Salt tapas & bar

There’s no denying that Spanish food is hot in Singapore right now, with the latest arrival being Catalunya at The Fullerton Pavilion. Salt tapas is the second offering from Australian chef and restaurateur Luke Mangan, and he hasn’t detracted from his formula of choosing a prime location—this time on the ground floor of Raffles City Shopping Centre facing Raffles Hotel. That decision has clearly paid off, as it’s usually bustling till late most nights. It certainly doesn’t hurt that it’s an attractive space with tons to take in.

The food’s organized by categories like butcher, sea, paddock and garden, so it’s easy to navigate the fairly extensive number of items, some of which have been updated just a few weeks ago. Dishes to try include grilled eryngii mushroom with chive aioli ($9),and the moreish baked bone marrow ($20) dressed with shiitake duxelles and air-dried olives. No complaints about the heirloom tomato salad with feta ($16), but other items like our confit pork belly and pork shoulder ($27) proved a letdown. The shoulder, especially, was much too dry and the portion size could have done with some adjustments (we know it’s tapas but $27 for a few mouthfuls doesn’t sit well with us).

More disappointing yet is the sluggish service, particularly when they’re running at about 60 percent capacity. Salt tapas really needs to up their game to compete with the other strong players such as Esquina and FoodBar DaDa. But if you’re just doing after-work drinks and feel like people watching, it’s a decent spot.

Don’t miss: Bone marrow. It’s one of I-S Magazine’s 50 things to eat in Singapore before you die (2012).