Salt by Luke Mangan, Marunouchi ソルトバイルークマンガンシンマルビル

We all know that too much salt is bad for you, but it seems that message may not have gotten through to me yet. Salt is probably the fine-dining restaurant in Tokyo that I've eaten out the most at. So it's kind of ironic that I've never properly reviewed it. And it's also kind of ironic that Google's otherwise great service deleted the last posting I made about it for no apparent reason. Hmmm.

Salt is billed as a modern Australian restaurant and is sponsored by Australian celebrity chef Luke Mangan, whose food I am a confirmed fan of. In my humble opinion modern Australian cuisine, a style pioneered by a number of chefs in Sydney about 25 years ago, is not really that different from any other "modern" cuisine out there these days. I am not saying that it's a pretentious assignation, merely that the idea of there being a unique Australian cuisine really is not a very solid one.

Nevertheless, Salt clearly is inspired by what's being done by contemporary chefs in Australia - and that makes for some interesting cooking. Certainly, you can see that the style at Salt is different to the Franco-Italian fine (western) dining norm for Tokyo. And, as you wouldn't normally experience, all the wines are from Australia. So if you don't usually drink Australian wine you should be in for some very pleasant surprises as their cellar is very well chosen.

Although some meals are better than others, I've never failed to enjoy eating there and the service is usually pretty good. On a recent visit for lunch, my dining partner and I sampled the lunch menu and I shall post photos shortly...

I think it's about time I updated my entry on Salt at Marunouchi. This well-established "modern-Australian" restaurant is to be found in the classically stylish Shin Marunouchi Building opposite the Marunouchi exit of Tokyo station.

I have been to Salt more times than I care to remember and have always enjoyed it both for business and for pleasure. I find it better value at lunch than dinner, but this is more a judgement about the quality and volume of the lunch than the price of the dinner; which is not unreasonable for a restaurant of this style.

All the wines come from Australia, so if you don't usually partake of Australian wines when you dine out, you may be in for some interesting surprises. The salted quail egg has always been the amuse bouche of the house, and I seem never to be able to go past their liquorice lime sorbet for dessert. I've often found the beef to be particularly good but really I think you'd find it hard to go wrong with anything you order there.

Here are some happy snaps from a recent lunch. The food here is from the 3,500 yen menu. I augmented it with a glass of Semillion with my entree and a Pinot Noir with the main.

Scallops. I didn't have them this time but I've had them before and they were delicious.

Foie gras parfait was served with semi-dried raspberry, chopped strawberries and boudin noir. It was as good as it sounds.

My dining partner's snapper.

My beef with potato puree.

The famous liquorice and lime parfait.

My dining partner's Oreo pie. Not very Australian, but well we never really believed there was any such thing did we...

Tel: 03-5288-7828


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