NUR Restaurant

NUR Restaurant

Where:
NUR Restaurant
3rd Floor, 1 Lyndhurst Terrace
Central, Hong Kong

Phone:
+(852) 2871 9993

Price:
HKD788 for the Light six course menu. HKD988 for the Feast nine course menu (excludes 10% service charge). After wine/champagne + selecting the Feast option, we were out at HKD1600 a person.

The deal:
In what must almost be a Hong Kong first, NUR Restaurant’s website actually contains information regarding the kitchen, chef and its food philosophy.  FUCK YEAH, informative websites.  Hey HK restaurants, UR DOIN’ IT WRONG if you’re actually paying coin to someone who is in charge of your social media content if your website consists of one sole graphic, a “COMING SOON” sign OR it doesn’t contain a single fucking hyperlink.  So let’s reward effort with reading NUR’s goddamn VISION page and then get yo ass back here to finish reading this FYN review.

So given its vision of “nourishing gastronomy” and all the wank off about tapping into the raw and unbridled energy and flavour in the unexpected, Ms Two Serves (yesssssssssssssss, she’s back in the Kong) and I were highly sceptical but rounded up enough homies to drop some serious coin.  I’ve wanted to try NUR for fucking ages (it opened in April 2014, run by the Prive group) and shit is not cheap with the Feast nine course menu costing HKD988 per person – which means it’s not a casual Friday night catch up place.  There’s a Light option which costs HKD788, but everyone at the table has to do the same menu which meant that in a sea of indecision, Captain Greedy Ass here commandeered the good ship into Feast territory.  Given the artistic photos and the mission statement on the website, I was highly concerned that I’d power through nine beautiful though “food for ants” style courses, before dollar cost averaging my responsibly sourced meal with McWings of extremely dubious provenance at McDonald’s on the way home. One of our homies coming asked me what style of food NUR was, I helpfully provided the description of “Nordic influenced. Beautiful food for ants with microherbs and sauce smears”.

If you want to sound like a total food wanker a little more informed when trying to convince your homies to come with you to try NUR here’s some talking points:

  • Executive Chef Nurdin has got some serious chops – he’s actually qualified as a nutritional therapist and working at Raymond Blanc’s two Michelin star restaurant Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons
  • Chef Nurdin staged at NOMA (ermagerd, #1 restaurant in the whole goddamn world) and interned at the Nordic Food Lab (a not for profit organisation in Copenhagen which explores the Nordic raw ingredients/material and was established by NOMA’s head chef, Rene Redzepi and gastronomic entrepreneur Claus Meyer).
  • Chef Nurdin clearly gives all the fucks about the ingredients that he uses, what it does to our bodies and NUR’s philosophy is that ingredients should be sourced locally and as responsibly as possible.  YES, they even grow their own herbs / produce on their rooftop garden and are working with organic vegetable producers in HK.

But amongst the minimalist, clean pale wood interior which is dominated by an open and immaculate kitchen, our fears and scepticism turned out to be fucking unfounded because we lapped that shit up.  As the food appears it’s undeniable, every plate is fucking beautiful and demonstrates fuck loads of technique.  The amuse bouche sets the tone for the whole meal with three canapes dotted around a white plate, consisting of a beetroot taco with a watercress emulsion and a carrot powder to sprinkle on top (be still my heart, ruby red, light green and orange powder – fuck yeah, colour combination), a posh as fuck carrot crudite (yeah, you might slice up a carrot and serve some hommus when you’re being a fancy fucker, NUR will present you with a slow-cooked, dehydrated carrot with a fennel and cumin infused cream) and a round of cucumber and pickled Nashi pear.

Each dish that follows is a goddamn artistic masterpiece.  If you’re coming with a friend who needs photographic evidence of everything they were ever served in a restaurant, a meal here is going to take you a long ass time to finish.  In another course, a slick waiter appears and is giving you the life story of their HK rooftop grown tomato and the four different types of basil as a sparse plate appears, dotted with a couple of tomatoes with some micro-herb flowers strewn around, nestled in some clear tomato water and the four kinds of basil oil drizzled around it and you are thinking “Uh oh, this may not be good” and as Ms Two Serves recapped to me via whatsapp the next day “BAM, that shit was delicious”.  You’re going to hear a lot about their rooftop garden where they grow a lot of their own herbs and vegetables – don’t worry about missing this though cause your waiter homies are going to constantly and frequently remind you of this.  Sometimes the waiters’ explanations feel a bit like this:

NUR’s menu changes depending on what is seasonal (duh, of course it does) but didn’t suffer from the curse of an up and down tasting menu, with each course being a fuck yeahhhhhh all killer no filler plate. My fuck yeah highlights were the LANGOUSTINE, EGG and the dessert course, BANANA.  Yes, each course is pretentiously given a one word name and then given a simple description.  For example, LANGOUSTINE is described as “langoustine, mango, peanut, yoghurt”.  The EGG course was interesting as fuck, using a poached Taiyouran egg served with a grain risotto using amaranth and quinoa.  Fun fact, did you know that a Taiyouran egg is from a chicken which is fed Stevia (a herb used as a sweetener) and results in the egg having 10 times the amount of Vitamin E vs a normal egg.  There’s also all sorts of really miniscule touches with the ingredients which actually add to how a dish tastes (versus using a flower just because it pretties up the plate).

My one issue with the whole NUR concept is that they make a massive deal about how they want to source things locally and tell you 100 times during the meal that they are growing herbs right there, on their ROOFTOP TERRACE (FYN note – the newest HK food trend is growing your own shit) there’s something that feels a little bit disingenuous when the remainder of their proteins are gunning their way to Emerald Oneworld status on frequent flier points.  Holy fucking carbon footprint food miles Batman – while the coriander flowers may have sashayed their sustainable way in from NUR’s rooftop terrace, there’s langoustine from New Zealand, crab from Alaska, salmon from Ireland, wagyu beef from Australia and eggs from Japan. Right this way Mr NUR Proteins, Cathay Pacific are thrilled to have you on board today.

I’m not going to labour things because you definitely want to go into NUR without knowing too much about what you’re eventually going to eat.  But TL:DR, sounds like it’ll be pretentious as fuck and food for ants.  However shit’s so goddamn beautiful you’ll weep all over your artistic as fuck plates.  Despite concerns and price point, it’s fucking amazing and innovative and you won’t have to stop by McDonald’s to prevent going to bed hungry but you also won’t have to hate-eat your way through a cream, truffles and butter laden tasting menu resulting in a torpid stupor.

Verdict:
A beautiful FUCK YEAH, but most definitely on pay day.

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