Friday, July 11, 2014

[Hong Kong] NUR

I think NUR has earned it spot to kick off 2014 for me!  (Yes, I am all caught up with all my 2013 posts and I am fully aware that it is July 2014 already...)


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We went in May 2014 after the restaurant is opened to the public for just about a month.  We tried to go earlier but that's the first weekend my friends and I were all in town and available.  It wasn't until we had confirmed everything that we remembered it was mother's day weekend!  I am so glad it worked out in the end...  

(Side note: we even ran into Fanny Sieh (薛芷倫) and her daughter who were enjoying her mother's day dinner.  She is very pretty in person.  She did look like she had a plastic surgery but I did some research online and found out it was a side-effect from a drug she had to take when she was battling cancer.)

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NUR is unique as it presents an interesting dining concept - nourishing gastronomy - that not many restaurants in Hong Kong has explored.  To read NUR's vision, click here.  All of us were very impressed with all our dishes.  Thank you Chef Nurdin Topham for a wonderful meal.  We can't wait to return (probably in the fall)!


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The interior décor is simple and bright.  There is even an outdoor sitting area.  I can totally see patrons requesting those seats when the weather gets cooler.

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We were there pretty early but as the night progresses,
the restaurant is packed!
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The outdoor seating area
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There are two (2) tasting menus offered - the "Light" and the "Feast".  I was really worried that I will still be hungry if I choose "Light" but our server recommended the "Light" menu since it's our first visit.  There is also a wine menu for wine lovers :)  The price isn't really that bad for dinner in Central at a reaturant this caliber.  (If you need more convincing, Chef Topham did R&D at NOMA’s Nordic Food Lab and spent years honing his culinary skills at the various outposts of Michelin-starred Chef Raymond Blanc.)

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I heard the "Tomatoes" dish is to die for...
...next time

Our amuse bouche "wow" us immediately.  How can vegetables taste so good?  My favorite was the carrot.  It was very, very sweet and slightly crunchy.  I have no idea how the tiny carrot can packed in so much flavor!  (and I am not even a carrot person to begin with)  The beet root chip is outstanding as well.  Again, it's crispy and full of flavor.  My only complain: why is there only one piece for each of us!??  The cucumber was the least memorable of all but still refreshing to the palete~

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(Right to Left) Beetroot crisp with watercress emulsion,
Carrots with cumin yoghurt and carrot powder,
Nasi pear and cucumber
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One of our friends does not eat cucumber
He was given a green apple instead
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Nasi Pear and Cucumber

We were also presented a shot glass of konbucha infused with Jasmine.  Although I have heard quite a bit about this hipster drink lately, it's my first time drinking it.  It's a little bit sour and bubbly.  You can smell a hint of Jasmine.  Overall, I like the taste but I probably won't be brewing this at home... LOL!

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One of my friends got all hyped up when it was brought to us.
Click here to find out why.

(Don't deny, you totally over-reacted... LOL!)

Our first course was the Oyster.  It's a Gillardeau with a warm cucumber and wasabi form. It - was - so - delicious!  Packed with flavor and yet so delicate.  The foam brought out the umami of the oyster and I keep salivating just thinking about it.  Although it was only one bite, the flavor was so strong that it lingered in my mouth for a while~ 

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What I failed to take a picture of is the cucumber pearls hidden beneath the oyster
So clever!  
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We had some really picky eaters for the night.

We told our friend he TOTALLY missed out on the oyster!

Good thing we have told the restaurant the long list of the "NG"
ahead of time and everyone is happy :)

I have forgotten what he had.
I had a bite of it but it paled in comparison to the Oyster.

Next up was the Salmon.  When the menu said "smoked", they meant it!  It pairs very well with the salmon, which was poached (?) very gently.  It reminded a dish I ate at a French restaurant where the chef called it "minute of salmon", only this one was smoother and more flavorful.  The salmon really did melt in my mouth.  Bravo!  The plating of this dish is very simple.  I wish they can do something different though.

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The Salad came next.  The menu simply labeled it as "Zen garden vegetables".  What it didn't say is that it came with 22 different vegetables!  Everything is edible including the silk of the baby corn, and the flower.  Every ingredient seemed to be treated separately - some cooked and some raw - before it was tossed together so the flavor is unique.  You can enjoy every separately or combine it at your will for a different flavor combination.  In addition to the corn, I found the fennel and the parmesan crisp most memorable.

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Although this next course is called the "Egg", I am not sure if the "Mushrooms" should really be the star of the show. The aroma of the mushrooms filled the room before it was even brought to our table.  I love mushrooms but I never knew they can smell so good.  (We think the aroma was from porcini.) I also love they have a variety of mushrooms in the dish.  My favorite is the Shitake mushroom (花菇).  The creaminess of the Japanese Taiyouran egg worked really well with the whole grains and the garlic chives sauce was a good accent.

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A perfectly sous vide egg

If I had any thought on dinner #2, it vanished after the sour dough is brought to our table.  Sour dough is difficult to make as a start.  It's even harder to make in the humid Hong Kong weather.  So we were very pleased with this sour dough.  Perhaps the mushroom in the Egg dish was so intensed, I couldn't take the mushroom in the butter.  It wasn't a big deal for me though as I was mopping the eggs with the bread.

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Chicken was next.  I really love this dish.  Everything worked for me.  The chicken is juicy yet crispy.  Very tender and perfectly seasoned.  I especially loved the seaweed coating in between the roulade.  The cauliflower is the best I had since Girl & the Goat. The black dallop of sauce was so good I wish I had a bottle of it.

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Unfortunately, the dessert was a let down. I guess after having a series of dishes that was packed with flavor, I was looking to end with something either very light or very heavy.  Part of it is probably my fault.  When I see a chocolate dessert, I usually expect it to be heavy.  Although I love the orange and chocolate combination, the sorbet was too light for me.

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On the other hand, I think my friends who don't eat chocolate lucked out on their desserts.  This dessert was a great palate cleanser.  I only stole a bite and it was very refreshing.  If I was offered the choice again, I would have totally gone for this one instead.

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NUR
3rd Floor, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace, Central, Hong Kong
Tel: +852 2871 9333
Hours: Mon-Sun 6:00 pm - 12:00 am
Attire: Dressy
Reservations Required.

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