Why does some food taste so much better when cooked over wood?
Wood can bring about distinct elements of heat, flavour and aroma to the cooking process; and the right wood can help chefs achieve that optional taste and temperature.
Diners can experience a contemporary take on the ancient method of wood-fire cooking at NY Verden, a new specialty restaurant & bar at Jewel Changi Airport.
While I initially thought this had something to do with “New York”, NY Verden (pronounced Nee-Verden) is Norwegian for “New World”.
It is founded by Lim Kuan You, the second generation owner and operator of Old Street Bak Kut Teh.
He is assisted by a team of Michelin-trained chefs to serve dishes inspired by early modern European cuisine blended with innovations of the modern era.
Its open-concept kitchen features two gastronomic Josper grill, ready to deliver premium quality meats, seafood, and veggies over hearth.
Josper is a well-known hybrid grill and oven in the F&B industry, which means can bring out flavours like wood-fired grill and the controlled cooking temperature of the oven.
A first-of-its-kind, NY Verden elevates grilling by letting you choose from any of their 5 kinds of firewood – Jarrah, Hickory, Oak, Cherry, Applewood.
Sourced from Australia and USA, these hardwoods’ distinct characteristics and smoke enhance the flavour and imparts a complex, smoky taste.
Need help picking the firewood? Here are some tips from NY Verden’s smoke meter:
• Jarrah – Strong smokiness; great for beef and smallgoods
• Hickory – Strong smokiness with sweet notes and heavy bacon flavour suitable for pork and beef
• Oak – Medium smoke flavour; goes well with everything
• Cherry – Mild smokiness with subtle sweet and fruity notes; goes well with everything
• Applewood – Mild smokiness with fruity notes, slightly sweet aroma; great for poultry, seafood, and lamb
At NY Verden, each plate represents elements of fire and crafted with fresh air-flown ingredients from unique origins.
Here are recommended items to try the next time you’re in in NY Verden at Jewel Changi Airport:
Wagyu Tomahawk ($22 for 100g)
Craving for a full-bodied red meat steak? Get the Wagyu Tomahawk, sourced from the finest Japanese Wagyu genetics.
With a marble score of 4-5, this steak is deeply riddled with marbling giving Wagyu its buttery texture and succulent, beefy flavour.
Dry-aged for 30 days, it makes the rich and juicy wagyu even fuller in flavour.
To me, the beef was really elevated with the 4-onion jam (a blend of white, yellow, Bombay, and Spanish onions) and bone marrow jus reduction which the added rich and luscious factory.
This gravy from roasted beef bones is simmered over three days and finished with marsala red wine.
Iberico Pork Jowl ($32)
A savoury main featuring a whole jowl of an Iberico pig, marinated in a cardamom and thyme rub for 48 hours.
The aromatic spice and herb flavour the meat to-the-bone before it is cooked sous vide-style for another 72 hours to keep the inside soft.
Finally, it is grilled over your choice of woodfire into utmost caramelisation.
Accompanied with a black garlic puree flavoured with dill oil, shimeji mushrooms and pork-infused bergamot gastric reduction. While I would have preferred the slices to be more succulent, there was a beautiful smokiness on every bite.
Smoked Chicken Coquelet ($28)
This coquelet or small chicken is smoked and prepared alongside king oyster mushroom and summer truffles.
Known for its light and delicate aroma, summer truffles have a nutty, creamy, and sweet flavour to complement the roasty smoked taste of chicken.
Swirl a savoury piece into the accompanying mustard leaf puree.
This was one of my favourite mains, and I learnt it was brined, smoked, sous-vided then smoked (again) to add more complexity to the flavours.
Bread & Dip ($10)
You should add a side of fragrant Altamura bread specially flown in from Italy.
Made from ground semolina and ‘grano duro’ grain strictly from the Alta Murgia, this bread has a smell akin to toasted coffee and a slight after-taste of vanilla.
Comes with a house-made hummus dip, seasoned with cumin, garlic, paprika and Harissa French chilli paste, and extra virgin olive oil – looked simple but very appetising.
Marinated Watermelon ($20)
A potentially addictive dish, these watermelon cubes are marinated in coriander seeds and mint for 24 hours.
Its fruity flesh is laden with fish floss, made in-house using steamed red snapper that’s shredded then deep-fried.
You should love the crispiness of the fried shallots sprinkled all over.
A layer of fresh ikura is spread on top, smoked over your choice of woodfire just before serving .
Smoked Beetroot Tartare & Burrata ($28)
An exquisite dish concocted with salt-baked beetroot smoked over your choice of firewood to make it even tastier.
This vegetarian tartare is topped with soft and creamy burrata, specially made by an Italian cheesemaker in Singapore.
Smoked sea salt is sprinkled on top of the soft, white cheese, only broken by crunchy wild rice puffs.
A thin layer of light green hued peas-and-pistachio emulsion completes this dish. A unique creation perfect for lovers of burrata cheese.
Crab Tagliolini ($30)
The nocturnal brown crab finds its way into to a rich and creamy seafood tagliolini dish. As the biggest edible crab that occurs naturally in Norwegian waters, it is top-shelf delicacy.
It is cooked in lobster broth to bring out the natural sweetness, then tossed into fresh egg pasta cut into ribbons.
Finally, smoked ikura is laden on top for added briny flavours, plus a sprinkling of rose petals, and a drizzle of olive oil.
Meat lovers are in for a treat with this entrée made with gnocchi, Italy’s most beloved dumpling.
Complementing these potato-dough lumps is guanciale, an Italian cured meat product prepared from pork jowl or cheeks.
It adds a lot of flavour without weighing the pasta down, imparting an umami richness and hints of salty notes.
Adding a semi-soft, white, spun cow’s milk cheese like Scarmoza, plus a sophisticated aged balsamic takes this dish from simple to sublime.
A dainty sponge cake crowned with frangipane, a velvety almond cream with a hint of vanilla.
This delicate cream is set in place with a raspberry jelly, rose mousse, and lychee gel.
Each bite is luscious and fragrant at the same time. Enjoy the fizzle pops on your tongue thanks to the popping candy.
Flourless Chocolate Cake ($18)
You won’t miss that indulgent taste in this flourless chocolate cake. Specially made with premium chocolate Valrhona, this soft and rich cake is topped with a creamy mascarpone gelato.
Delicate pieces of espresso tuille add a visual appear while orange zest brings a pop of sparkling citrus flavour.
NY Verden is offering 50% OFF Set Meals for a limited period:
Enjoy a 2-course set meal at $22.80++ (U.P $45.60++ per set) with a starter and main; and 3-course set menu at $29.80++ (U.P $59.60++ per set) with choice of starter, main, and side. Available for all-day dining daily.
Starter: Bread & Dip, Roast Leek Soup, or Beef Tartare
Main: Smoked Chicken Coquelet, Iberico Pork Jowl, Ravioli with Aged Balsamic, or Gnocchi Cacio e Pepe
Sides: Crispy Squid, Tempura Young Corn, or Kale & Romaine
FREE FLOW (90 min) Beer, Prosecco or Red Wine with min spend of $100++ per table
Available all-day dining daily; can alternate between different beverage
Kids Dine FREE on Weekends (12 years or below)
Complimentary Kids Main & choice of beverage with every Adult Main ordered. Not stack-able with set menus.
78 Airport Boulevard, 03-227/228, Jewel Changi Airport, Singapore 819666
Tel: +65 8772 4227
Opening Hours: 12pm – 3pm, 6pm – 10.30pm (Mon – Sun)
* This entry is brought to you in partnership with NY Verden.