In recent times, there have been more global events to increase awareness for protection of our mother planet.
Earth Hour — held annually on the last Saturday of March — aims to raise awareness of climate change by asking households and businesses to turn off their non-essential lights and electrical appliances.
Earth Day — celebrated on 22 April every year — is intended to inspire awareness and appreciation for the Earth’s natural environment.
This year, Novus Restaurant has launched an exclusive menu to commemorate Earth Day. Specially created by Executive Chef Stephan Zoisl, it incorporates organic ingredients and supplies from sustainable sources and revolves around the four elements of Mother Nature – Earth, Water, Air and Fire.
Says Chef Stephan, “This menu will showcase the beauty of nature on a plate. We want to trigger the appreciation of Mother Earth through the diner’s senses – taste, sight, smell and touch.”
My senses were indeed triggered from the moment the first course was presented. The contents of this bowl looked like it came straight from the garden! Look at the micro greens sprouting from the “ground”! The “dark soil” is made of black truffle, black sesame, and molasses. Its gritty texture feels like real soil!
Beneath the edible “soil” is Jerusalem artichoke puree, and at the bottom is a layer of jellied mushroom consomme.
In terms of taste, sight, smell, and touch, this was indeed a very earthy dish! The intense earthiness of the truffle proved a bit too overwhelming for me, but truffle lovers would definitely appreciate this dish.
Like the first course, presentation was an integral part of the second course. The dish was placed on heated seashells and water to create the scent of the sea, and also to keep our food warm.
I enjoyed this course a lot more than the first. Loved the juicy scallops, as well as the accompanying “Sea Elements” like borage leaves, salted fingers, seaweed, oyster leaves and caviar d’ Aquitaine. The dish isn’t flavored with salt, because the accompanying ingredients like salted fingers (a sea plant that’s refreshingly crunchy and salty) impart a natural sea salt flavor to the dish.
Amazingly, the oyster leaves really tastes like fresh oyster! It’s my first time trying oyster leaf, and it’s a real eye-opener. You’ve got to try it to believe it!
The third course is another light and clean-tasting dish. Thinly-sliced baby zucchini are carefully arranged on the cod to represent fish scales. The shellfish foam and potato & saffron espuma embody the “airy” components of this dish. On the side is a stuffed zucchini flower.
The final course — and the most dramatic of all — is a fiery dessert!
After pouring a shot of Grand Marnier over champagne jelly topped with elderflower sorbet and fresh berries, we set our dessert on “fire”!
I absolutely love the multitude of flavors and textures of this dish. You get the heat of the booze, the refreshing iciness of the sorbet, the tang of the berries, and the sweetness and creaminess of the jelly (tastes more like vanilla bean custard to me). Of course, it’s visually stunning as well!
Chef Stefan, if you’re reading this, thank you and hats off for a such a spectacular menu! You’ve definitely managed to “showcase the beauty of nature on a plate” for each of the four elements, and all my senses were definitely engaged.
It’s a pity that Novus’s Earth Day Menu is available only for a limited period — from 15 April to 23 April 2011. But I had a look at their daily menu, and they offer very attractive set lunch (S$40++ for 3 courses) and degustation dinner.
One reason I wanna make a return visit is for their delectable bread basket!
Yes, it sounds crazy, but their freshly-baked bread is really awesome! There’s a mix of mini baguette, soft butter roll, and rye bread.
I also like how they serve butter with crunchy sunflower seeds. The green Sicilian olives are just as appetizing. Normally, I don’t enjoy olives (those that come in martinis), but these ones taste fresh (they’ve got this sweet corn kernel flavor), crunchy, and aren’t too salty.
Novus also has a comprehensive range of cheeses (selection for cheese platter is rotated) to go with their collection of fine wines.
Here’s the bar section, where you can chill out over drinks before or after dinner.
The dining area is grand and classy, yet has an intimate, cosy atmosphere. Quiet and elegant, Novus is popular destination for business lunches (it was full house when we were there for the media tasting at lunch time).
93 Stamford Road, #01-02
National Museum of Singapore
Tel: +65 6336 8770
Open Monday to Saturday