I first met Shermaine when we paid a visit to Kream & Kensho late last year where I filmed my first Eating Out vlog with SETHLUI.com. Since then, Shermaine’s brand, S Collective, has truly blossomed into its own as she moves away from the cafe scene to helm Restaurant Salt along Circular Road.
Shermaine and her team are ever experimenting, ever educating, and they don’t rest at only banging out delectable fare. She uses her socials like Salt’s Instagram account to constantly educate and familiarise diners with unique produce that they’ll find here at Salt. A trip here is more of a lesson about produce really, and today we’ve got a field trip booked for two.
What I tried
Shermaine whisks us away and has us seated with Truffled Cheese Toasties (S$14) sliced three ways, and to pair, I pick a slightly fruity roasted tea that comes by way of the White Peach T.G.Y (S$6.50) in what I can only guess stands for ‘tie guan yin’, or a variety of Chinese Oolong tea. The Truffled Cheese Toasties aren’t the kind of sandwich slices that we pretend to daintily cut and take little bites out of. Get in there, and get in there fast—soaking up the toast in all its rich and hearty pleasure is the best and only way to savour it, I’m certain.
Oakwood smoked cheddar stacked atop fontina stacked atop comté and caramelised onions is one heck of a cheese pull if anyone’s keeping score. And when that happens, you might want to keep your cameras on standby.
I’m not shy about my unadulterated adoration for seafood and bisque, so making a beeline straight for the Scampi Bisque Linguine (S$23.10) comes as a no-brainer. It’s got flower crab, it’s got chilli butter, and it’s got pasta—that’s all I ask for when it comes to dinner. Thick, creamy amber-coloured sauce glazes each linguine strand, and as we continue to mix, bits of crab meat, scallions, and shallots pepper the plate in what now looks like a Jackson Pollock painting.
While perfectly briny and umami as all bisques should be, I would’ve liked the dish seasoned just a tad bit more, which would’ve worked wonders in bringing out the spirit of the dish on an even more pronounced scale.
Bone marrow crème fraîche, parsley, and heirloom carrots form the unlikely union of tonight’s Aged Rump Cap (S$28), which, in itself, presents the beef dish in a slightly uncommon way. The rump cap is presented alongside a trio of roasted carrots, which is no doubt lovely but leaves me wishing there was more than just crème fraîche holding the whole dish together. Perhaps a bed of grits or mash would’ve done the trick, but hey, there’s no falling back into norms at Restaurant Salt, and I respect that.
It is with great initial reluctance that I add the Chicken Supreme (S$19) to my order list because anyone who knows anything about my protein preferences will remember how far chicken has fallen on the list of all things pedestrian. But today, the hazelnut pesto and burnt leek velouté draw me in.
Right from the first slice, two palm-sized sous vide chicken breast cuts fall apart and coat themselves in a glorious burnt leek velouté. Very quickly, very suddenly, this chicken dish is soon becoming my favourite of the night, each bite more alluring than the last.
The combination of my beloved, crunchy ice plant, a sweet-savoury hazelnut pesto, charred romaine hearts, and fork-tender chicken breast arrests my unsuspecting heart—and that’s a phrase I never thought I’d put together, ever.
Vera’s ‘Chef’s Kiss Award’
Those already acquainted with my pieces (and thank you, for reading and sticking around), will be familiar with the awards. It’s anything and everything that deserves a return trip. And this evening, the burnt leek velouté is the element well-worthy of a shot.
Those paying close attention to each menu item would’ve come to realise that diversity plays a large part in forming the fundamentals of Restaurant Salt; each dish highlighting a different protein in all its glory appreciated for what it should be. You won’t find the tried and tested beef and cheddar burger here, no. Instead, each white soy-dressed, samphire-topped dish is careful and well-thought-out. It’s intentional.
It’s 2021, and we’ll no longer settle for eggs benedict atop lightly glazed terracotta plates. It’s high time we push back for more, because we deserve it.
Restaurant Salt is currently running their Happy Hours from 12pm to 2pm, and again at 5pm to 7pm. Find special seasonal craft beers from S$10 and wines at S$8 per glass.
Expected damage: S$23 – S$35 per pax
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Price: $ $
Our Rating: 4 / 5
49 Circular Road, Singapore 049404
49 Circular Road, Singapore 049404