Nestled in its new heritage home in the Customs House, NUVO emerges out of a year long hibernation rejuvenated. The Kitchen and Bar is helmed by Chef Mark Richards, whose expertise lies in modern gastronomy where he combines elements of modern techniques with traditional dishes. NUVO’s Head Chef Leslie Chew has a passion for natural cooking and seeks to bring out the natural flavours of ingredients. Together, the pair have concocted a refreshed menu which nevertheless remains steeped in its original concept of combining Japanese and Italian ingredients and cooking styles. The menu brings back crowd favourites such as the NUVO 3 Cheese Gyoza ($21) and the Blackened Soyu River Prawn ($28), coloured by a revitalised flair.
We started off with the Chilled Capellini topped with foie gras, Mottra Osetra caviar, and a drizzle yuzu truffle dressing ($25). Few foodstuffs can invoke the idea of luxury quite like caviar, truffles, and foie gras and it would have been so easy for a dish with such lavish ingredients to be an overkill. Yet Chef Chew strikes the perfect balance here. The appetiser was minimally seasoned, letting the velvety foie gras and flavourful caviar speak for themselves. The chilled capellini was refreshing and worked with the citrus of the dressing to lighten the whole dish. The capellini was also slightly thicker, adding texture to the delicious symphony of the senses.
We then moved on to the pasta course with the decadent Fregola Sarda Carbonara ($28). Chef Chew transforms the classic comfort Carbonara dish into a gourmet delight.The fregola, a type of pasta from Sardinia similar to Arab couscous, is toasted and charred to create a smoky, nutty flavour. It is complemented with diced smoked pork belly and duck liver, worthy replacements of the usual pancetta. Finally, the dish is adorned with a flawlessly poached 63 degree egg which adds a wonderful creamy richness to the chewy fregola.
For the main course, we had the Grilled Kurobuto Pork Cutlet, topped with kayu sauce and served with Iberia chorizo and cannelloni white bean casserole ($34). The meat was perfectly grilled and married well with the miso in the slightly addictive sauce. The bean casserole was surprisingly flavoursome and wonderfully tender without being mushy.
Finishing off the meal on a sweet note was the Momo Tiramisu with berries compote ($12). The green tea flavour of the matcha sponge didn’t come through as much as I would have liked but the cake itself was artfully constructed. I would love to try the Open Faced Apple Torte served with apricot marmalade and Sudachi sorbet next time.
NUVO offers a Modernist Cuisine experience, described by Chef Richard as, “a cuisine type that holds no boundaries and focuses on modern techniques of cooking, bringing out the best of ingredients and manipulating its structure to bring its full potential to life on a plate”. For Chef Chew, “food should be clean, uncomplicated and down-to-earth. It is important to have a deep understanding of each ingredient to bring out its unique flavours with minimal or no seasoning.” The eatery is a perfect place to satisfy your Italian and Japanese food fixes; the chefs bring the best from both cuisines and deliver wonderfully contemporary dishes. Why choose one when you can have both? Not only will you be treated to an unique gastronomical experience, but the stunning views of the bay will no doubt be a feast for the eyes. The eatery will also host lifestyle events such as the weekly sunset sessions, and introduces a whole new cocktail menu. A NUVO experience is one that shouldn’t be missed!
70 Collyer Quay
Customs House #01-04