Salted Plum's second outlet still satisfies
I must have eaten at all of The Salted Plum's incarnations, starting from July 2017 when it was a pop-up called Five Ten.
Last month, it opened its second outlet at Suntec City.
Back then, I was tickled by its menu of $5 and $10 dishes as it was such a novelty.
Today, the prices have expanded to $15 dishes but the food direction remains Taiwanese dishes served tapas style and rice bowls. The same cheeky attitude remains, which I like.
I still enjoy so many things on the menu, with most of the dishes pairing perfectly with the lavender-hued sweet potato porridge ($2).
There are also three outlet-exclusive items at the Suntec City location, two of which are good.
I like the Dou Miao ($15) tremendously, though I know these sprouts are hit-and-miss for many people.
The combination of the "greeny" taste of the pea shoots with the saltiness of the bacon chunks is addictive, although it may be too salty for some. That is when the porridge comes in handy.
The Cold Tofu ($10) is also excellent.
I wanted to give it a miss because it is just cold tofu on paper.
But with a fried century egg for creaminess and flavour, fried shallots for texture and a soulful soya sauce, it has all the signs of becoming a beloved legacy dish on the menu.
The only exclusive item that doesn't impress is Salmon Fresh AF ($15). The only exciting thing about the dish is its name, because it is literally a piece of fried salmon.
There are way more interesting options such as Joey's Lala ($15). This is not new but everyone should order it.
The fresh clams are a draw, but the star is the housemade Asian pesto (with sweet Thai basil, pork lard and fish sauce).
When the clam juice is combined with the pesto, it is magical. I wish they are more generous with the pork lard toppings, but then again, I never ever think there is enough lard.
While the Lu Rou (now Lu Rou 2.0, $15) rules the menu, I find the new version inferior to its predecessor. But that is a good chance for you to discover Kao Rou ($15), or grilled pork belly.
The meat has a good proportion of fat. Grilling adds a hint of smokiness but the sweet soya sauce makes it wonderful.
I have been a fan of the Taiwan sausage patties ($10) from day one and I still am.
I could never get into the original Taiwan sausage - all that bright pink scares me.
But this incorporates the flavours from that pink monstrosity into approachable patties, with enough pockets of fattiness to keep it moist.
There are some practical changes with this branch, especially since it is a busy place with a crazy lunchtime crowd.
It is self-service, so pick up, clean up and don't leave a mess. It serves breakfast and tea (not the regular menus though), and you can order a set menu.
So if you are crazy about The Salted Plum's food, you can start and end your day here.
The Salted Plum
#B1-122A Suntec City Mall
Opens 8.30am to 8.30pm, but menu is available only for lunch and dinner