The Salted Plum pays tribute to hearty, comforting Taiwanese street food that is the hallmark of Taiwan’s ever-popular night markets.
Managed by the same people behind the former FIVE-TEN, The Salted Plum—located in Boat Quay—came to fruition after many months of intensive research while Chef Shawn Koh was travelling through Taiwan in hopes of replicating the same flavours but with an innovative twist back in Singapore.
The casual restaurant serves a medley of Taiwanese street food—from favourites such as Braised Pork Belly, Braised Pig Intestines and Taiwanese Sausage Patties to other interesting options including the likes of Salted Pork and Oyster Steamed Egg.
And just like what you would expect from the street food stalls at Taiwanese night markets, prices at The Salted Plum are kept affordable so you can indulge in Taiwanese-style meals, “tapas” and alcohol all day (and night) long without feeling the pinch.
THE SALTED PLUM CONCEPT
The humble establishment’s concept is one that is easy to grasp; prices are mostly set at S$5, S$10 and S$15 for most items and S$25 for the premium choices. Their S$10 lunch bowls are the top picks, with incredible options such as the Lu Rou Fan and Steak Rice.
As much as their lunch deals are insanely attractive, it is really the a la carte dishes you should be keeping a lookout for. Known as ‘xiao chi’, the small plates featured at the Salted Plum are essentially similar to those substantial snacks you will find at any traditional eatery in Taiwan.
Complement the delicious “tapas” with their selective range of drinks, from red tea to beers and wines.
Even those who have not been to Taiwan would have heard about Lu Rou (braised pork belly) because it is THAT iconic.
But there is no need to get on a plane just to have taste of this street delicacy if you are short on cash/time; the recipe has been perfected by The Salted Plum and what you get at the humble establishment is two gorgeous slices of pork belly that are braised in savoury and sweet sauce. Have the melt-in-your-mouth pork belly with their Shiny Rice in one bite—you will be blown away by the sheer umami flavours.
While bamboo shoots is hardly anyone’s idea of a signature dish at a restaurant, The Salted Plum seeks to prove that notion wrong. Fresh chunks of bamboo shoots are simmered in aromatic pork broth to allow the decadent porky flavours to penetrate into the crunchy vegetables.
By the way, this is a great snack if you are drinking beer. The Taiwanese could call that ‘xia jiu cai’.
SMASHED BABY POTATOES
One of the most memorable dishes on the menu during our previous trip was the Smashed Baby Potatoes with salted plum powder—and is still, by far, a dish we would highly recommend to diners.
Think smashed potatoes deep-fried to perfection so you get that crispy texture with every bite. It was so good, it may very well be the only way we want to have potatoes for finger food from now on!
TAIWANESE SAUSAGE PATTIES
Inspired by his experience with Taiwanese sausages and Taiwanese-style cured bacon during his travels, Chef Koh’s version of Taiwanese Sausage Patties has been modified to suit our local palates, using less rice wine and sugar but throwing in more five spice powder.
Made in their kitchen daily, fresh ground pork belly is first marinated with fragrant spices before they are moulded into small patties and stir-fried in a pan. We thoroughly enjoyed the layer of char on the outside for that smoky flavour while the meat remains tender and juicy.
BRAISED PIG INTESTINES
Those who do not take innards won’t be inclined to try this dish but trust us when we say, this is the place that will change your perception of pig offal.
The fresh large intestines are braised in a piquant dark sauce that strikes out any pungent smell you would usually taste in poorly done pork innards dishes.
OYSTER STEAMED EGG
To be honest, the Oyster Steamed Egg did not look like much when we first saw it. You really have to dig into it to find the treasure hidden within the steamed egg—a generous serving of baby oysters so plump and they provided great textures when eaten with the silky smooth steamed egg.
Steamed mussels with wine is not a new recipe but the one at The Salted Plum stays true to traditional Chinese culinary techniques by using only Shaoxing wine, a type of yellow wine that is commonly used for Chinese cooking to elevate flavours.
This mouthwatering bowl of mussels is then topped off with sliced ginger for that additional kick.
Enjoy a piping hot bowl of prawns that follows the classic, healthy Chinese method of steaming and is served with garlic, chilli, fish sauce and soy sauce.
The freshness of these juicy prawns is complemented with a hint of heat from the chilli padi and garlic—just the way Asians love their spicy food.
MORE TAIWANESE-INSPIRED FOOD ON THE MENU
The list doesn’t end here. Apart from our favourites, The Salted Plum also has other choices that make for great tapas or filling meals when you have them with rice. Some other options to consider are the Haus Bacon (S$10) which are made in-house, Brussels Sprouts (S$10) and Corn (S$5).
For something even fancier, the Hamachi Collar (S$15) and Slipper Lobster (S$25) will do the trick.
FREE-FLOW DRINKS FOR S$5 AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
Complete your meals with iced teas at S$5 for groups of four. Served in a decanter, the iced teas are free-flow so you can have as much as you desire for just a one time charge. What a steal, we know!
Beyond that, The Salted Plum is also the perfect place for after-work drinks with your friends and colleagues because of the chill ambience and selection of reasonably-priced alcoholic beverages which include Taiwan Beer (S$10/ bottle) and wines.
STAY TUNED FOR A NEW SUPPER SPOT AT BOAT QUAY
For night owls who are looking for a supper spot in Boat Quay, you will be delighted to know that The Salted Plum will be opened till late on Fridays and Saturdays, offering Taiwanese porridge from 11pm to 3pm on these two nights. Imagine having a bowl of warm porridge with sweet potatoes after a night of drinks—how comforting!
Diners can also have their porridge with other sides such as Fried Frog Legs with Haus Chilli Mayo, Dough Fritters with Minced Pork and Haus Sauce, Crispy Duck Leg and Golden King Mushroom and Plum Powder. Signature items from their main menu including Braised Intestines, Burnt Chilli Chicken and House-made Taiwanese Sausage Patties can also be enjoyed.
The Salted Plum
10 Circular Road
Tel: +65 9181 6265
(Closed on Sundays)
Mon to Sat: 11.30am – 3pm, 6pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Clarke Quay
This post is brought to you by The Salted Plum.