Salt Grill & Sky Bar

Conceptualized by Australian chef-restaurateur Luke Mangan as a more casual outpost of award-winning Salt in Sydney, his first Singapore venture boasts a menu with a strong modern Australian sensibility, accented by Asian flavors.

The restaurant’s prime location atop ION Orchard on the 55th floor affords it a striking view of the Orchard area, while its high ceiling and understated furnishings create an instant feeling of tranquility. Make no mistake; we’re still talking about elegant food in a decidedly non-stuffy environment, which for us is always a selling point.

After being ushered to our table, we waited impatiently for our ‘glass’ Sydney crab omelet to arrive. The mild white miso and mustard broth was a lovely complement to strips of crab meat concealed in our fluffy omelet, but when coupled with a medley of basil, mint, chili, enoki and sesame seeds, made for a well composed dish that was flavorful and yet not overpowering.

Our gamble on the pan-fried potato gnocchi paid off. Poised for a heavy, doughy assault on our palates, the browned morsels of pasta were actually exceedingly light, with just the barest hint of parmesan to complement the chunks of zucchini, spears of asparagus, sweet corn kernels and lemon thyme.

The 180g Australian Berkshire Kurobuta pork scotch was the complete opposite; slathered in Café de Paris butter, it was a tasty but greasy dish that we felt lacked the careful restraint we’d come to expect.

Despite the outcry of our belts, we persevered with chef Mangan’s signature licorice parfait. The parfait was only lightly-kissed by the inimitable aniseed-like flavor, offset wonderfully by the citrus zing of fresh lime segments, zest and syrup.

Overall, the competent service, good food and probably one of the best views in the city make this a pleasant dining experience indeed.

Have you tried the poached cherries at Salt grill? It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2011).