Salt ソルト バイ ルークマンガン (Tokyo)

Location: Tokyo, Japan
Address: 1-5-1 Marunouchi, Chiyoda (Shin-Marunouchi Building, 6th floor)

Type of Meal: Dinner

Salt Tokyo is an overseas outpost of Chef Luke Mangan’s Australian restaurant from Sydney. Of course, the Tokyo location also features a fusion of Japanese ingredients on account of Chef Koji Fukuda’s influence.

With a limited selection on their a la carte menu, most diners seemed to be ordering off their three course menu (¥4,800 with supplements for certain items). If you are really hungry, they also offer a five or eight course tasting menu. But, we found the three courses more than enough, especially when there were two smaller amuses thrown in and frequent refills of bread. Plus, sometimes it’s nice to choose your meal, especially since many things on the menu sounded delicious.

Before the appetizer arrived the first amuse was presented, a piece of bacon infused corn bread which had been lightly grilled and topped with a cool crème fraîche.  Although it wasn’t anything spectacular, it was a nice addition to the complimentary bread. 

The prawn rolled in kadayif resembled a tornado spring roll, consisting of a shrimp wrapped in thin wisps of crispy coating. Kadayif, similar to shredded wheat, is generally found in the Turkish dessert baklava so was interesting to taste it in a savoury form. Paired with a sweet chili jam it was good but then it’s hard to mess up deep fried shrimp. I was intrigued when the menu describes this dish coming with "beer air"; unfortunately I didn’t get a whiff of ale so still unsure how it ties into the prawn.

My husband's Tasmanian ocean trout sashimi was absolutely delicious made up of fresh thinly sliced trout topped with ginger, shallot and soy. This was then combined with some creamy avocado, spring greens and dollops of goat cheese so it became a substantial salad. Out of two, this was the better choice in my opinion.  

Next, a second amuse arrives, this time an upscale take on a deep fried mozzarella stick. I’m not quite sure what type of cheese it was, but had a nice crust and soft molten centre complete with a creamy sauce for dipping. I can’t recall what the crispy bits topping the sauce were but overall liked the dish.

Taking a gamble, I ordered the roasted "sawara" which turned out to be a white fish (still unclear why the menu describes it in quotes). The skin was nicely crisped while the fish tender and flaky, but this was a fairly delicate so relied heavily on the other ingredients to give it oomph. Combined with chunks of softly boiled potatoes, bacon and mushrooms, the dish certainly had a rustic feel and is good if you’re in the mood for something simple.

Once again, although my selection was good, I found my husband’s dish was superior. The grilled beef fillet (¥800 supplement) with potato puree sounded uninspired – beef and potatoes? But, it was beautifully seared and tender with just the right amount of saltiness from the au jus. As the slice of chili compound butter started melting the rich heat also start permeating the meat and smooth mashed potatoes.  

To end, the yakiimo (roasted sweet potato) soufflé (¥300 supplement) for me, which although started deflating was still fluffy and moist on the inside. Underneath the shell was a beniimo (purple sweet potato) ice cream; such a brilliant colour and a nice thick creamy texture. The addition of crunchy cookie bits (likely also derived from sweet potato) scattered around the ice cream added a nice contrast. All things considered, it was a delicious dessert.

The cheese plate (¥600 supplement) had a varying selection consisting of Roquefort (a blue cheese which generally isn’t my favourite but wasn’t quite as pungent so bearable; I’ll admit the drizzle of honey always helps), Ossau-Iraty (a smooth sheep’s milk based cheese) and a triple cream brie (always a delight!).

In general, Salt’s dishes were well executed and delicious. While offering pristine French linens, silver and service; Salt nonetheless charged affordable price points. Located in central Tokyo close to Tokyo Station, Hibiya and Ginza it’s an easy place to drop into for a nice dinner that’s not painstakingly long.

Overall mark - 8 out of 10

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Gastro World's Grading System

  • Anything under 5 - I really disliked and will never go back
  • 6 - decent restaurant but I likely won't return
  • 7 - decent restaurant and I will likely return
  • 8 - great restaurant that I'd be happy to recommend
  • 9 - fantastic restaurant that I would love to visit regularly and highly recommend
  • 10 - absolute perfection!