Several things work against Naughty Nuri at Capitol Piazza so we didn’t visit it earlier. Firstly, we read some unfavorable reviews. Secondly, Naughty Nuri is famous for its ribs in Ubud, Bali. But when we were in Ubud, our Singaporean host, a mega foodie, didn’t recommend Naughty Nuri as a must eat. Thirdly, we don’t like chain restaurants—no personal touch and everything is standardized—and this Capitol Piazza branch marks Naughty Nuri’s 10th outlet in the world. Fourthly, we don’t follow hypes. Yeah, we are iconoclasts.
When we first entered Naughty Nuri, we really didn’t like the decor/ambience because it’s an open concept where passersby can see what you’re eating. Eating is an intimate, private affair to me and I’d like some privacy away from prying eyes.
But the food is satisfying and rather good. The ribs ($18.80 half rack about 4-5 ribs/ $35.80 full) are fantastic, meat, falling off the bones, with burnt ends to give a smokey taste. It tastes like kecap manis, slightly sweet, and goes very well with the chilli sauce they provide. (The chilli sauce is really just a spicy version of the marinade.)
We are such whores for recommendations that we ordered most items with the recommendation signs. The burnt squid ($8.80) isn’t burnt—I’d like it be more charred—but it has a nice chewy texture. The dip is very good, almost like an Indian aioli, with garlic, cumin, and red pepper.
Both ayam masak merah (chicken thigh in curry, $6.80, above) and beef rendang ($9.80, 5 cubes, below) are cooked well, very tender, but perhaps they can tweak the recipes to localize the dishes to include more spices and heat. Burnt leeks ($4.80) is our pretentious way to be healthy and eat some fibre, and it is delicious: charred and salted just nicely. The Ex said, “Everything is good here except the brown rice, dry and hard. Haha”
Just a quick mention of the service: although the place is too busy and there are too few wait staff to handle the crowd, I like it that they employ young energetic boys who liven up the place. There is an ah beng who makes me feel like I’m in Singapore again. I appreciate service staff from other nationalities, but Naughty Nuri makes me feel like home. Haven’t had this feeling in a long time.
On the whole, we were contented with the effort that Naughty Nuri has put in, in terms of the food and finding the service staff. As usual, we over-ordered that the table almost couldn’t accommodate the food, and paid about $80 for two persons including two bottles of beer. If people with normal appetites visit the restaurant, I think they can get away with $25 per pax.
Naughty Nuri’s Singapore
11 Stamford Rd, Capitol Piazza #01-84 Singapore 178884
T: +65 6384 7966
M-F 11.30am-2.30pm, 5.30pm-11pm; Weekends 11.30am-11pm
Overall Rating: 3.094/5
Written by A. Nathanael Ho.