Tar Pau Nation: What to order in

Covid-19 stay-home guide: Tasty twists to Taiwanese fare

The Salted Plum's Lu Rou 2.0 Bento (above) and Beef Belly (left).
The Salted Plum's Lu Rou 2.0 Bento (left) and Beef Belly (right).ST PHOTOS: WONG AH YOKE

In this daily series, Senior Food Correspondent Wong Ah Yoke digs into delivery options and rates them for you

I have never been to The Salted Plum even though I enjoy Taiwanese food. Not that the restaurant in Suntec City professes to serve authentic fare from the island.

Instead, it "celebrates Taiwanese flavours, ingredients and techniques while catering to the Singapore palate". That still sounds pretty good.

Its delivery menu is certainly enticing, though that is no guarantee the food will live up to expectations. I've had enough disappointments over the past two months to know.

The Salted Plum was not one of them even if I docked some marks because the food was cool. It's not a complaint, however, as one cannot always be the first stop on the food run. But it did make me wonder how much better the dishes would have been had they been hot.

Lu rou fan, or braised pork rice, is one of my favourite Taiwanese dishes. But the Lu Rou 2.0 Bento ($14.90) turned out not to be what I expected.

The rice is topped by, not braised minced pork belly, but a big piece of meat. Taste-wise, it was similar and I guess you get more pork this way, so it wasn't necessarily a bad thing.

I added crispy pork croutons for $1 and although the lard bits were tiny, they gave much pleasure.

The bento included a separate onsen egg with instructions to mix it into the rice. There was some boring poached bokchoy too.

But I really enjoyed the braised napa cabbage, pickled cucumber and tofu. They helped to lighten my guilt over eating that fat pork too.



    Go to order.saltedplum.co. Minimum order of $30.


    1 $10. Free for orders of $60 and above.


    4 Stars

The bento was filling enough, but the Beef Belly ($15) from the a la carte section was too tempting to pass over. It was a good price too as the portion was enough for three persons as a side dish.

The thinly sliced fat and tender meat was cooked with onions and ginger Japanese-style, but the sesame sauce was laced with chilli oil and tasted Chinese. It was topped with pickled ginger, which was unusual but a good match.

I've made a note to visit The Salted Plum when dine-in is allowed again. I want to taste these dishes again - hot this time.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 19, 2020, with the headline 'Tasty twists to Taiwanese fare'. Print Edition | Subscribe