The last time I was at Prive, it was newly opened and I was attending a drinks event at the bar area. The nibbles that night were memorably yummy, and so, I had pretty high expectations of the food at the restaurant when we had dinner there recently with Ry.
It's good that the restaurant now has floor-to-ceiling windows, which allows diners an expansive view of the marina. I couldn't understand the design of the restaurant in the past, when it was completely closed off and didn't have any windows, because it was such a waste of the scenery. I mean, what's the point of being in such a gorgeous location when your restaurant doesn't even have any windows?
Food-wise, I was a little disappointed with the hit-and-miss fare, I thought I'd be blown away for the prices we were paying. Also, we were kept waiting between courses for an inordinate amount of time. This was unexpected, since Prive is considered a fine-dining restaurant. The kitchen was evidently having problems churning out dishes on time, despite the restaurant only being two-thirds filled.
We started on a high with the Shimeiji Mushrooms ($15), truffled poached egg, Parma ham and shaved aged parmesan cheese in a delightfully delicate mushroom-based broth. This was a harmonious balance of textures and flavours. We practically licked the plate clean.
The Seared Squid & Jumbo Prawn ($18) were done just nice, soft and bouncy in texture, without being rubbery. The wild rocket and basil sauce complemented the mild flavours of the fresh seafood. That said, this was a little small-ish in portion. 3 pieces of squid and 1 lonely prawn for 18 buckaroos? Not worth it.
After more than half an hour wait, the mains finally arrived. The Eye of the Ribeye ($58), from the Josper grill menu, was a full-bodied 340grams of USDA prime angus red meat. This was supposed to be medium rare, but it arrived medium well, which is a couple of grades more done. Also, the meat should have been richer in flavour and more intense, but it was underwhelmingly bland.
The Seared Baby Red Snapper ($28) with brandade of cod, fennel, pomme sablees and shell fish reduction was the only main that we felt was up to par. Fish was fresh, moist and tasty, and we liked that it was portioned just right.
The Trio of Risotto ($25) with root vegetables, mascarpone cheese, pesto basilicum and parmesan chip had so much potential, but it was really quite ho-hum. The mushroom, tomato and saffron risottos needed more cooking time, the starches hadn't been released yet so this was really quite dry.
While the side of Sauteed Mushrooms ($14) was yummy, we gave this a concession as it was simply a dish difficult to do badly.
The Buttered Peas ($10) on the other hand, was supposedly an easy dish to do as well, but this was unfortunately overloaded with cream and milk, so this got sickeningly rich after a very short while.
It was a good thing that we ended on a high with the Dessert Platter ($32) with lemon meringue tart with kumquat confit, lemon curd and citron emulsion, lychee granite with honey orange sauce, frangelico ice-cream profiterole drizzled with 64% manjari chocolate sauce, cinnamon apple strudel with granny smith espuma and almond crumble, sticky date pudding with brown sugar butterscotch and walnuts, valrhona chocolate mille feuille with hazelnut praline crisp, and vanilla bean ice-cream. Everything was delicious and we all thought this was easily the best dish of the night.
We were served an Amuse Bouche of smoked duck breast, strawberry and cucumber with balsamic reduction. This was nice, the tender and salty-smoky duck left us wanting more.
The Bread Basket was our lifesaver, as our dishes took such a long time to arrive. These were warm, tasty and fresh.
No. 2 Keppel Bay Vista
Marina at Keppel Bay
Tel: 6776 0777
Open Mondays to Fridays from 12noon to 3pm for lunch and from 7pm to 11.30pm for dinner
Saturdays and Sundays from 6.30pm to 11.30pm for dinner