Dig In: The Salted Plum

Chinatown pop-up FIVE TEN finds home in Boat Quay, bringing their tasty Taiwanese cooking to lucky CBD folks.

Processed with VSCO with a6 preset

The rundown

Previously known as FIVE TEN, the Chinatown pop-up serving Taiwanese fare tapas style has since found a permanent home in a shophouse unit along Boat Quay (not facing the river). Expect all their signatures, similar pricing and the ever popular rice bowls!

The vibe

Compared to their previous Chinatown digs, their new home is a lot smaller, almost hole-in-the-wall. That said, it is a lot cosier, with a blue wall and dim warm lights — perfect for CBD workers looking to escape the heat for a lunchtime tête-à-tête. There is one high table for six to eight and a couple more smaller tables that fit two to four, but this means reservations are necessary. We love how the service staff here are extremely friendly, efficient and super intuitive with our needs for tea and rice refills.


Photo by Burppler Vanessa Kou

What’s good

Most of the popular dishes from their FIVE TEN days are now mainstays on The Salted Plum’s menu. This includes their super popular Lu Rou Fan ($10) and Fried Chicken ($10). That said, we noticed that the recipe for the former has changed — the sauce is a tad runnier and the pork belly wasn’t as tender as we remembered, but it still is very satisfying especially at that price! As for something new and winning, go for the Burnt Chilli Chicken ($10), which the Burpple community is raving about. We tried and loved the beautifully charred chicken thigh that delivered punchy flavours with a tinge of heat. Some of these dishes are available as Lunch Bowls ($10), but if the dish of your choice is available as a protein main (like the Braised Pork Belly and Burnt Chilli Chicken, each at $10), get that and ask for white rice, which is free flow and free of charge. You’ll get a lot more bang-for-your-buck protein for the same price as a lunch bowl (which only gets you an extra onsen egg and negligible greens).


Photo by Burppler Muriel A

On sides, those we tried and are worth ordering include the Smashed Baby Potatoes ($5), which resemble a crispier version of wedges, and the tender soy glazed Chicken Hearts ($5) with fried ginger. Skip the house made Taiwanese Sausage Patties ($10) — the dish sported a slightly overpowering acidity, and the flavour balance wasn’t great.

We were lucky to be treated to a free dessert — Red Tea Jelly ($5) with pearls and cream. Reminiscent of a  deconstructed Taiwanese milk tea, only intensified with rich cream, this might just save you a mid-afternoon run to the bubble tea shop.

Read all about The Salted Plum here, according to the Burpple community!