Salt Grill & Sky Bar @ ION Orchard

Located on the 55th level of ION Orchard is one popular restaurant owned by none other than renowned celebrity Australian chef Luke Mangan, serving modern Australian cuisines. This is Salt Grill.

In order to go to Salt Grill, you will have to go through the concierge desk on the 4th floor of ION Orchard. You will then be ushered by the Salt Grill receptionist to the lift which takes you to the 55th floor. There are only 2 buttons inside the lift  so don’t worry about getting lost and going elsewhere.

If you are popping by the place during the daytime as I did, you will notice the abundance of natural light coming through both the roof and the tall glass windows which surround the entire restaurant. That would mean two things for me – great lighting for food photography but on the other hand, the sun’s heat coming through the glass panels would probably make some people abit uncomfortable.

The area where I sat, which was by the window, was quite hot initially but luckily, the clouds came in not long after which helped brought down the room temperature quite abit. Don’t be mistaken though, as Salt Grill is definitely an air-conditioned restaurant but it’s just that on my day of visit the sun was just scorching.

It was on a weekend when I visited Salt Grill and I would have to say, reservations would very much be necessary since most of the tables are already filled when I arrived. The setting is definitely not as formal as you might think it is. Smart casual dress code is the way to go for this casual and relaxing restaurant.

I have to admit that I really enjoy dining at restaurants that come with great views as that always give me a very different perspective when viewing things from the top down. There’s always this sense of appreciativeness which, almost without fail, hit upon me when I see things from that perspective.

Service level was acceptably good and overall attentive to my needs. Just to share something interesting which I observed, it seems like each individual staff were tasked to do specific duties. I’m not sure if I’m totally right but what I did notice is that one staff would be serving solely desserts, while the other takes care of the bill and the other would be serving food etc.

Salt Grill’s a la carte menu is quite impressive (and expensive). From Tapas to Appetizers, Grills to Mains, Sides to Seafood. I am quite sure you are able to find something you like. You can view Salt Grill’s a la carte menu here. If you are interested you can even buy Luke Mangan’s latest cookbook “At Home & In The Mood” signed by the chef himself.

I was here to try out Salt Grill’s 3-course Weekend Lunch Menu. At $60 per pax, let’s see what would that bring us on the table.

Bread selections with Luke Mangan Olive Oil and Dukkah to whet your tastebuds

Each set lunch comes with a serving of either coffee or tea

From the Entree Menu

Salt Salad (add $3)
($29 a la carte)

The Salt Salad is a combination of a single, poached hen’s egg with, buffalo mozzarella, candied walnuts and seasonal baby vegetables. The poached egg is quite good and definitely runny enough to my expectations. Just add a dash of salt and pepper and you are good to go. What I love most about this dish is having my favourite truffle oil added to the beans and base of the egg. Totally love the truffle oil’s aromatic flavour.

‘Glass’ Sydney Crab Omelette with Miso Custard Broth
($29 a la carte)

Succulent and juicy crab meat locked within a thick omelette, topped with enoki mushrooms. The Miso Custard Broth, poured only upon served, is the “culprit” that makes a whole lot of taste differences to this dish. I quite like the lightness of the broth which compliments both the egg and crab meat very well. The enoki mushrooms and parsley also add an extra crunch to the dish.

From the Main Course Menu

Barramundi Fillet with Sydney Spice, Coconut and Lime

What you have here is a decent chunk of freshly grilled barramundi fillet resting on fresh greens and accompanied with bright red and juicy cherry tomatoes. It might be a tad too fishy for some, especially for non-fish lovers. That said, if fish is your type of food I am sure you will have a great time enjoying this succulent dish.

Wagyu Burger with Cheddar Cheese, Double Smoked Bacon, Tomato and Smoky BBQ Sauce on Brioche Bun and Fries (add $5)

Fries ($8 for a la carte)

If you are expecting a huge Wagyu Burger, sorry but this would probably disappoint you. Instead, what you will be having would be three bite size mini burgers, with the beef patty grilled and flavours locked in. Overall the beef patties are not bad but I sort of regretted not choosing something from the menu that would probably be much better than the burgers. The fries are ideal for sharing among two but fries being fries, there’s nothing worth going wow over.

From the Dessert Menu

Chef’s Choice of Soufflé

This is probably one of the biggest and nicest soufflés I’ve tried. The chef’s choice during my visit was blueberry souffle, paired with a scoop of oh-so-sinful coconut ice cream topped with dried raspberry. Surprisingly, the blueberry soufflé is absolutely fluffy and very light. Put it in your mouth together with the coconut ice cream and the overall taste is superb. However, if coconut is not your thing, do let the waiting staff know and see if you could change to another flavour, as some might find the coconut taste to be a tad too strong. Personally, I consider this a great ending to my meal.

Salt Grill Sorbet and Ice Cream Selection

3 scoops from a selected list of sorbets and ice creams of your choice. I went for a scoop of passionfruit sorbet with chocolate ice cream. Topped with a thin and crispy waffle-like crust and dices of strawberries, this cold dessert definitely help cooled me down for awhile. The passionfruit sorbet was a bit too sour for my taste but I totally dig the scoops of chocolate ice cream.

Conclusion
Salt Grill is one casual, relaxing and inviting restaurant which I believe you will most likely have a good time enjoying a good meal with someone else, be it for a formal business occasion, an anniversary with your loved ones or simply hanging out with friends. I have to admit that the prices are really quite steep, especially for its a la carte items, with mains starting from $45 and up and appetizers for $24 onwards  but I reckon this would be one place that most of us would probably just come once in a while. Nevertheless, Salt Grill is definitely one of my favourite restaurants for some time to come.

Ratings: 4.0 out of 5.0 foodiedoos

Salt Grill & Sky Bar
2 Orchard Turn
Level 55 & 56, ION Orchard
Tel: 6592 5118
http://www.saltgrill.com/

Opening Hours: Refer to Website

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