Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Brunch at Salt Tapas and Bar - Glorious, Glorious Eggs

Whenever I want to assess the cooking ability of a chef, the best way is to simply ask him or her to cook up an egg dish.

It may sound very simple, but those that cook will know that mastery of the eggs is no simple feat. It takes a culmination of knowledge, practice and skill to come up with the best egg dishes.

For Chef Ronald Li of Salt Tapas and Bar at Raffles City, his command of egg cuisine is nothing short of exemplary.

From omelettes to scrambled eggs to Spanish tortillas, he is just a master at every egg genre out there. And that bodes well for the recently launched brunch menu at his establishment. If you are an egg lover,  you will find plenty to enjoy here.

Cigar Omelette with Mushroom Cepe

His cigar shaped french omelette has to be one of the most perfectly executed ones that I have seen. Smooth as an SK II facial, the buttery sheen is the ideal accompaniment to the aromatic and eggy fluff within the interior. The pairing of the savoury and earthy cope sauce coupled with a sweet and sharp brightness of scallions is faultless. Pretty to look at it too.

Scrambled Eggs with Ratatouille

You are probably having less than ideal scrambled eggs till now until you try these. Perfectly whipped into an eggy submission, enhanced by dollops of butter to give it that shiny and rich finish. The tomato tangy tone of the ratatouille hash makes for a great counter to the eggy luxury, and some warm toasted bread to wipe the plate clean.

Spanish Omelette with Spicy Sauce

Again, one of the prettiest Spanish tortillas around. It is almost sublime, except that I crave for a bit more of the sweetness of caramelised onions to punch up the eggs and potatoes mixture. Otherwise, wonderfully crusted and flipped for that crucial tortilla sculpting that escapes most other local chefs.

Egg Beretine With Bonito Flakes

A bit of a Japanese influence always permeate Chef Ronald's cooking and this combination of classic egg benny with florentine does the job more than remarkably well. House made hollandaise that looks the part with its golden hues and wonderfully coaxed emulsion, and sous vide eggs that is ideal for that egg oozing cut, this is egg porn at its highest peak.

Rounded off with spinach and ham, the oriental touch comes in the form of a dashi infusion into the rich hollandaise that never threatens to overpower. Right on the edge cooking is simply a joy to behold and savour.

French Toast with Okinawa Ice Cream

A crisp crust ensures his classic French Toast will hit the right marks, and garnished with a housemade Okinawa ice cream, it is simplicity that makes this the ideal way to finish the brunch on a high.

Make no mistake about it, the master of eggs is here and he's a local talent. Chef Ronald has my absolute approval based on his handling of egg dishes alone. But then, I have tried his other plates and it goes to show, if you can handle eggs, you can handle anything.

Beyond his kitchen sorcery, there is also the sense that Chef Ronald infuses everything he does with a culinary passion that is rare these days in local cooking. His plates are not merely by the numbers expeditions, but genuine and thoughtful gastronomic works of art.

They may look simple to some, but only those that have attempted to replicate some of these plates will know that it takes a lot of effort and talent to get each and every of these above dishes perfect. And that itself, is the highest compliment I can give.

Salt Tapas and Bar by Luke Mangan
252 North Bridge Road
01-22A Raffles City Shopping Centre

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