Salted & Hung’s new tasting menu involves green lip abalone, the crustiest sourdough and a modern take on a ’50s Australian dessert
Salted & Hung isn’t exactly your best-kept secret, but it is legitimately one of the most underrated restaurants in Singapore. It may not be on everyone’s radar, but a meal here is always worth busting your calorie budget for the night.
The contemporary Australian restaurant, which was founded in 2015, takes the lead from Drew Nocente. The chef-owner, who resembles a more likeable Jon Favreau from Chef (2014), grew up on a farm near Brisbane and sticks closely to the philosophy of minimal waste and honest, comfort food. His new seven- and 10-course tasting menus (S$128 or S$168) celebrate this philosophy, the diversity of flavours and origins of produce.
Be prepared to eat plenty, but if you’re not a fan of Jerusalem artichoke, abalone or cheese (shame on you), the seven-course menu is more than sufficient. Whichever way you go, know that it’s going to be great.
To get things going, you’ll start with three small bites: the Uni Panna Cotta, silkier than chawanmushi, is served chilled with a nori cracker; Fish & Chips, elevated by caviar and pea purée; and Cheeseburger, raw minced tenderloin served with pickles and smoked ketchup in a kueh pie tee shell. Other standouts include a very crusty IPA Sourdough, served with whipped lard and seaweed butter; the Abalone (add S$25 if you went for the seven-course), a boring shellfish made enjoyable by charred cabbage and charcuterie broth (lick the bowl clean or save some bread to soak the leftovers up); and the Grouper, the epitome of Nocente’s no-waste policy. The bones, for example, are dried for 30 days, pulverised and turned to broth.
Equally wonderful is dessert, particularly Gold’n Gaytime, Nocente’s iteration of the popular ’50s Australian ice cream snack – think cocoa nibs, salted toffee ice cream and hints of umami – that’s also available à la carte at lunch, on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
If there’s anything Salted & Hung needs to improve on, is its ambience. Acoustics aren’t bad, but the lighting, to put it bluntly, is a bit of a mood-killer. The space could benefit from some brightening, but the friendly service kind of makes up for it.
All that said, the pleasure of the food justifies the pain of a dull atmosphere, and that alone will keep us coming back for more.
Robb tip: Add on a wine-pairing for S$45 for three glasses or S$70 for five. You could also book dinner for a Wednesday and enjoy a corkage-free night, limited to a 750ml bottle for every two persons.
Salted & Hung
12 Purvis Street
Tel: +65 6358 3130