If the recent Ben Stiller comedy Night at the Museum whetted your appetite for after-hours fun amid deserted marble corridors and gleaming display cases, head for Singapore's National Museum. You won't find a T. rex skeleton on the prowl or Attila the Hun brought to life, as Stiller's character does in the movie, but you will come across the excellent Novus Restaurant and Bar, tel: (65) 6336 8770.
As part of an ongoing drive to dust off its image, the National Museum, which has undergone a three-year makeover, last year invited entrepreneurs to come up with ideas for evening dining venues. The brother-and-sister team of Yung and Ying Ong swiftly answered the call. For the budding restaurateurs, the chance to make an exhibition of themselves in the museum, one of Singapore's most venerated colonial edifices, was too good to pass up. "It was love at first sight the high ceilings, the louvered windows that let the natural light in, the tall columns!" enthuses the sister and younger sibling, Ying.
Located right off the museum's main entrance, the 48-seat Novus strives to match the building's European classicism with an elegantly modern decor that includes pieces from two of Britain's top style gurus the fashion (and lately interiors) designer Paul Smith and the furniture designer Jasper Morrison. The cuisine by Aussie chef Dan Masters is equally stylish, with many of the French-style dishes given a lighter touch as befits Singapore's tropical clime.
For aperitifs or nightcaps, you couldn't do much better than the funkily furnished Muse Bar, right across the foyer from Novus. While it does offer highbrow bar snacks (check out the "laksa burritos" or the chicken nuggets with dashi-flecked wasabi mayonnaise), Muse is primarily a watering hole. Go easy on those Muse Martinis though, or who knows what you might run into down those long, lonely museum corridors.
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