There is a new kid on the block at Blk 81 MacPherson Lane, taking over the former space of now-defunct My Sister Bakes.
Not to be confused with NOM – No Other Meaning situated at MacPherson Community Club, Nom Nom is a new cafe that is situated within the same neighbourhood as Alfero Gelato which is just a stone’s throw away. Decked in a rather eclectic theme, there is a certain rawness in the decor theme which also employs the clever use of bright colours and unique furniture to create a rather welcoming and relaxing feel amidst the slightly whimsical decor theme. The menu is relatively simple here; serving only mains, desserts and beverages here, the mains comprises of mix-and-match bowls where patrons go for their choice of base, free toppings, proteins, greens and any extra toppings. Desserts include a list of cakes and ice-cream, while they have a variety of unique concoctions as part of their “Artisan Drinks” section of the beverage menu apart from coffee brewed using blends sourced from Dimattina Coffee as well as tea and craft beer.
(Cauliflower Rice, Pistachio, Spicy Mangalican Sausage, Smoked & Spiced Norwegian Salmon, Lotus Root Salted Egg)
Opting for the Cauliflower Rice as our choice of base, we also went for the Spicy Mangalican Sausage (also available in original) and Smoked and Spiced Norwegian Salmon for our choice of protein, Lotus Root Salted Egg for our choice of greens and Pistachio for our choice of free topping. A rather healthy option, the cauliflower rice is pretty appealing. While tasting pretty evidently of cauliflower, the “rice” itself carries a texture similar to quinoa, making it a rather light yet tasty option for the health-conscious as compared to butter rice, which is the only other option for the base. The Smoked and Spiced Norwegian Salmon is considerably flavourful, though we did wish that the fish itself was descaled more thoroughly and it would probably have fared even better if they could retain the juices of the flesh so as to keep the moisture of the fish. The Spicy Mangalican Sausage would work well with those who have a love for processed meats; pretty pedestrian but the spiciness of the sausage does pull through with its lightly spicy flavours. The Lotus Root Salted Egg would appease salted egg yolk lovers; the salted egg here is not particularly overwhelming due to the lack of cream in the sauce. Done the “dry” way, the salted egg coats the reasonably crisp lotus root chips and comes with crisp curry leaves; all of it was pretty satisfactory. We thought we could do without the free topping of pistachio that we opted for; topped above the cauliflower rice, it felt a little non-existent and made little difference to the entire plate with or without somehow.
(Cauliflower Rice, Cashew, Original Mangalican Sausage, Smoked Pastrami Duck, Lotus Root Salted Egg, Purple Cabbage Chai and Pistachio)
We also went for another plate where we opted for the cauliflower rice as our choice of base, we also went for the Original Mangalican Sausage and Smoked Pastrami Duck for our choice of protein, Lotus Root Salted Egg and Purple Cabbage Chai and Pistachio with speciality sauce for our choice of greens and Cashew for our choice of free topping. The smoked pastrami duck comes in a form similar to the ready-to-eat duck breasts available at supermarkets; pretty tender and savoury especially with the seasoning and is a crowd-pleaser on it own, while the Purple Cabbage Chai and Pistachio was essentially something similar to a purple cabbage slaw that carries a refreshing crunch which helps to cleanse the palette.
(Tiramisu with Mascarpone ice-cream)
Going for the dessert, we went for the Tiramisu which, unfortunately, felt a little lacking. While there was ample mascarpone cheese with cocoa powder sprinkled on the top, the Tiramisu felt like it could do with more coffee; the entire cake felt rather dry overall especially for a Tiramisu especially since it lacked a coffee-soaked sponge that usually gives the typical Tiramisu its moist texture despite it being baked with cold brew coffee. We also went for a scoop of Mascarpone ice-cream to go along with our Tiramisu. Served in a photo-worthy bowl shaped as a frog, the Mascarpone ice-cream is said to be made lighter in flavour so as to ensure that the flavours are not too jelak. That being said, there seems to be a slight hint of rum-like flavour for its finish which we found rather interesting.
(All Natural Rainbow)
We also ordered the All Natural Rainbow. Said to be baked with natural ingredients, the All Natural Rainbow is baked with zero colouring and additives; instead the colours for the different layers come from ingredients such as blueberries, matcha, tomato, citrus zest, lemons and beetroot (hence the slightly dull colours), while the cake is being frosted with a yogurt-infused cream cheese. Overall, we preferred this cake over the Tiramisu; the All Natural Rainbow was light, fluffy and moist, while the flavours are on the lighter side with all the different layers carrying a distinct flavour of its own when being eaten layer-by-layer. Opting for the Pure Pandan ice-cream with our All Natural Rainbow, the ice-cream tasted rather generic and the toppings felt a little too coherent with the texture of the ice-cream causing the ice-cream to feel a little powdery/gritty. They could perhaps look into serving the same toppings in larger chunks so as to create a bigger contrast between the texture of the toppings and ice-cream for a better textural contrast overall.
(L: Dark Side of the Lemon, R: Tom Yum Tom Yum)
Being rather intrigued by their special concoctions under the Artisan Drinks section of the menu, we went for the Dark Side of the Lemon and the Tom Yum Tom Yum. The former itself is described as a “refreshing lemonade unlike any other”. A pretty light drink, this was a good thirst quencher but felt like it was missing the lemonade part; we did enjoy the tinge of popcorn-like sweetness in the middle, but there was a lack of distinct tart and zingy flavours in the drink despite it being a drink which would go well with the food and that would satisfy non-lemonade lovers. The Tom Yum Tom Yum is an adventurous drink that is claimed to be designed for smokers; again, this lacks the sourness in Tom Yum (we might probably be wrong though; smoking while having Tom Yum is something we had never done considering we are non-smokers here) but carries an interesting smoky and husky flavour amidst the cooling and refreshing mint which works rather well for us. That being said, the Tom Yum Tom Yum is a drink that is meant for those bold enough to try it; it seems to be an item one would either love or hate.
Overall, the experience at Nom Nom is filled with a fair share of hits and misses. The mains seemed to have fared better than the desserts, while the Artisan Drinks do carry a lot of character but a little far from what they were inspired by. Nom Nom probably has quite a bit of work to do from its execution to the flavour profile of some of their items. They could also probably work on their menu a little, such as coming up with a few items as side dishes to encourage patrons to share something around the table and also give suggestions on the number of greens and proteins to order for a substantial portion of main. It would also help if they could be able to create something that might appeal to the older crowd that resides in the neighbourhood that they are located in That being said, Nom Nom is probably a decent space for long conversations in a comfortable setting that is away from town; we do hope that Nom Nom would be able to improve over time on their food so as to carry a stronger branding and character that would create a more impactful impression in the long run.
Blk 81 MacPherson Lane
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/81MacphersonLane/