Late Bus: The NOIR Terrace is Open
NOSA: I remember the first time I saw the NOIR logo and there was a thing underneath that said “Restaurant. Bar. Terrace”. I remember wondering where on earth a terrace was going to fit in. From the outside, it looked like La Pointe had been built out as far as it could go. Well, they found a way to make it work.
FOLLY: I figured like the restaurant (Noir), the terrace was going to be "coming soon" for a while. We first got wind of the potential restaurant when the La Pointe coffee shop opened in 2016, the restaurant didn't open until 2 years later.
NOSA: The interior is built like an old school gentlemen’s club. Think cigars, leather sofas, men in suits, and some jazz music. Yeah, that’s the vibe it gives out.
FOLLY: If that wasn't clear, that description was just to illustrate the comparison. There was no jazz music, cigars or men in suits here
NOSA: Maybe we came on an odd day or most people don’t know about it yet, but it seems like the perfect spot for after work drinks. If Winehouse was your thing, this is definitely up your alley.
To start, we got the Beef Yakitori and the Vietnamese Fresh Rolls.
The Fresh Rolls are essentially the Vietnamese spring rolls, which are like a healthier version of the spring roll we’re familiar with. In some climes, they’re called “Summer Rolls”.
FOLLY: I typically wouldn't have ordered this but I was feeling very... different.
NOSA: Unlike our regular spring roll, the fresh roll ditches the flour skin for a translucent rice paper skin and as far as the internal content goes, the fresh roll might be a bit richer.
FOLLY: And fresher. If you used stale cabbage or carrots in a fresh roll it'll be immediately obvious as there's be no crunch. I also liked that herbs were added to Noir's version, so that it wasn't totally bland sadly, it wasn't evenly distributed.
NOSA: Yakitori is a Japanese-style skewered chicken that’s marinated in a weird salty, but sweet, marinade and cooked over an open flame. Imagine all of that, but with beef and that’s what we had at NOIR.
FOLLY: If you're looking for a proper beef yakitori, go to a Japanese restaurant - I remember Sakura having a decent one.
I ordered this truly out of curiousity because I wanted a meat-y starter to contrast the Vietnamese fresh rolls. The beef was too tough and chewy; and the marinade was too acidic - needed to keep dipping it in the sauce which was slightly sweet to balance it out.
NOSA: For my main, I went with the NOIR Beef Burger - a very predictable Nosa order. The bun was soft, the cheese was melty, but the patty was meh. Can’t quite figure out if it was the beef itself or the addition of a pickle.
NOSA: The flavor of the beef just didn’t feel like it came through and caramelized onions were completely drowned out.
FOLLY: Unlike Nosa, I really did like the burger. There was something incredibly sweet and buttery about it - I think the combination of the bun, cheese. and sweet caramelized onions.
NOSA: It’s a decent burger overall, but I think it could’ve been a lot better. I mean, all the elements are there, but it just didn’t do it for me. It tasted way too much like an authentic Lebanese shawarma for me to enjoy it.
FOLLY: That comparison is a disservice to the burger, I don't think there was anything about it that was similar to a Lebanese shawarma, but then again I only got one bite.
NOSA: Maybe the problem is me. It’s one of my issues with burgers at higher end restaurants. They never quite justify the price and the approach just feels so hoity-toity.
FOLLY: Fair enough because at N7900 this was a ridiculously expensive burger but then look at all that cheese.
FOLLY: My main dish was the suya calamari - three chunky sticks and a side of fries. Heads up, unless you really like calamari don't order a whole plate full of the stuff - it's overwhelming.
NOSA: Thanks to some kitchen wahala, Folly got shorted on Suya. A stick less. If we didn’t complain, the waiter might not have fixed it too.
FOLLY: Apparently the guy "who passed the plate" forgot it. Thankfully, our waiter went back and found it.
A decent amount of people don't know this but legit yaji has nuts in it so people with peanut allergies cannot have suya. All this is to say that Noir's yaji was very nutty - more than the typically but perhaps it was done intentionally to add some dimension to the calamari. It worked but after one stick, I was still done and Nosa got the leftovers to throw into a salad the next day.
NOSA: Perfect for a laid back Friday evening. You want to do something after work, but you have no interest in staying out late enough to catch the club.
FOLLY: Don't listen to what Nosa said the burger is really good but it's too expensive.
Beef Yakitori - N3500
Vietnamese Fresh Roll - N4000
NOIR Beef Burger - N7900
Suya Calamari - N4800
Not a lot, and also very tight.