SALT may be smack in the heart of the city, but it succeeds in being a welcome sanctuary from the cosmopolitan bustle, furnishing a slice of serenity for the frazzled urban soul. For extra reassurance, the venue is helmed by seasoned professionals - SALT heralds a new collaboration between the show-runners of Ciao & Ciccio (two of KL's most enduring Italian restaurants) & chef Andrea Zanella, formerly of Chiaroscuro, il Lido & Zenzero (our three favourite destinations of the past decade for a taste of la dolce vita). This isn't an Italian establishment though; the focus is on casual eats that encompass global influences - Spanish anchovies on garlic bread share the menu with Levantine baba ghanoush & Thai spicy basil beef.
Bread & bentos rank among the attractions: House-baked rustic loaves, focaccia & baguettes energe fresh from the oven each morning, for takeaway or to savour as sandwiches, such as with turkey ham & buffalo mozzarella (warm, thick & tasty). Bento-style lunch sets are offered from noon through 3pm, not with sushi & tempura but with a daily-changing international selection that may include terrific gnocchi with tomato sauce, salmon & orange salad, mushroom beef stew & sauteed vegetables, together with broccoli soup, a chef's dessert & iced lemon tea - satisfyingly hearty at a value-for-money RM28++.
There's pretty much a meal to tempt everyone, from onion frittatas (RM14) to rigatoni with meat sauce (RM26) & veal sausages, smooth, chunky & flavourful, with sauerkraut (RM22) - each dish conveys a clear attention to quality ingredients & capable execution. Save space for dessert; the ricotta cake proves a lovely, textured treat (RM12). All in all, this is a promising start for a very pleasant place, with more to come - brunches every second Sunday of the month, with optional free flow of Sangria; plus, the team plans to unveil Anita Laguna, a modern European restaurant, next door in December - we can't wait.
SALT et al
A-G-1, Menara Amplewest, Jalan Puncak, Off Jalan P. Ramlee, Kuala Lumpur. Daily, 9am-7pm. Tel: 03-2022-2173
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