Un­listed Col­lec­tion teams up with chef Ivan Brehm to pre­sent Nouri, our favourite new restau­rant this year.

Time Out Singapore - - Inside - Ni­cole-Marie Ng

WE’RE CALL­ING IT: Nouri is the best new restau­rant of 2017. Never mind that we’re only slightly past the first half of the year, chef-owner Ivan Brehm al­ready has us hooked on what he dubs as ‘cross­roads cook­ing’ – food that takes in­spi­ra­tion from around the world, draws par­al­lels be­tween cul­tures, and cre­ates an un­der­stand­ing that all of us are fun­da­men­tally the same.

The idea is to con­nect peo­ple over a meal, as ev­i­denced by the hand­some mar­ble counter that runs through half the restau­rant. It’s not only a place to break bread with your neigh­bour, it’s also where Brehm and his team whip up your soul­ful meal – al­most as if you’re hav­ing a din­ner party in some­one’s home.

But don’t ex­pect the for­mer ex­ec­u­tive chef of The Kitchen at Bac­cha­na­lia to be dish­ing out rus­tic home cook­ing. The flavour com­bi­na­tions are in­ven­tive yet oddly fa­mil­iar, and the tech­nique is flaw­less. Case in point: the acarajé and vat­apá is a nod to Brehm’s Brazil­ian her­itage, ex­cept that the dish also re­calls In­dian, Thai and Sin­ga­porean in­flu­ences. Part of the seven- course chef tast­ing menu ($170), the fried pinto bean falafel is served in an in­tense twotoned sauce with salted prawn vat­apá in the mid­dle of the plate, and a turmeric and co­conut curry on the outer rim, which re­minds us of laksa. An­other stand­out is Nouri’s take on Sichuan hot­pot: maitake mush­room, black trum­pet purée, and shi­take mush­rooms in a broth ex­tracted through steam juic­ing. Driz­zled with Sichuan oil and crushed pep­per­corns, each spoon­ful is a de­light of tastes, tex­tures and a tin­gle on the tongue.

Long af­ter our meal at Nouri is over, it’s the lit­tle touches that stay with us. From the ami­able ser­vice to the Ja­panese trick box that un­veils the restau­rant’s fi­nal part­ing gift. A meal here pro­vides nour­ish­ment, as its Latin name­sake would sug­gest, feed­ing not just the body but the mind with its cre­ativ­ity.

72 Amoy St (6221 4148, nouri.com.sg).Telok Ayer. MonFri 11.30am-3pm, 6pm-mid­night; Sat 6pm-mid­night. WHAT IT IS… ‘Cross­roads cook­ing’ by Bac­cha­na­lia’s for­mer chef GO IF… You want unique cre­ations you can’t get any­where else

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