Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Prive Restaurant

C says:

The lunch experiment continues. Today R and P joined us for lunch at the very chic Prive, out on Keppel Island. If you haven’t been to Keppel Island yet, I highly recommend your first trip being during the day. On a bright sunny day you can almost feel like you’re not in Singapore, first as you drive across the bridge to get to the island, then as you sit along the waterfront facing the Caribbean and the boats bobbing in the marina.

With such a stunning view, it’s a pity that Prive’s décor hasn’t taken advantage of it. Quite the opposite – the inside of the low-ceilinged restaurant is all bare wooden walls and floor to ceiling drapes. It feels more like a boardroom than a chic restaurant.

Set lunches here go for $32 for 2 courses, $38 for 3 courses, and $68 for a decadent 5-course lunch with premium ingredients. The 5-course lunch is a fixed menu with no options; the rest have about 4 choices per course.

To start with, I decided to be game and tried the bacon-wrapped frog’s legs. This was really good (then again, what isn’t good when wrapped with bacon) – the frog’s legs were incredibly tender and the meat just fell right off the bone.

A can’t see the word “gravlax” on a menu and not order it. The salmon was sliced incredibly thin, and was served with some edible flowers as well as a mixed salad. This was alright but I think mine packed more of a flavour punch.

Three of us ordered the same main course – the braised linguine with lobster jus, served with prawns and warm swordfish. P and I really enjoyed this. I loved the lobster jus, which was just sufficiently flavourful without being too in-your-face. A perfect subtle balance of flavours. The prawns were extremely fresh and springy, but what won us all over was the swordfish, which was just slightly cooked so it still maintained an incredible texture and creaminess. R’s fillet of ocean trout was a lot better than we expected, with the trout prepared almost rare, and I think A half wishes that he’d ordered this instead.

Dessert wasn’t as good as the previous courses, but nothing really to complain about. A had the ricotta cheese mousse with some kind of cream-topped kumquat, and I had the cherry and almond pie with sweet cardamom ice cream.

For the same price as La Strada’s set, this is definitely much better value, as the dishes are much more refined and better executed. So far the best value set lunch still has to be at Nicolas though. It’s still the same magic number of $38, but you get 4 courses (not including an amuse bouche) as opposed to everywhere else’s 3.

Besides the main restaurant, there’s also a more casual Prive Bakery & Café just next door. This is definitely more up our alley. For one thing, there’s both al fresco dining and indoor seating within a glass-walled restaurant, so you can enjoy the stunning views. The menu (and prices) are also definitely more our style. We had a coffee there after lunch, and after perusing the menu we all definitely want to make a repeat visit to the Café, perhaps to see what the night-time views are like.

A says:

I think the overall experience was good, but except for the frog’s legs, the food didn’t particularly wow me.

The outdoor ambience of the café is really cool though. I think all of us there today are pretty eager to go back to try a meal there. More on that when we do I guess.

2 Keppel Bay Vista
Marina at Keppel Bay
Tel: 6776-0777
Lunch: Mon to Fri, 11.30 am to 3 pm
Dinner: Mon to Sat, 6 pm to 11.30 pm
Closed Sunday

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