Hours: 11.30am-3pm, 5-11pm (daily for restaurant); 5pm-12am (lounge)
Cuisine: Contemporary Italian and Japanese
Budget: From $12 onwards
Ambience: Roman inspired design and chic dining theme
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Telephone: +65 6822 2098
Address: Marina Square Shopping Mall, 6 Raffles Boulevard #02-100, Singapore 039594
Tucked comfortably into corner at Marina Square's The Dining Edition, NUVO, thanks to its inconspicuous and unassuming storefront, has mostly kept out of the limelight. However, because of its excellent view of the F1 Singapore Grand Prix, this gem has finally come into the spotlight. At the helm of NUVO is Executive Chef Mark Richards, formerly of Keystone Restaurant. Having over 16 years of culinary experience working at an array of restaurants in a variety of different countries, Chef Richards has created a menu that showcases an eclectic blend of Italian and Japanese flavours.
The warm Japanese Mushroom Salad ($18) consists of a bowl of fresh baby spinach, tossed with sautéed onions, asparagus and mushrooms and topped with freshly toasted pine nuts. The freshness of the baby spinach is apparent in every bite, while the mushrooms and asparagus support the dish with a pleasant, earthy undertone. The pine nuts also add some ‘crunch’, while simultaneously lending it a subtle nuttiness that further enhances the flavours of the salad.
The Angel Hair Wakame ($18/$24) is a combination of Angel Hair pasta cooked with essence of lobster and rayu oil (chilli oil) and topped with Tamago Furikake.
My initial concern was that the dish would be overly oily or salty. However, I realised that my concerns were unfounded, to my delight, and the dish was perfectly balanced, with the rayu oil actually giving the pasta a wonderfully smooth texture. The Tamago Furikake and essence of lobster also gave the dish a smooth, pleasant seafood flavour.
Lastly, the Angel Hair pasta was also cooked perfectly al dente, with a pleasant, springy texture.
The Kurobuta pork belly ($32) is veritably Chef Richards’ most celebrated dish on the menu, and truly lives up to its reputation. The pork belly is cooked in the Japanese “Kakuni” style, and served with seaweed fries and Karashi (a type of Japanese mustard) aioli. The pork belly itself was so soft and tender that I was able to eat it using just a fork, while the layer of fat was not greasy, and just melts in your mouth.
I also tasted the Smoked uni cabonara ($38), which is made up of Sagne pasta cooked with crayfish, garnished with truffle soil and a Japanese onsen egg. At first glance, the dish is beautifully plated, with vibrant, lively colours. The crayfish itself is cooked perfectly, and the flesh retains its springy texture without being rubbery. The yolk of the onsen is soft and smooth; while the flavours of the truffle perfectly complement the creaminess of the dish. Overall, a dish with artfully balanced flavours and textures, that is not too cloying or overpowering.
For dessert, I tasted both the Fuji Apple and Parmigiano-Reggiano Torta ($14), and the Wild Honey Panna Cotta ($16). At first glance, the Fuji apple and Parmigiano-Reggiano Torta looks almost like a typical apple tart, however, the unique point of this dish is that Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese has been added to give the dish a marked savouriness. While this may sound like an odd combination as first, the flavours are surprisingly well-balanced, and the combination of savoury cheese and sweet apple achieve a level of harmony that makes this dish excellent. The Torta is also served with fig and honey ice cream and almond flakes to provide a counterbalance to saltiness that prevents the cheese form becoming too overpowering.
The Wild Honey Panna Cotta is plated and served to resemble tau huay (soy beancurd). The Panna Cotta itself has just the right amount of firmness, and is smooth and creamy, as a well-made panna cotta should be. Dehydrated lychee, plum jelly, and mikan are also used as a garnish to provide the dish with a good amount of acidity to cut through the Panna Cotta
NUVO serves a 3-course set lunch menu priced at $15/pax and 4-course set dinner menu priced at $35++. NUVO is also currently offering a special promotion of free flow champagne, cocktails pizza, priced at $25/pax, and a prosecco brunch priced at $40++/pax that includes free flow Prosecco, Mimosa, and Bellini, together with a buffet menu.