Afterwards, we had dinner at Empress, which falls under the Prive Group. I love the space - it is airy, spiffy and overlooks the Singapore River. Great space for entertaining friends or for special occasions. I wouldn't say it has the best Chinese food in town but it was a fun relaxing restautant and service on en point.
CRISPY AROMATIC DUCK SALAD
The girlfriends found the deep-fried and shredded duck rather off-putting but I didn't mind it. It was a potentially heavy salad but the addition of pomelo and nashi pear cut through the greasiness of the duck.
WOK-CHARRED BROCCOLI & BROCCOLINI SALAD
If you like crunch in your salad, this broccoli / broccolini salad would please. In full modern-Asian mode, this salad had a zesty chili-calamansi vinaigrette, which might throw some people off. I liked that they serve the dressing on the side, which allowed you to control how much sawww-ce you want in your salad.
CHILLI CRAB MANTOU BUNS
I was surprised by these mantou buns, as I was expecting chili crab sauce served with mantou buns. These little pucks of joy were quite yummy and 100x less messy than the original chili crab. I like.
HOKKAIDO SCALLOP & PRAWN ‘MAPO’ TOFU
To be honest, I never thought much of mapo tofu. Gunky, insipid and downright a waste of calories... THIS WAS NOT. There's a tingly lip-naming sensation with every bite and I was quite happy to just down this with some refined carbs.
SAUTÉED HALIBUT FILLET & MINCED PORK
HENG HWA RICE VERMICELLI
Speaking of carbs... Comfort food alert! For maxima satisfacion, I smothered the vermicelli with mapo tofu and inhaled it. You are welcomed!
NEVER TOO MATCHA
While the bitterness of the green tea mousse might put some off, I absolutely adored it. One of my pet peeves about matcha products is the overt milky content which utterly defeats the purpose of having matcha. Those who find this too tongue-curling should sweeten up the mousse with coconut sorbet and chunkily mashed red beans.
STICKY DATE & LONGAN PUDDING
Now we know Prive does a mean sticky date pudding and this was no exception. Spiked with longan bits for a smidge of differentiation, this moist spongy mould of liveliness scored high in my books. You really can't go wrong with gula Melaka.