Food

NUVO Kitchen + Bar: Contemporary Japanese Italian by the Bay with 1-for-1 mains

Last Updated: February 25, 2016

Written by Xinhui Ong

NUVO returns with a new venue by the bay. And, their venue isn’t the only thing that’s new.

Nuvo_Interior(1 of 14)

NUVO is now armed with a new view, new concept and a newly revamped menu by Mark Richards, Caerus Holding’s Executive Chef, and Leslie Chew, NUVO’s Head Chef.

With their menu including a super wide repertoire of cocktails – classic and bespoke, and multiple ingenius tapas dishes, it seems like quite a place to chill out after work. Not to mention, a killer view of the sunset and night helps calm your busy wearied souls.

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The view from NUVO during day time is pretty damn gorgeous too. Many patrons who visit during lunch hours are usually from the CBD and they enjoy dining al fresco to enjoy the view.

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Daily Homemade Bread

If a steam cake and foccacia had a lovechild, this would be it.

The texture was much more like steamed cake than bread to me, so it was too soft for my personal liking.

Nuvo_Marinated-Poke-Salmon-Crudo(4 of 14)

Marinated Poke Salmon Crudo ($14)

Hawaiian Poke on boiled egg whites. The poke marinate was of the usual sesame oil, soy sauce, onion etc but he added some tomato sauce in it. The eggs are then topped with a dollop of ikura, introducing an entirely different texture from the soft flesh of the salmon and the rubbery solidity of the boiled egg white.

The ikura gave the poke a burst of oceanic saltiness. Apart from the ikura, the furikake (the dried fish flakes +seaweed + sesame seeds garnish) is another key ingredient to this poke; it adds character to an otherwise relatively singular flavoured dish.

NUVO’s furrikake is rich – with an aromatic lull of seaweed and an enjoyably prominent flavour of fish. Needless to say, the furikake completed this dish brilliantly.

Overall, a super addictive tapas I’d love to have more of. Wish one serving had more than 4 halves of an egg.

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Momotaro Trio Buschetta ($12)

‘Momotaro’ translates to ‘Peach Boy’ and according to Japanese folklore, Momotaro was named so after an old childless couple found a boy in a giant peach. Basically, he was a son of a peach.

Whether or not NUVO was trying to clandestinely insert curses into their menu or not, this bruschetta might just have you mumbling curses after one bite. All three types of tomatoes ( I assume that’s what trio was indicating) were so juicy, sweet and sufficiently sour, this dish was refreshing and appetising. The bread, toasted to a degree of hardness, was solid enough to hold the tomatoes and sauce together without turning mushy while still maintaining crispness on its edges.

A pinch of salt was probably sprinkled as a finishing touch that made some portions much more salty than other parts but this it’s just a small issue, nothing a lil tweak can’t solve.

 

Blackened Soyu River Prawns ($28)

Did you know, there’s a river called the Blackened Soyu River on Mount Rebundake, on the coast of Hokkaido?  To catch these prawns from the river is arduous. These prawns are swift and good camouflagers making them extremely tricky to catch, not to mention they are only around in winter where they migrate to the warmer inland lakes.

Did you also know that I was just shitting you.

Jokes aside, this was a sweet, salty and slightly bitter (from the burnt areas) dish of superbly fresh seafood. The extra blackness gave the prawns that extra chao-tah’ flavour (burnt flavour) that we seem to adore as like on our satays, chicken wings, char siew etcetera. Underneath lies mikan glazed carrots that were overly saccharine.

The scallops were soft and chewy but the bacon wrapping around it made it too salty for my liking.

 

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Chilled Cappellini ($25)

NUVO’s chilled cappellini is thrown about in truffle yuzu sauce, topped with seaweed and sesame seeds instead of caviar.

Although it smelt strongly of truffle, it didn’t taste as such. The yuzu’s zestiness eased the pungence of truffle. For those who aren’t fans of truffle hence trying other chilled pasta appetisers weren’t ideal, NUVO’s variation might be up your alley.

The truffle fragrance is very subtle while the pasta tasted citrusy and oceanic (from the seaweed). The brown pieces of mushroom looking things are not truffle but foie gras.  Another strong tasting ingredient but it was not overly gamey/foul tasting.

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Fregola Sarda Carbonara ($28)

Fregola = little balls of bubble-tea-like-pearls pasta. So don’t expect it to be QQ or springy, it is dense and chewy. The darker looking fregola aren’t pasta but chick peas. The meat inside the carbonara is of an interesting mix, including pork belly, pancetta and goose liver.

Evidently, this is not your usual sort of carbonara but don’t worry, it still tastes like that familiar creamy pasta we love.

Nuvo_Pan Roasted Shiro Salmon

Pan Roasted Shiro Salmon ($29)

Roasted just right, flakes ever so slightly, the salmon meat is extremely soft, simply a joy to eat. The potatoes crisp on the edges, resembling chips. See the little dollop of sauce on the left edge of the plate? that’s probably the best aioli I’ve ever had in my life. Would 10/10 buy a bottle of it.

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Crusted Maori Lake Lamb Chops ($48)

Medium rare and extremely flavourful. Although the degree of redness seems intimidating, it surprisingly, was not overly gamey, and paired well with the sauce. On the skillet is polenta which might not be many people’s cup of tea. The flakes of kale on top were delicious, crunchy and provided this freshness to an otherwise strong tasting dish.

Nuvo_Momo Tiramisu

Momo Tiramisu ($12)

Supposedly a tiramisu but just felt like a matcha peach cake? Was nice but not impressive and certainly not reminiscent of a tiramisu at all.

Loved the little crispy bits of praline like biscuits scattered around.

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Goma Soy Panna Cotta ($12)

Smooth and creamy, the pudding has a denser texture than the usual panna cotta and is complete with a subtle black sesame fragrance. The dehydrated berries add a slight zest while the azuki beans provide extra sweetness. If you think that’s it, you’re wrong. As you work your way through the desserts, you’ll find more layers of azuki and that’s just the way I like it.

Concept wise, NUVO is now cultivating itself into an all encompassing restaurant that has food, drinks and entertainment. They’ve introduced a new initiative dubbed ‘Sunset Sessions’ where a DJ plays against the scenic backdrop of the setting sun and Marina Bay Sands. That sounds hella chill!

Although I expected some of these things to be better, especially in the dessert department, NUVO is still a pretty decent place. With entrees starting from $12, pastas from $21 and desserts from $10, I’d say that the price is pretty reasonable for the quality, ambiance and location

I’d be back for their tapas and to try out the other desserts.

Expected Damage: $40 – $60 per pax

NUVO: Customs House, 70 Collyer Quay, #01-04, Singapore  049323 | Tel: 65329939 | Website

Dining at NUVO just got better with the Entertainer App. Simply download the app, enter SETH2016 during checkout of your basket and get yourself access to a world of wonders, aka 1-for-1 deals at all participating restaurants. Of course, NUVO as well. So what are you waiting for, your stomach is calling, wallet isn’t crying.

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