“Modern Italian-Japanese cuisine”
A contemporary Italian-Japanese restaurant conveniently located at Marina Square, NUVO presents modernistic cuisine that can be enjoyed at value-for-money prices.
Taking over as NUVO’s head chef is Executive Chef Mark Richards, whom is known for perfecting the sous vide technique in his signature creations.
NUVO has a chic dining space with elaborate circular enclaves and linking archways – providing spaces for intimate quiet booths , long tables for reunions and also a 30 seater cozy lounge space.
NUVO’s bar lounge serves artisanal cocktails that is exclusive to the restaurant. The head bartender is a fan of mixing egg whites into his concoction, the key ingredients to most of his signature drinks.
Karagin ($18). NUVO’s signature cocktail concocted with Sipsmith gin, Cointreau, Santan Kara (coconut milk), spiced berry puree and egg white. It has a queer taste because of the coconut combination which I feel didnt go well with the choice of liquors, try it if your curious taste buds are up for a challenge, but not to my fancy.
Celina’s Sip ($25). Consists of Aylesbury Vodka, Mithelde Peché, freshly squeezed grapefruit and egg white. A refreshing elixir of fruity flavours and light froth. I would prefer this citrus drink to the former.
Warm Japanese Mushroom Salad ($18). A wonderful mixture of baby spinach, pine nuts, asparagus and mushrooms, tossed in shallots and white truffle emulsion. Interesting form of salad as it is served warm.
Crispy Calamari ($18). Fried in togarashi batter, delightfully crispy outside with aromatic chewy interior. Served together with rocket vegetables and yuzu-infused watermelon cubes. Decent but not much wow factor.
Angus Osso Buco Stew ($28). Really decadent and flavourful bone marrow stew served with Tsujiki oyster fritters and sprinkled with Shimeiji mushrooms and pickled crumble.
I found the oyster combination a bit too overwhelming on the taste buds, would prefer to pair the ossobuco stew with something lighter.
Angel Hair Wakame ($18/$24). One of the signature creations by NUVO. Al dente angel hair pasta tossed in lobster essence, Rayu oil and topped with tamago furikake. I love the mild spicyness and wakame fragrance. It is slightly on the salty side though.
Kurobuta Pork Belly ($32). Originally served with fries and coleslaw. Thick cubes of pork belly simmered in Japanese ingredients and then sliced to bite-sized pieces. Flavourful and extremely tender meat, almost to the point of melting in your mouth.
Baked Olive Black Cod ($35). Served with lobster bisque sauce with pepperoni bits, Shimeiji mushrooms, baby potatoes. The savoury baked codfish is smeared with a olive espresso paste, giving a sharp hint of sweetness with every mouthful of meat. A rather interesting dish, I must say.
Smoked Uni Cabonara ($38). Made from Mugi Cha smoked Uni, Applewood smoked bacon, and crayfish cooked together in cream sauce. Served with an onsen egg and a generous sprinkle of truffle soil.
I am most intrigued by the use of truffle soil, this may be subjected to personal preference but I actually found the truffle soil (strangely tasted like truffle oil-infused oreo crumbs) a great combination to the uni cabonara.
Japones Australian Lamb Shank ($38). Served with an uncommon Sardinia pasta called fregola sarda and crispy deep fried kale. The lamb shank is pretty good, the gamey smell is mild and meat is tender and succulent. My only issue was that the kale was tad too oily for my liking.
Finally, moving on to desserts.
Wild Honey Panna Cotta ($16). The panna cotta is made only with 50% cream, but the texture is equally dense and creamy. A mixture of dehydrated and fresh fruits giving complexity and dimension to an otherwise simple dessert. I enjoyed this very much.
Fuji Apple and Parmigiano-Reggiano Torta ($14). NUVO’s signature dessert. Hovering between sweet and savoury is this dessert with a cheese torta and homemade fig and honey ice cream. The cheese taste may be too heavy for some as an after-meal dessert but I found it mild and the warm parmigiano-reggiano torta paired really well with the ice cream.
NUVO has introduced a Set Lunch menu applicable on weekdays for only $15++. With a three course meal of a starter, main and dessert. They are also offering a four course Dinner menu from $35++.
An extremely worth it deal NUVO is running now is their weekend Prosecco Brunch a la carte buffet at just $40++, with free flow Luna Argenta Prosecco and a selection of pizzas, pastas and yakitori. Crazy value.
I would say NUVO’s dishes have impressed me as a casual dining restaurant – especially with the subtle hints of gastronomy (say, truffle soil and dehydrated fruits). I like their unexpected combinations of foods that will surprise the guests’ taste buds, although the cocktail creations might be an acquired taste for many.
Expected damage: $20 – $45 per pax.