatran prawn bisque, onsen egg, beansprouts, tobiko and chives, is bursting with the sweetness of the sea.
Beef Short Ribs 3.8/5
Australian grain-fed beef is used for the Beef Short Ribs ($52). I wish the texture could be more tender, but the rendang sauce is fragranced with kaffir lime leaf, cinnamon, chilli, and candlenut. The flavour is more savoury than sweet, leaning more towards the Indonesian style instead of the sweeter Malaysian style.
The Porchetta ($32) at Salt & Palm is its version of Balinese Babi Guling. The pork belly is marinated in a unique Balinese spice blend but cooked in Italian style. The result is succulent with crispy crackling, paired with chilli lemongrass salsa for a lifted enjoyment. This is one of my favourite dishes for the night.
Mushroom Rendang 4.5/5
Another beautiful dish on the menu is the Mushroom Rendang ($30). The medley of mushrooms and baby potatoes is simmered in a housemade rendang sauce over long hours and topped with toasted coconut flakes for texture contrast.
Pandan Coconut Creme Brulee 2.8/5
We wrapped up our dinner with the Pandan Coconut Creme Brulee ($15) and Pavlova ($18) for dessert. The Pandan Coconut Creme Brulee is egg and dairy free, topped with jackfruit and berries. There was even young coconut filling in the custard. However, I wouldn’t say I liked the texture of the creme brulee. It lacked that smooth, creamy texture without the use of egg and dairy.
Compared to the creme brulee, I preferred the Pavlova ($18) for its brighter flavours. The plant-based meringue with plant-based mango and passionfruit cream is further embellished with fresh mango, blueberry, grilled peach and coconut flakes.
Note: This is an invited tasting.
Salt & Palm
467 Joo Chiat Road
Tel: +65 89399617
Nearest MRT: Dakota (CC Line)
Mon, Wed-Thu: 5pm – 11pm
Fri-Sun: 9am – 3pm, 5pm – 11pm
1) Alight at Dakota MRT station. Take exit A. Walk to bus stop at Blk 99 Old Airport Road (Stop ID 81181). Take bus number 16. Alight 4 stops later. Walk down Joo Chiat Road to destination. Journey time about 12 minutes. [Map]