Saturday, March 10, 2012


C says:

For some reason, despite having a very satisfying wedding lunch here a few years ago, Novus has never been on our radar for repeat visits. After the lunch we had today though, I think it certainly ought to be.

For some reason I'm on their mailing list, and recently received an email about their winter set lunch promotion. Almost all the options looked enticing, and after establishing that their set lunch was also available on Saturday (they're closed on Sunday), we promptly made a reservation.

The set lunch is amazingly good value - $32 for 2 courses and $40 for 3. There are about 5 options for each course, with a handful incurring some additional supplements. If you're so inclined, the 3 courses can comprise 2 starters and a main as well.

Being partial to savoury courses, I went with that option because I simply couldn't decide which starter to have. In the end I had the burrata, and the Vitello Tonnato Reinvented. A, who had a more conventional 3 course, started with the burrata too. 

The burrata is served with heirloom tomatoes and a hearty dollop of pesto. Personally I don't like my burrata seasoned with anything other than a good amount of salt, pepper and olive oil. Anything less doesn't bring out the flavour of the cheese; anything more simply overwhelms it.

Having said that, I must admit that this was really good. The burrata was creamy, and the pesto brought everything together well, albeit a tad too dominantly. 

The slight reinvention of the Vitello Tonnato here was the addition of a quenelle of tuna tartare, rather than the traditional incorporation of tuna into the sauce. The tuna was a bit bland on its own, but went well with the tomato marmalade, and I liked the slightly lighter sauce with the veal slices. I wasn't too keen on their use of micro coriander though. I'm trying to train my palate not to dislike coriander, but I need to take baby steps. The one here was too strong and too prevalent for me. 

That seemed to be a recurring theme, because it was scattered all over my lobster risotto as well. This had the makings of a really good risotto. They use carnaroli rice, the grains have an al dente bite, and most importantly, it still oozes on the plate - the mark of a proper risotto. What was a bit disconcerting though, was a distinct alcoholic edge to the sauce. It tasted as though they hadn't properly allowed the alcohol to cook off when incorporating the wine. 

A had a gnocchi itch that just had to be scratched, so he ordered the wild mushroom gnocchi. This was good, if slightly predictable. Portions are surprisingly substantial for a set lunch - 2 carb-heavy choices probably weren't the best idea. 

My 3 courses were done, and on hindsight 2 starters before a heavy main probably wasn't a good idea. A's dessert was the Apple and Calvados Souffle with chocolate ice cream. The souffle was perfect - light, airy and not overly sweet.

Service was always polite, attentive and earnest, but some servers were new and a bit forgetful. Still, I liked their little touches, like giving little place cards describing each dish, and presenting each of us with a cupcake as we left. 

Their winter menu is available till 17 March. I'm actually tempted to go one more time, perhaps next Saturday.

A says:

Excellent. The setting’s a bit imposing and poncy but the service is unbelievably friendly and helpful. While the food may not be the best I’ve had in Singapore, it’s still very, very good, and unlike most finer dining places, the portions are pretty big.

National Museum of Singapore
93 Stamford Road
Tel: 6336-8770
Mon – Sat: 11.30 am to 2.30 pm; 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm


MissyGlutton said...

Sounds like time for me to revisit... Maybe after restaurant week...

Krishna Mawani said...
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