Although it proudly offers ‘not only meatballs,’ on previous visits to NOM, I have mostly only sampled its wide and creative selection of meatballs and little else. The restaurant has now just started offering a set lunch menu, which incorporates its signature meatballs, as well as other tasty options into a hearty three-course meal.
Chef Fabrizio Napolitano wants diners to be able to enjoy a healthy introduction to the meal, before indulging in something a bit more substantial. For that reason, the set lunch menu (which changes weekly) always starts with a salad, followed by a hearty main course, and finishes with some variation on an ice cream sandwich.
On the day we visited, the three starter options were a quinoa, baby spinach, beetroot and goat’s cheese salad, some roasted pumpkin with goat’s yoghurt dressing and Montgomery cheddar, or sweet potato served with seaweed salsa verde and raw oyster mushrooms. Each of these was light yet delicious, with unique, refreshing flavours. My favourite was the quinoa salad, which was simple yet satisfying.
I wasn’t particularly blown away by the homemade tagliolini. Although the pasta was clearly very fresh and nicely cooked, maintaining that all-important bite, I’m never a big fan of creamy pastas, and this was definitely a little too creamy for my liking. I also wished there had been a little more crabmeat to go around.
The deep-fried whitebait, cod and zucchini, served with cod roe mayo was pretty perfect. The batter was gratifyingly crispy without being neither too thick nor greasy and I adored the crab roe mayo.
Obviously a lunch at NOM would not be complete without some kind of meatball dish and for that the ‘Ultimate meatball sandwich’ fits the bill perfectly. Three tender, delicious beef and pork meatballs are smothered in a rich tomato sauce and melted fontina cheese, sandwiched within a fluffy toasted panino. Some argued that the fontina cheese overpowered the flavour of the meatballs, but, as a big cheese fan, I loved it.
The set lunch menu was drawn to a close with a round of goat’s milk ice cream sliders with kumquat cardamom jam and lotus chips. The tartness from the kumquat was balanced by the fluffy, sweet brioche, whilst the ice cream itself was again lovely and light.
We also sampled a number of dishes from the a la carte menu, just in case there wasn’t enough food on the table! I was very impressed by the burrata salad. Along with the juicy heirloom tomatoes, this was served with chunks of refreshing watermelon that complemented the intense, creamy ball of cheese. Add to this some 30-month organic Parma ham and you’re in heaven.
Also impressive were the New Zealand reserve beef short ribs. Having been slow-cooked for 48 hours and then grilled over hay, the meat was incredibly tender and had a delicious slightly smoky flavour that didn’t even need the coffee-topped bell pepper mayo to enhance it. This came with a side of lovely roasted root vegetables, which, together with the beef, made the perfect winter comfort food.
NOM’s set lunch menu is priced at $178, which includes coffee or tea, but not service charge. Dishes from the main menu range from about $75 to $500, so the bill can quickly add up depending on how hungry you are. I’ve always been a fan of NOM’s dinner menu and now I can say I’m a fan of its lunch menu too. Next up I need to try the weekly aperitivo on Tuesdays…need I say more than ‘free pizza’?!
1-5 Elgin Street
Tel: +852 2540 7988