Rarely do I find myself so taken with a restaurant that I visit twice in a month. Salted and Hung managed to win me over enough to feed me twice within two weeks. As the name suggests, Salted and Hung is a reference to the curing, or preparing, of (mostly) meat. And whatever is being done in the preparation at Salted and Hung is being done pretty bloody well. The chef is an Aussie of Italian heritage, Drew Nocente, who grew up in a typically Italian family with food being a major theme.
Italy at Heart
Ironically I write this post from Italy where I’m on holiday, and every meal is a testament to how food is a way of life. Yesterday it was a community kitchen cooking up fritti misti for the village and others as a fundraising activity. The day before it was a mountain village restaurant using only local produce but creating truly amazing food. Today it has been pannini by the pool as I catch up on work. The bread was straight from the oven this morning, crispy on the outside and soft and doughy inside.
Anyway, my point of all that is just how important food is to Italian culture, and how it is embedded in those who grow up this way. And what Drew has managed to do at Salted and Hung is to bring together his passion for food, with an Aussie twist of entrepreneurism, and dazzle the quite saturated Singapore dining scene.
On visit number one Husband and I sat at the bar to catch the action. As I’ve said before I’m a fan of the bar seat, especially with a view of the kitchen. Watching the effort and attention to detail at Salted and Hung was quite breathtaking. There seemed to be quite an orderly hum of activity, with each member of the team knowing their role. Less so with the wait staff who seemed a bit off kilter. There were plenty of them around, but at times it seemed difficult to get their attention.
On both visits I’ve tried the charcuterie ($28++) and each time I’ve been super impressed. The sizeable selection includes red wine salami, lardo, coppa (pork neck), kangaroo loin and pancetta. On our first visit we were also treated to a jar of rillettes, I think it was oxtail from memory. The meat was gorgeous, and served with the aniseed crackers that are made in house, was a sweet mouthful of crispy fattiness. The pickles as a side are also delicious, sweet and crunchy. The kangaroo on the charcuterie is also a highlight, cured to bring out the flavour, the smooth texture of the meat was dense and tasty.
Another favourite of mine was the kangaroo tartare ($18++). Whilst kangaroo meat can be rather tough, the raw meat was prepared to produce tender mouthfuls of flavour. Combined with pickled beetroot, crispy juniper crumbs and orange cream this was an ingenious dish that I loved.
On our first visit we managed to sneak in the special of the day, wagyu ribs ($28++), that were astonishingly good. You can see from the glistening fat in the photo above, these ribs were bursting with flavour, with enough meat on the bone between the veins of fat to make a truly tasty dish. Worth every moment of the greasy fingers helping to gnaw at the bones.
On my second visit there were no ribs so we tried the Blackmore 9+ wagyu ($48++). The meat was again flavourful, but my dining partner found it too fatty for her tender tastebuds 😉 Whilst I enjoyed the meat, it fell short of the ribs we’d had previously. What we did love was the hamachi collar ($28++). I only learnt that hamachi was a fish by googling, and the collar isn’t normally a part of the fish I’d go for but this was excellent. Getting at the meat was tricky but the rewards were worth it. Tender fish was hidden by the crispy, charcoal exterior. The lard on top added a fattiness to the meat and the crispy kale added crunch. This was another gorgeous taste combination.
Sides are good, and on our second visit the kale served with homemade cheese ($14++, pictured above) was sensational. On our first visit we tried this dish and it was altogether different. The cheese was bland and the nuts didn’t add much either. Kale v2 was served with a creamy, gorgonzola type cheese (very similar to something we just tried in Sardinia called ovinfort), and a side of dressing (I don’t remember exactly because I was so distracted with the cheese). Delicious.
The side of corn with spiced manchego ($14++) is also good, note that it’s a big serving though. There is a decent selection of wines that are reasonably priced, the Malbec we had on our first visit is my preferred so far ($20++ per glass).
I can’t wait to get back to Salted and Hung with a big group and try some of the more adventurous dishes. Tripe is fried and served with Tongarashi (pepper), szechuan and caponata puree and looks surprisingly delicious, but it’s a big serve if there’s only two of you. Pork jowl, octopus and sweetbreads all sound interesting too, as do the desserts.
Salted and Hung is in Purvis Street, a favourite of mine, and now there’s another good reason to go.
3 Ways Salted and Hung Could Delight Customers Even More
- Keep the kale v2
- Put the wagyu ribs on the standard menu
- If there’s no free tap water, perhaps a cover charge for tap water? Rather than there being no choice but to buy bottled water
Salted and Hung
12 Purvis Street, Singapore
phone +65 6358 3130
Open weekdays for lunch from 12pm to 2.30pm (last order @2), dinner from 6pm to 10.30pm (last order @10) and open Saturdays from 6pm to 10.30pm (last order @10)