Restaurant Week ’12: Novus Restaurant & Bar
My second restaurant week reservation was for yet another DiningCity star-awarded restaurant. This time it was for dinner and hence the $20++ supplement. Located at level 1 of the National Museum, there was definitely a shared elegance in both the architecture and interior space between both the restaurant and the museum. With dimmed lighting that lent a subtle hint of romance and mystery, this modern-European restaurant was certainly stylish. I chose Novus mainly because of the much raved about Valrhona Chocolate Test dessert and also for their creative flair actualized in the food served here.
What is also unique at Novus is that the servers will put little placards on your table with a short description of the course that is to be served. Loved these thoughtful touches that provided a sense of anticipation during the meal. Unfortunately for us, perhaps due to the crowd for restaurant week, causing the servers to be a little overwhelmed, the placements of these placards stopped after the appetizers.
Tiger Prawn Salad
A mix of really fresh peeled prawns, cherry tomatoes, red radish with market lettuce, this salad was unfortunately pretty ordinary. I would have certainly preferred a tad more balsamic vinaigrette dressing as the overall texture of this salad was just dry and not tossed properly. Not exactly the start to the meal at Novus I was expecting…
French Onion Soup
This French classic on the other hand was something special. The beef stock that the onions were simmered in was flavoursome and tasty without being too salty. With the baguette nicely softened after being soaked in the soup and topped with that wonderful thick layer of melted gruyere…that was plain ol’ good authentic heartwarming and comforting French food served in a bowl.
This was an extremely fresh cut of Barramundi which I thought was a relatively good size, with a herb crusted fried skin that was crisp and delicious. Matched with a saffron cream sauce that not only added a visual appeal, but also moisture and succulence to this white fillet, I thought this fish main was decent, good but not quite spectacular.
And because I love this very sinful and fatty French specialty, I narrowed down straight to it when I first saw the menu. This Duck Confit did not disappoint and was nothing short of amazing. The leg of the duck had been poached so well in its own fat that it simply melted in your mouth. The meat was fork tender literally because I used only a fork to skin my duck right to its bone and while I would like to credit it to my cutlery skills, this well-browned and crispy piece of duck was one of the best I had. The braised mixed mushrooms and roasted potatoes were also very well marinated and served as an excellent accompaniment.
Valrhona Chocolate Test
The main reason why I came to Novus, this chocolate platter was a gorgeous platter of varying percentages of chocolate from 33% cocoa to 85% cocoa served in 5 different mediums. It is simply every chocoholic’s dream and even for my sister who does not take to chocolate very well, finished every single dessert on that cemented black board and that is definitely saying something.
The chocolate souffle with 55% cocoa stood out the most for us and we adored how warm, fudgey and thick the melted chocolate was once we spooned through the souffle. And for those adverse to the bitterness of extremely dark chocolate like I am, fret not because even the aerated 85% cocoa was delightful and not bitter at all. This platter gave the perfect sweet ending to our meal and I really enjoyed it.
While there were some hits and misses this evening, a visit back to Novus would certainly be on the cards for the Duck Confit and Valrhona Chocolate Test which were certainly memorable. I also enjoyed the cosy and intimate atmosphere the restaurant offered and can understand why Novus is always one of the more popular restaurants to be booked out for Restaurant Week. I am glad I managed to snag a reservation this time, having missed it back in March.
93 Stamford Road
#01-02 National Museum of Singapore
Tel: +65 6336 8770
Mon – Sat: 11:30 – 14:30
Mon – Sat: 18:30 – 22:30
Bar: 05.00pm – 01:00 am