Seasalt's Signature Dish, the White Snapper

26 May 2017 - Seasalt marks the start of a tantalizing new seascape dining experience, exciting palates with an enticing taste of the sea in their fresh seafood selection. Some creations to drool over include the White Snapper, Seasalt’s signature sea salt baked fish. The dish is created based on the philosophy of “craft over creation” by Head Chef Vivian Vitalis.

When talking about White Snapper, ‘crafting’ is perhaps the right word to describe the story behind the dish. “Once guests arrive, I would suggest them to try the signature dish for a complete Seasalt culinary journey,” said Vivian. “The salt baked White Snapper basically explains everything you could find in the sea with a modern Edomae seafood style. Obviously, the fish is baked with salt – which centrals to every cuisine in the kitchen and here in Seasalt, you are just few steps away from the sea,” he continued.

The White Snapper comes with five types of ‘seasides’: trio tomato salads, potato katsuobushi salad, yuzu cucumber sesame salad, green salad, and dashi butter lemon sauce. Every single side brings a different experience to the taste and flavors.

“Fish baked in salt is definitely no new thing. It’s an old technique, yet so appealing,” said Vivian, whose culinary style and skills have been shaped alongside influential chefs such as Johann Lafer at the Michelin-starred Le Val d’Or in Stromberg, Germany, and Ito San at the award-winning Japanese fine dining restaurant Gonbei at Kuala Lumpur. The idea of sealing food in salt crust dates back before pots and pans were invented. People who live closely to geothermal springs would wrap up the food even with leaves and cook it in the springs or bury it in the warm ground near the springs. However, if we look specifically at baking a fish in salt crust, this method is common in Sicily, the largest Mediterranean island in Italy. “It may seem impossible to believe that the fish will not be unbearably salty, but it isn’t. In fact, it will produce a really moist and perfectly seasoned fish with just a little effort,” Vivian says with smile.

A 30-year-old The New York Times article has pointed out that the theory behind certain types of salt cooking relies on a hermetic crust, which ‘traps’ the heat and moisture of the fish. The crust then forces seasoning to permeate the fish rather than allowing them to escape as in broiling and sautéing methods. This hardening texture of salt crust creates a ‘kiln’ effect that is being said as “cooks up to a third more quickly” than other methods. “The dramatic presentation will also wow the guests and this is a kind of experience that I want them to have at Seasalt,” said Vivian as he brings his cooking demo to a close.

As bizzare as it sounds, the White Snapper is a must-try dish at Seasalt. Authentic flavors fresh from the ocean and earth, beautiful ocean views, fresh ocean air... Seasalt epitomes the very best of coastal dining while offering guests a whole new seafood experience. A must-visit for foodies on holiday or living in the Seminyak area.