by Kelly Wetherille
To me, the term ‘Australian cuisine’ holds about as much significance as ‘American cuisine,’ which is to say, not very much. So it was with a certain mix of curiosity and skepticism that I went for dinner at Salt, the Tokyo outpost of Australian chef and restauranteur Luke Mangan. And while I still can’t say with much confidence that I am now able to accurately describe Australian cuisine, what is certain is that Salt offers its customers plenty of options for good food accompanied by great wines.
After whetting my appetite with a glass of sparkling wine, I went for a starter of Australian tuna sashimi with pickled ginger, shallots and feta cheese (¥2,000). Surprisingly, the strong flavors of the ingredients didn’t compete with each other, but rather melded together quite harmoniously into a dish that was both stimulating and indulgent. This was accompanied by a glass of Turkey Flat rosé (¥800), which was just light enough not to overpower the delicate fish.
The meat was cooked rare and given a healthy dose of umami by the mushrooms and blue cheese.
Next came a rich, smokey homemade fettucini dish made with cherry tomatoes, olives, homemade chorizo and smoked feta cheese (¥1,300). The noodles were thick and cooked perfectly al dente, and the sauce, although rich, was done in a just-light-enough consistency.
The highlight of the meal was an Australian ribeye steak topped with truffle oil and served with blue cheese polenta and shiitake mushrooms (¥3,000). Another dish that was very rich in flavor, the meat was cooked rare and given a healthy dose of umami by the mushrooms and blue cheese. All this was washed down with a glass of smooth, full bodied Shiraz (¥1,400).
A decadent end to a decadent meal came in the form of a molten chocolate cake with milk chocolate mousse topped with a crispy burnt chocolate candy, Australian olive oil, and truffle salt (¥1,000). We left feeling stuffed and satisfied from not only the food, but also the delicious wine on offer. All this, plus the location of Salt in the center of Marunouchi’s business district, makes the restaurant an especially good choice for a quiet weekend meal.