Marina One jointly owned by Khazanah Nasional Berhad and Temasek Holdings looks set to house a number of restaurants and cafes, and two of the first to open are NUDE Grill and NUDE Chill.
The pair of concepts come a few years after the launch of NUDE Seafood – hot off the win of “Best Seafood Restaurant” in the Epicurean Awards 2017.
The former specialises in contemporary grill, while the other is all about drinks, finger food, and burgers (which are coming soon).
NUDE Grill is a contemporary grill, using meat imported from Japan and New Zealand, and vegetables from the Chiang Mai Highlands.
Food is said to be “Western-trained but unmistakably Asian”, cooked with “binchotan, hardwoods and the hearts”.
For lunch, expect the menu to lean towards one-dish meals, such as Japanese A4 Wagyu Don ($38, limited portions) and Chicken & Truffle ($25), perfect for a single serving.
As for dinner, the menu is more inclined towards sharing, so the portions are overall more generous.
It consists of Starters ($14 – $19 each) for sharing; Mains such as Oyster-blade Steak ($34), Pumpkin ($24); Secreto of Iberico Prk ($35); and Desserts ($15 – $17).
One of the popular starters is the Foie Gras Parfait ($22), which had sweet longan glaze wrapping around the foie gras, and puffed rice to add some crunch.
My recommendation would be the Cuttlefish Risotto ($18), which paired up black barley risotto together with cuttlefish and ikura.
Something warm and homely, comforting especially with the recent rainy season.
For mains, consider the highlight – Friendship ($68), which places the A4 Kagoshima Kuroge Wagyu at the centerstage, while accompanied by a symphony of rojak flower jus, housemade buah keluak ‘kway chap’, potato dashi, sweet potato leaf, pancetta and yuzu-kosho.
The wagyu is sourced directly from the dealers in Kagoshima, and NUDE Grill’s chefs were specially flown over to be trained in Japanese butchery.
Unfortunately, it was sold out before I got a chance to savour the red meat.
I opted for some of the other Mains such as the Poussin ($29) which consists of glutinous rice, married with house-cured pork belly, and onion tempura, and the Baby Skate ($26) with crispy tobiko and cuttlefish broth.
If I need to choose a favourite dish, it would have to be the roast chicken.
Some of the ingredients used sounded interesting on paper, but I wondered how many of them really worked well when put together. Perhaps the proportion and balance for some dishes could have been further tweaked.
For example, the Beef Tartare ($19) was presented with a myriad of eyebrow-raising ingredients from ‘chye poh’ preserved radish, green mango, ponzu, to bird’s eye chilli.
A spoonful into the mouth and it reminded me of the Somtam I had in Bangkok, until I realised green mango and chillies were in the mix. Then you realised there was also ‘chye poh’ which was completely swamped out by the rest.
For desserts, I chose the classic Cherry Jubilee ($15), Dark Chocolate ($17) and the Eight Fingers ($16).
Surprisingly, while I didn’t enjoy the desserts over at NUDE Seafood THAT much, and thought were their weakness links, it happened to be quite the opposite for this particular meal.
I fell in love with the Cherry Jubilee ($15) which was simple yet elegant, with soft Tahitian Vanilla Ice Cream, punctuated by sourish-sweet macerated cherries.
On the whole it was a pleasant experience to be able to visit the brain children (twins) of the NUtricious DElicious (NUDE) brand. NUDE Seafood did taste more polished, while NUDE Grill is probably still finding its footing and focus.
However, do remember to book your food early to avoid disappointment, especially if you really want the wagyu.
Note: For those driving, a quick heads up to actually either run a GPS search specifically for NUDE Grill, or Marina One Show Gallery. “The establishment is more IT savvy compared to the building itself,” quipped Founder Junchen.
I found it to be true, where searching for Marina One might actually lead you to the Marina Bay Financial Centre side, which is across the road from where the actual location is.
5 Straits View #01-22, Marina One, S018935. (Marina Bay and Downtown MRT Stations)
Tel: +65 6581 9306
Opening Hours: Lunch 11:30am – 2:00pm Last Order, Dinner 6:30pm-9:00pm Last Order (Mon – Fri), Closed Sat, Sun, PH