Thursday, January 13, 2011

Museum cuisine? Try Novus at the National Museum

I often dismiss restaurants in museums. Often, these are convenience eateries targeted at tourists. For one, I would take a walk and eat at one of the many restaurants nearby the Louvre than dine within. But Singapore is a bit different...I think. Within the walls of the National Museum are two restaurants - Novus, my feature here today, and Chef Chan's (which, BTW is closing or closed). There has been rumours for months, that Damian DaSilva (formerly of Big D's Grill) will reopen his Soul Kitchen there, but so far nothing.

Anyway, back to Novus. Set as a modern European style dining establishment, the premises are smartly decorated...tasteful with clean lines, and nice and bright.

Here is a 180 degree panorama. Panoramas are multiple images stitched in the computer to provide a wide view of the surrounding. This means the picture needs to be displayed wide, in this case 1920 pixels across.

I opted for the set menu, at An amuse bouche starts the Executive Set Lunch. 3 courses at S$38++.The Amuse bouche is a kind of whipped, foamed soup.

amuse bouche

A bit underwhelming...and quite forgettable.

I started with the foie gras parfait, with fig, grape, vanilla, mesculun leaves. This was an additional supplement of S$8 to the set price.

parfair of foie gras with fig, grape, vanilla and mesculun

Unlike the usual pan fried foie gras, or even a cold pate of foie gras, the foie gras was whipped into a light parfait, and served on a slate plate with the vegetables and fruits. The foie gras was smooth, creamy with a light taste of the liver.

I had the beef cheeks as my mains:

amazingly tender melt in your mouth angus beef cheeks

This dish is spectacular! Described in the menu as hickory smoked black angus beef cheek, it was served with baby beets, spring onion, mushroom creme and triple cooked french fries.

The cheeks were literally melt in your mouth. The taste was rich, savoury, and very, very mild beefiness. I loved the mouthfeel as it gently disintegrates, leaving a hint of aftertaste. Lovely!

tasty french fries from sweet potato

For dessert, rum infused pineapple:

dessert rum infused pineapple with mascarpone ice cream, chocolate and caramel

Rum infused, the pineapple was soft, tender, and sweet with only the slightest hint of rum. Served with mascarpone ice cream, chocolate and caramel, it was very good. The acidity and slight tartness of the pineapple balancing well with the richness of the ice cream, and the chocolate and caramel rounding up the body quite nicely.

Service was quite good and reasonably attentive, but the food took a long time to be served...this on a Thursday afternoon, where there were only 2 other tables besides ours.

Overall, I think the food to be rather good, though given the alternative offerings available these days, a tad pricey.

The fries tasted like they were sweet potato, but very nice and mushy inside, slight crispy crust on the outside.


Address: 93 Stamford Road #01-02 National Museum of Singapore Singapore
6336 8770
Mon–Sat: 11.30am – 2.30pm, 6.30pm – 10.30pm
Bar: 11.30am – 2am
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