Thursday, July 19, 2012

Novus Restaurant & Bar @ National Museum of Singapore

During our last trip to Singapore, we wanted to go somewhere nice for lunch (ie fine dining) but only after booking our flights did I realise that the day that we arrived was a public holiday in Singapore. In Singapore, most fine dining restaurants do not open on public holidays and they also close on Sundays. No Tippling Club, Jaan or Iggy's for me :(

Anyway after doing some research online for a nice place to dine, I discovered Novus Restaurant & Bar which is located inside the National Museum of Singapore. I browsed through their website and was impressed with the beautiful food I saw (see here and you'll know what I mean). Furthermore, I read several good reviews about the place, especially about their 3-course set lunch for S$40.

National Museum of Singapore


Unfortunately a few days before we were due to dine here, I saw on their Facebook page that they have gotten rid of the set lunch and replaced it with an all day brunch menu as well as an a la carte lunch menu. I did not like anything from the brunch menu at that time, but consoled myself that there were a few things on the a la carte lunch menu that I could have. And since I have already made a reservation via email, we decided to stick to the plan and go for lunch.



The National Museum of Singapore is a stunning building. The white walls and nice design certainly made it stand out. Novus is located at the entrance of the museum and serves modern European cuisine (however I just checked their website and it looks like their previous head chef has left). The restaurant is quite small but tastefully decorated, I especially liked the tall French windows and mirrors on the ceiling.

When we were seated, we were given the all-day brunch menu. I was a bit surprised, as I thought the lunch menu would also be available. I enquired and they said 'sorry but you can only order off the brunch menu'. I was crushed, to be honest. Hubby sensed my disappointment and asked the manager if I could order some of the other "restaurant specials" which I saw on their lunch menu (I later saw a lunch menu at the entrance and it clearly stated that it was available on Saturdays too!! So no idea why they only gave us the brunch menu!) To cut the story short, I managed to order a starter and dessert that I wanted.


Fresh flowers

Nice decor


Bread basket

Hubby ordered the Norwegian Salmon Carpaccio (S$15) which looked really pretty on the plate, thanks to the use of vine cherry tomatoes, cucucmber and dill. Unfortunately that's where the compliment ends. It was so bland that we had to ask the kitchen for salt to try and save it.



I had the foie gras anglaise (S$15), a goose liver custard with duck confit, gingko beans, truffle salsa, and Parmesan foam. The portion is a little small but the flavours were good. However, those who dislike foam should avoid this since 75% of it is literally foam. However, I enjoyed it.





Hubby and I decided to share a mains and order two side dishes since we were planning to have macarons later.  I was honestly disappointed with the presentation of this dish after seeing all those lovely photos on their website. And seriously, did they need to serve it with 5 condiments/sauces? This was highlighted as a chef's special but the pork belly was also too fat to enjoy properly and only 1 piece came with a crispy skin, despite it being called crispy pork belly (S$24). The pork has been braised for 48 hours.


We ordered a side of mushroom risotto (S$12) and foie gras poutine (S$16), both came very poorly presented. However the risotto was very delicious and perhaps one of the more tasty dishes we had here that afternoon. The poutine was a letdown, it was merely fries drizzled with some foie gras sauce and served with a miserable looking poached egg. I really did not enjoy it. (I see that they have now removed both of these items from the menu)



By now, I was feeling rather disappointed with the meal. I had been looking forward to it very much. Luckily the Varlhona Chocolate Test (S$20) saved the day. Varlhona chocolate of 5 different percentage of cocoa mass is served in 5 different ways, namely aerated mousse (Orizaba Lactee 33% cocoa), souffle (Equatoriale Noire 55% cocoa),  sorbet (Alpaco 66% cocoa), warm custard (Araguani 72% cocoa) and dehydrated chocolate (Abinao 85% chocolate). The higher the percentage of cocoa, the less it tastes like "chocolate", does that make sense? Anyway it was certainly interesting tasting all the different flavours and textures, and I especially love the mousse, souffle and sorbet. I wouldn't mind having this again.


Aerated mousse - with those little chocolate popping balls


Souffle - yummy


I'm happy again :)


Nice bar on the other side


Here are some photos taken outside the National Museum of Singapore:


Nice roof /ceiling inside the museum



Cute statues


I believe National Museum of Singapore is a popular place for pre-wedding photos. 



National Museum of Singapore is located right next to Fort Canning, the most historic place in Singapore. 


Look, there is an elevator in the park!


*Note: Having just checked their menu online, it looks like they have revised their brunch menu, the items are different from the ones we were offered at that time. 

Verdict: The restaurant has a nice ambiance but the food wasn't that great, considering the meal's price is equivalent to lunch at Cilantro KL. 

Full set of photos can be viewed on my Facebook page here. 

Price: Total bill S$117.70.

Location: Novus Restaurant & Bar, National Museum of Singapore, 93 Stamford Road, #01-02, Singapore 178897

Tel: +65 6336 8770

Nearest MRT: Dhoby Ghaut

Website: http://www.novus.sg

*All photos taken with iPhone4S. 

26 comments:

  1. Wasn't there when I was there... In 1973, there was a nice hawker place to the left of the entrance to the National Library next door. The library still there? And oooo...I love the nasi padang Indonesia at Rendezvous opposit.... Yum!

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    1. I have no idea... I didn't notice it. I know got university nearby lo.

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  2. How can a carpaccio be bland n tasteless? And by the looks of it, Petite Mille does a better poutine than here...haha =)

    Luckily the dessert saved ur day...for me it's not no go as there are better options elsewhere =)

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    1. Seriously, we couldn't get it as well. It really tasted of nothing.

      And yes, you are right. Petite Millie's poutine was much better (in fact we had it a few days before we came here so we compared).

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  3. Yen, got it, next time, if there is next time, you can just order the dessert as your main course, haha! Why the sauces are more than the pork belly? I think you'll prefer my pork belly than this one becoz you are eat my pork belly without any sauce & the skin is crisssssssspy!

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    1. Haha I also thought that... 2 small pork belly and 5 big sauces. Haha.

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  4. I think foie gras anglaise is the only thing I interested with, hehe. :P

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    1. Last time they used to have a foie gras menu.. I think got 6-7 items, all foie gras stuff. I wanted to try more of them but for lunch, they didn't allow me.

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  5. Baby Sumo, the dessert looks lovely, I am so glad you managed to order that. I am finding out more about Singapore restaurants from you though I live here! I am one of those who seldom eat out - hard to bring so many kids out. Do you come here often? Mich@Piece of Cake

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hehe I love the fine dining scene in Singapore. The food is usually great. If you can find a babysitter and go out for a date night / dinner with your Hubby, try Esquina in Chinatown: http://goodyfoodies.blogspot.com/2012/05/jason-athertons-esquina-singapore.html

      I have visited Singapore a few times this year, planning another trip there VERY soon.

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  6. Oh dear, so sorry to hear about the disappointing experience. Prices are certainly not cheap too! I guess it might have something to do with them changing chefs huh? Thankfully the gorgeous Chocolate test saved the day!

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    1. Yeah and changing menus as well. It's a real pity cos the location is superb and the restaurant is gorgeous.

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  7. ohh, i wonder if maybe the main chef wasn't around that day since it was a public holiday. though i definitely would love to try that chocolate sampler too!

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    1. I think the chef has actually left the restaurant now. Maybe that's why they changed their menus. They used to have lots of "great sounding dishes" on there.

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  8. Chocolate always saves the day! Although how disappointing the rest of it sounded...There is NOTHING worse than being disappointed...its like when you drop your ice cream as a kid...the world just ends!

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    1. Yeah I felt bad too cos I picked this restaurant. Usually my choices are quite good so we leave the restaurant with satisfied tummies.

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  9. The poutine~~ look like some leftover McD's fries >.<

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  10. wonderful place to visit. i love to go there one day.

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    1. Hopefully the food has improved by then, or maybe they were having an off day when I visited.

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  11. Great photo of you! And I guess with meals, if all else fails, chocolate can sometimes save the day :D

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    1. Haha that was the happiest moment of the meal for me. Getting the chocolate dessert I wanted!

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  12. Varlhona Chocolate Test loooks really gooooodd! Are there any good souffle in KL?! :D

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  13. Great Place and Awesome FOOD! As a Filipino woman, I was pleasantly surprised by the atmosphere and decors of this place! We came here for our wedding anniversary & enjoyed this fine dining place in town. Lovely food with excellent service always attentive without being intrusive. Legit!

    ReplyDelete

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