The Salon @ Hotel Fort Canning – Fusion’s The Name Of The Game

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A friend brought us out for lunch and he decided to bring us to Hotel Fort Canning because it’s always great to get out of the CBD and to the fringe of it during a work day. Also, he really likes the food at The Salon, so we 4 hopped into his car and went off. Mind you…we shared all the food, so don’t think that we’re big eaters or that we’re such gluttons…although I might admit and we’re bordering on it.

Firstly, I really liked just being at Hotel Fort Canning because it’s relatively quiet although it’s near the city and there’s a lot of greenery. This ambience continues on into The Salon as not a lot of people would visit Fort Canning for lunch on a weekday.

Mushroom Cappuccino

We each started off with a bowl of soup and on a rainy day (which it was that afternoon), the  Mushroom Soup (S$14++) was really heavenly. I personally prefer mushroom soup where I can see the mushroom bits and this did not disappoint. Sadly, the truffle was only in the form of the truffle oil…so despite it’s yumminess, it really was overpriced at $14 a bowl.

We also ordered the Fruit Rojak (price unavailable) and Seafood Kueh Pie Tee (S$12++) but for some reason, I didn’t take photos of them. Anyway, the Fruit Rojak is a platter of assorted fruit and vegetables (raw mango, rose apple, green apple, radish, pineapple and cucumbers) that comes with a bowl of the distinct prawn paste sauce with ground peanut. The prawn paste sauce was really really smooth and tasty. Much better than half of what the hawker centres serve. Also, it doesn’t come pre-tossed so you get to choose how much sauce you douse your fruit/veg into.

As for the Keh Pie Tee, I didn’t like it. The others were raving about it but…I’ve tasted better. Especially those coming out from my kitchen. Oops. The fact that it comes with chilli sauce already placed on top of the prawn was a big no-no to me. It wasn’t even sambal but those bottled chilli sauce. Ah…the travesty!

Onto the mains!

Lobster Mee Siam

The Fried Mee Siam with Lobster (S$24++) was quite interesting. Besides the lobster, it also comes with 2 large prawns, completing the seafood goodness. Although it’s called a Mee Siam, it lacks the distinctive lemak coconut milk or the sour tamarind taste of traditional mee siam (dry or otherwise). Don’t get me wrong. It’s good. Just not mee siam mee siam.

Laksa Spaghetti with caviar

The fusion theme continued with our Laksa Spaghetti (S$18++) which is just as creamy and spicy as the usual laksa. What was gimmicky? The ‘caviar’ which is really just prawn roe. What was lacking? Chopped laksa leaves. Nonetheless, can’t complain as it does taste like good laksa (without the leaves and sambal).

Half Roasted Spring Chicken

The menu reads “Roast Spring Chicken” but only half the bird arrived. But I cannot complain as the Roast Spring Chicken (S$24++) tasted really different from your typical ones. It has to do with the grilling and roasting as the flavour of the meat was changed. The grilled taste was infused into the flesh of the chicken and it tasted almost gamey as a result. Really tender and succulent too!

Rack of lamb

The meat continued with the last main – Rack of Lamb (S$36++). Three perfectly cooked lamb chops served with gravy. It looks like a lot but half of the chop was fats. So…be prepared to be a little disappointed due to the size of the serving but not with the tenderness of the lamb. I liked the light searing of the fats too…but I didn’t eat that part.

Onto dessert!

Chilled Aloe Vera

The Chilled Aloe Vera (S$6.50++) is so chilled that it froze. Ok…very corny. Anyway, that’s honey on top of the shaved ice, which hides the aloe vera and fruit cocktail. Squeeze a lime over it and you’ve got the perfect blend of sweet and refreshing tang. However…putting pure honey on ice is not such a great idea. It was sticky and as it does not dissolve, you’ll get spoonfuls of sweet honey. My friends found it too sweet as a result. Me? Well…I eat honey straight out of the bottle so…um..yeah…moving on…

Ice Kachang

Yet another local dessert – Ice Kachang (S$6.50++). Surprisingly, I didn’t mind the corn on top. I usually detest the ones from food courts/hawker centres if they put sweet corn on top because the ‘sauce’ from the corn seldom goes well with the gula melaka or syrups. However, this one was surprisingly tasty! Also, they were very generous with the evaporated milk, so the ice was creamier than the usual fare you get from outside. The kachang and jelly bits were your typical ice kachang fare. Nothing to rave about.

Generally speaking, The Salon has succeeded in fusion cuisine and I liked that they still kept traditional versions of both local and western cuisines. However, even for a hotel, the prices of the food was overpriced and you can’t even say that you’re paying for the view as the restaurant does not have French windows that give you a view overlooking the city/ lush greenery.

I did have a good meal but I probably will not go running to The Salon again…unless I want to escape the hectic city.

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