The Salted Plum, formerly known as long-term pop-up Five Ten, has officially opened its doors at a two-storey shop house along Circular Road after much anticipation.
I visited the restaurant on a Saturday evening for a tasting, expecting it to be quiet as restaurants located in the CBD areas usually have slower business on weekends, but was surprised to catch a bustling crowd with quick turnover. They are doing very well for a new restaurant.
What’s unique about The Salted Plum is that the menu is kept really simple, with all dishes priced at either S$5 or S$10 each. For beverages, their signature Salted Plum Juice is priced at just S$5 per decanter, while beer and other alcohol starts from S$10 for a bottle of Taiwan beer; S$15 for two cans of Taiwan Fruit Beer (Grapefruit/Lychee/White Grape); and $10 for a glass of wine or $60 for a whole bottle.
White rice is free flow while their “Shiny Rice” – white rice drizzled with lard and garlic oil costs just 50 cents a bowl. I would recommend trying the Shiny Rice for the extra flavour and it doesn’t really cost that much.
The menu is created by Chef Shawn Koh who went on an extensive research trip around Taiwan, covering places like Taipei, Keelung, Taichung, Tainan and Kaoshiung, where he immersed himself in the local dining culture and learnt traditional preparation methods from the Taiwanese.
He then made adjustments to the dishes to better cater to Singaporean and international tastebuds, injecting modern elements into the presentation and cooking style. The result is The Salted Plum, which I find can best be described as a Taiwanese style modern Izakaya – a great place to have some light bites while knocking back a few drinks with friends in a casual environment.
“We realised Taiwanese cuisine is under-represented in Singapore, and we wanted to offer more Taiwanese dishes in the best way we know how to – in a casual and fun style.” Said Chef Shawn Koh.
I sampled a mix of dishes as below for the S$5 menu items:
The dishes I tried from the S$10 menu items:
I particularly like their Taiwanese Sausage Patties which are made from scratch and served in bite-sized portions, sans the skin. This is an interesting take on one of the classic Taiwanese street snacks. The Burnt Chilli Chicken was another delightful dish. This is from the menu of Five Ten and is introduced here because it’s a crowd pleaser.
The Lu Rou was good too – slow-cooked to perfection with a concoction of spices. This goes really well with a hearty portion of rice.
The Smashed Baby Potatoes is a tongue-in-cheek take on the usual French fries. Here, baby potatoes are deep-fried, then smashed and sprinkled with a generous dose of salted plum powder.
To cater to the CBD lunch crowd, The Salted Plum introduced a 8 selections of S$10 Lunch Bowls such as Lu Rou Fan (braised pork belly, kai lan, sous vide egg), Steak Rice (Sirloin steak, pickle cabbage, sous vide egg) and Burnt Chilli Chicken Rice (Seared Chicken with burnt chilli and coriander, sous vide egg).
For those with some extra cash to indulge on dining, the eatery also offers Live Boston Lobster (S$25), steamed and with soy and sesame dressing, and also Slipper Lobster (S$25) cooked with five spice during dinner. Limited portions, however, are available each week.
The Salted Plum is located at 10 Circular Road and is within walking distance from Clarke Quay MRT station. If you are interested to visit, more details are available via their Facebook Business Page.