Merry Christmas, y’all! I want to squeeze in one more post to wrap up the year. The past weeks have been about nothing but feasting our way to Christmas. Every and any excuse we could find to throw a cook-out, a pot-luck or a night out hunting down good eats. I had booked way early for my Christmas Eve dinner after combing through a number of restaurants offerings. I did not want the usual… turkeys, stuffings, hams and roasts can be so last generation! I also did not want to break the bank pinching on small plates at an under-lit fancy restaurant where fun conversations and roaring laughter are frowned upon. So, boy have I come to the right place! They did not even seat me at a proper table! But, but, but…we all know how much I dig kitchen action… so I did not complain when they showed us to two wooden swivel high chairs at the open kitchen counter at Salted & Hung. S&H is known for their in-house cured, salted, aged and grilled dishes, not to mention some unorthodox animal parts. Both right up my alley! No, no, no… it isn’t too frightening and nothing you would not have already seen at a local Kway-chap* shop. (*Kway-chap – a Singaporean cuisine specializing in rice flour noodle sheets, braised meats and animal offals.)
We started off with complimentary schnapps and amuse-bouche of Pig Head Croquette. Soft fluffy potato and shreds of really tasty meat (I’m guessing from the tender head of a pig!?) rolled into a ball and fried to a golden crisp. Delicious!
This was followed by a platter of cold cuts. Coppa, Lardo and Chorizo, all cured and aged at the restaurant. The Lardo tasted like sweet squid! I normally shun excessive fats but, here I could not quite believe I was eating pretty much pure lard! It was pretty damn good!
A meaty King Crab leg was up next. Grilled and topped with a sea grape saffron emulsion. Having tried sea grapes for the first time in Okinawa merely 3 months ago and LOVING it, you can imagine my delight seeing them teeny baubles on my crab! The crab itself was alright. The long limb packed in a good amount of meat but I’m tasting ‘frozen’ here, which I am not surprised since a lot of these produce are quick frozen for export.
When the menu reads “Fish Tail Beans and Nori Oil”, it hardly gets you excited. But alas! Fish Tail turned out to be my favorite dish of the evening. The Barramundi tail was fat, meaty and perfectly baked, then topped generously with sharp, garlicky fresh chives. The tender white fish meat was super juicy and sweet… and the chopped greens were the perfect accompaniment. This tail was flawless!
Iberico Secreto is a secret begging to be told! The pink pork loin oozed sweet juices when you sink your teeth in. The meat is succulent without sacrificing texture and bite. I ate it with some sea salt flakes and it was even better!
The much anticipated Blackmore Wagyu arrived with Chef Drew himself explaining the cut and preparation method. This 12-hour sous vide Australian wagyu steak comes from the shoulder blade of the cow. After the 12-hour bath, the steak is removed and char grilled for a bit before its sliced and served with sweet potato chips and a side dip. Now, did I set my hopes too high cuz I did not quite love this steak. Nope, it wasn’t tough. In fact it was really soft. For me, it was too soft and instead of getting that melt-in-your-mouth-buttery texture, I was getting powdery-mush. Perhaps it was the cut or perhaps its just me, since many other diners did woof down their steaks. What I did enjoy on the plate was that gorgeous dollop of cream laced with subtle anchovy flavor. Now that was yummy!
One other memorable dish was the kale dressed in crushed nuts and pancetta. Nutty, salty and I’m gonna say healthy too, because of the kale! Think I might just copy this at home!
Despite a string of wonderful dishes, it had been a difficult evening trying to keep my eyes off the night’s desserts being constructed in front of me! The young female chef expertly prepares plate after plate of gorgeous Pavlovas, then delivering them to every good diner that has finished his/her greens! It was torture… but my turn finally arrives. I don’t eat much Pavlovas, simply because not many restaurants serve them. This was a good one. The sweet toasted meringue was balanced with a zesty crunchy sorrel sorbet, a liquid-nitroed-up blood orange whip and ice cream that’s really light and barely sweet, sooo perfect with the sweet meringue. It was definitely worth the wait and a must order if they have it on their regular menu!
Salted & Hung @ 12 Purvis Street Singapore 188591 Phone: +65 6358 3130
Disclaimer- This is not a sponsored post!