Saturday, August 28, 2021

NAE:UM @ Telok Ayer - Episode One, Food Stories in Chef Louis's Personal Journey


The ever-changing restaurant scene in Singapore sees the new opening of NAE:UM at Teloy Ayer by Chef Louis Han from South Korea. At NAE:UM, the cuisine is progressive vibrancy of Seoul, meeting the flavours of folk traditions with flavours of the world, showcasing the chef's food journey.

Nurungji Beef Tart 4/5

The 5-course menu at NAE:UM starts from $148++ with add on available. The current menu focuses on Chef's favourite ingredients. We started with a couple of snack dishes. The Nurungji Beef Tart's base consists of scorched brown rice, topped with beef tartare, cured egg yolk shavings, pickled turnip and spring onion spears.

Bugak 3/5

Shiso and Lotus Root is coated in glutinous rice paste and deep-fried. The Bugak is then seasoned with chilli and kimchi powder.

Duck Galbi Tart 4.5/5

My favourite of the three snacks has to be the Duck Galbi Tart. Sitting on top of the feuille de brick tartlet is grilled minced duck ball with a rice cake centre, garnished with spring onion curls.

Mulhwae 4.8/5

Mulhwae is a cold spicy raw fish soup popular with Koreans in the summer. The chef's interpretation uses aged kampachi. The yuzu chilli sauce brightens the appreciation of the clean-tasting fish, while the garden salad provides the texture contrast.

Uni Somyeon 4.2/5

A popular dish on the menu is the Uni Somyeon. Diners can opt to add on caviar for an additional $10. The Korean made buckwheat noodle is tossed in a dressing of chopped white kimchi, scallions and truffle oil. It is crowned with bafun uni and kaviari oscietra caviar. I was expecting a light and refreshing bowl of noodles, but this version is strong and bold in flavour. Those with a heavy palate will enjoy this.

Jjjim 4.5/5

Resting on top of the beurre blanc sauce with cured fish roe and finely chopped chives is the Steamed Red Grouper. At the side is the Steamed Roulade of Zucchini, Napa Cabbage and Snapper Crab. The star has to be the sauce, bringing the different components together for a beautiful finish.

Duck 4.5/5

The main for the 5-course menu is Duck. The Irish duck is dry-aged in-house for up to 7 days. Then, it is marinated and glazed with gochujang before grilling over binchotan. Not sure whether it is due to the dry-ageing or the gochujang, it seems to intensify the duck's flavour further.

Nuruk-aged Wagyu Striploin

Diners have the option to add the Nuruk-aged Wagyu Striploin as a supplementary dish for an additional $48. The wagyu striploin is glazed with galbi sauce and grilled over binchotan. It has a hint of sweetness and smokiness that is pleasing to the palate. At the side, there are pickled shiitake, kohlrabi salad, grilled spring onions and shiitake puree.

Summer Bingsu 4.2/5

Unfortunately, the Summer Bingsu does not come in a bowl of shaved ice. Instead, fermented fruits are topped with mascarpone snow, fermented grape granita, and makgeolli sorbet. It is a light and refreshing dessert which can also be seconded as a palate cleanser.

Charcoal Jujube 4/5

For an extra $12, you can add a supplementary dish. The Charcoal Jujube comprises of puffed multigrain, jujube ice cream and charcoal tuille.

Petit Fours 4/5

Ending the meal are Fermented Rice Cake and Yakgwa Cookie for Petit Fours. I love the soft and spongy texture of the rice cake, coated with white sugar and torched to brulee.

Overall, NAE:UM is an exciting entry to the food scene in Singapore. I find Chef Louis loves to use heavy and rich flavours for his dishes. The 5-course set meal at $148++ should be sufficient, and I don't think you need to go for the supplementary dishes unless you are a big eater.

Note: This is an invited tasting.

161 Telok Ayer Street
Singapore 068615
Tel: +65 88305016
Nearest MRT: Telok Ayer (DT Line), Tanjong Pagar (EW Line)

Opening Hours:
Tue-Sat: 6pm - 1030pm

1) Alight at Telok Ayer MRT station. Take Exit A. Walk to Telok Ayer Street. Turn left onto Telok Ayer Street. Walk down destination. Journey time about 3 minutes. [Map]

2) Alight at Tanjong Pagar MRT station. Take Exit G. Walk down Telok Ayer Street. Walk to destination. Journey time about 5 minutes. [Map]

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