Prima Tower

December 12, 2019 Ivan Teh RunningMan 0 Comments

Prima Tower
201 Keppel Road

http://primatower.com.sg/home/


Dim Sum Flat Lay
Dim Sum Flat Lay



Exquisite Chinese Mandarin Dining With Revolving Views

(Ratings: On a scale of 1 to 10, with 1 = Worst and 10 = Best)
Overall: 8
Ambience & Setting: 9
Food & Beverage: 8
Service: 8
Value for Money: 8
Spent about SGD $43 per person.


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Established since 1977 and operated by the Prima Group (the founders of the 1st wheat flour mill in Singapore in 1961), Prima Tower is their Chinese Mandarin fine dining concept. Its iconic location 60m above ground, on top of a grain silo, isn't the only unique selling point. Prima Tower is also one of only 2 revolving restaurants in Singapore, and as you dine, you'll gradually be treated to breathtaking views of the waterfront along Southern Singapore. Prima Tower is also a nostalgic institution all its own, time has largely stood still here, and you get old-world ambience with refined Chinese fine dining service, and exquisite food that is consistently delicious.

Ambience at Prima Tower is a highlight. As the restaurant revolves, you're treated to breathtaking views of South Singapore; from the Central Business District (CBD), to the old Singapore Port at Keppel, to the modern shopping and residential areas of VivoCity and Harbourfront, and even views of the entrance of Sentosa. The decor and furnishings remain mostly unchanged from the 1970s, cushioned wooden chairs surrounding large white-clothed round tables, closely packed in the round space which is warmly lit and covered with plush but aging red carpets. When crowded, the place is noisy and bustling. The toilets and washrooms are modern though, and resemble those in 5-star hotels. Also, the revolving mechanism is aging, the place spins slowly, and time to time, you feel slight bumps. Warning; some people may experience slight disorientation.

Service at Prima Tower is a call-back to the refined, old-school, fine dining standards. Staff are polite and professional, quickly greeting and seating guests. While it may take some time to catch their attention, they display good product knowledge even despite the vast menu options, and they seem happy to engage with customers. They proactively offer to clear finished plates throughout the meal, and quickly clean up when diners leave. They also announce dishes as it's served, and assist to clear space on the table. However, they are strict about closing times, and will even switch off the air-conditioning once business hours end, as a subtle hint to customers (the place gets warm and stuffy very quickly). I also wish they would more regularly check on, and top up, teapots.

Food at Prima Tower is Chinese Mandarin fine dining, with an emphasis on popular regional cuisines from across China - Beijing, Shanghai, and Guangzhou. The kitchen has been led by Master Chef Chan Sung Og since 1984, and his 30+ years of experience at the helm has garnered Prima Tower multiple awards over the years. As such, you're virtually assured of dishes being consistently executed, delicious on the palate, and asthetically-pleasing in presentation. Beyond the wide range and variety of traditional dishes on the menu, they also experiment with a small section of modern fusion dishes seasonally. Portions are sized for communal group dining. Prices are reflective of their fine dining status, budget about SGD $43 per person for a meal without drinks here.


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Prima Tower Exterior
Prima Tower Exterior


Prima Tower Interior
Prima Tower Interior


Prima Tower Entrance
Prima Tower Entrance


Prima Tower Exit
Prima Tower Exit


Lobby
Lobby


Escalator
Escalator


Bar
Bar


Seating
Seating


View


View


View


Us


Us



A straightforward Tea Pu'er (SGD $2.50 per person), which is refillable. Has a light earthy flavour. Pairs well with dim sum!

Tea Pu'er
Tea Pu'er (SGD $2.50 per person)



The Braised Peanuts (SGD $2) have a tender but slightly firm texture, with a light salty nutty savoury flavour. We felt it could have been braised slightly longer. Could be improved.

Braised Peanuts
Braised Peanuts (SGD $2)



The refreshing Pickled Mustard Greens (SGD $2) have a crunchy juicy texture, with a bright salty sour vegetal sweet flavour. Opens the palate nicely.

Pickled Mustard Greens
Pickled Mustard Greens (SGD $2)



The Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (SGD $5.80) or har gow has a medium thin dumpling wrapper. It yields with a light sticky chew, yet holds the warm juicy filling of fresh deshelled shrimp / prawns well. Bite in, and you get a bold enticing burst of sweet savoury flavour. Good!

Steamed Shrimp Dumplings (SGD $5.80)


Steamed Shrimp Dumplings
Steamed Shrimp Dumplings


Steamed Shrimp Dumplings



The luxurious Steamed Siew Mai Dumplings With Prawn (SGD $5.80) has a bouncy juicy chew to texture, and a bright burst of sweet savoury flavour from the minced pork and fresh deshelled shrimp / prawns. So delicious. Highly recommended!

Steamed Siew Mai Dumplings With Prawn (SGD $5.80)


Steamed Siew Mai Dumplings With Prawn
Steamed Siew Mai Dumplings With Prawn



The Xiao Long Bao (SGD $5) was a disappointment. While the medium thin dumpling wrapper held the filling of juicy minced pork and pork broth without breaking, the muted savoury salty flavour isn't great. Also, the rather limp appearance is sad. Could be improved.

Xiao Long Bao (SGD $5)


Xiao Long Bao
Xiao Long Bao



Loved the Steamed Pork Ribs In Black Bean Sauce (SGD $5.80). The pork ribs are meaty and tender and moist, coming easily off the bone, and have a lovely earthy savoury sweet flavour from the black bean sauce. So yummy. Highly recommended!

Steamed Pork Ribs In Black Bean Sauce (SGD $5.80)


Steamed Pork Ribs In Black Bean Sauce
Steamed Pork Ribs In Black Bean Sauce



The Steamed Chicken Feet With Black Pepper (SGD $5.80) is alright, with its juicy crunchy texture and bright sweet savoury flavour. This doesn't really appeal to me though.

Steamed Chicken Feet With Black Pepper (SGD $5.80)


Steamed Chicken Feet With Black Pepper
Steamed Chicken Feet With Black Pepper



Rather enjoyed the Steamed Rice Rolls With Squid Paste & Fried Dough Fritters (SGD $6.80), which was served with crunchy fresh vegetal sweet kai-lan / Chinese kale / Chinese broccoli in a light soy sauce. The soft slippery rice noodle rolls are tighly wrapped around a crisp fried dough fritter, which crunches softly to release the tender bouncy squid cake within. Has a beautiful sweet salty savoury flavour, very nice. Highly recommended!

Steamed Rice Rolls With Squid Paste & Fried Dough Fritters (SGD $6.80)


Steamed Rice Rolls With Squid Paste & Fried Dough Fritters
Steamed Rice Rolls With Squid Paste & Fried Dough Fritters


Steamed Rice Rolls With Squid Paste & Fried Dough Fritters



Loved the Stewed Beef Tripe With Cucumber (SGD $6.80) with its deep meaty savoury salty flavours. The beef stomach tripe is nicely tender chewy, while the cucumbers have a juicy crunch and vegetal sweet flavour. Pairs well with white rice. Good!

Stewed Beef Tripe With Cucumber (SGD $6.80)


Stewed Beef Tripe With Cucumber
Stewed Beef Tripe With Cucumber



The Pan-Fried Radish Cake (SGD $5.80) is crisp around the edges, and soft towards the middle. With a bold savoury salty earthy flavour from the dried shrimp within, this pairs well with most dim sum dishes. Worth ordering!

Pan-Fried Radish Cake (SGD $5.80)


Pan-Fried Radish Cake
Pan-Fried Radish Cake



Felt the Crispy Spring Roll With Prawns & Chives (SGD $5.80) was alright, with the best thing about this being the loud satisfying crunch from the crisp spring roll wrapper. The filling of crisp chives and bouncy deshelled shrimp / prawns has a light vegetal sweet savoury flavour, which is decent enough.

Crispy Spring Roll With Prawns & Chives (SGD $5.80)


Crispy Spring Roll With Prawns & Chives
Crispy Spring Roll With Prawns & Chives



Because the Crispy Scallop, Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings (SGD $6.80) uses chicken, the flavour is much more delicate than that of pork. The crisp exterior crunches softly to reveal the piping hot moist interior, whose blend of minced chicken, yam / taro, and dried scallop, are tender in texture with savoury sweet salty earthy flavours. I enjoyed this. Good!

Crispy Scallop, Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings (SGD $6.80)


Crispy Scallop, Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings
Crispy Scallop, Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings


Crispy Scallop, Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings



The Barbecued Pork Bun (SGD $5.80) or char siew bao has a much softer texture to the moist fluffy bun. The portion of filling within is rather small, but the bright sweet savoury flavour from the juicy barbecued minced pork belly char siew is delicious. I wish they were more generous with the filling though.

Barbecued Pork Bun (SGD $5.80)


Barbecued Pork Bun
Barbecued Pork Bun



The Mango, Century Egg, Pickled Ginger Glass Roll (SGD $6.80) has a novel, unique combination of flavours. The wispy pickled ginger lends a sharp sour herbal spice burst, the juicy mango has fruity sweet notes, and the bouncy century egg has a deep earthy eggy flavour. Sounds odd in description, yet it somehow works together on the palate, being pleasing and refreshing.

Mango, Century Egg, Pickled Ginger Glass Roll (SGD $6.80)


Mango, Century Egg, Pickled Ginger Glass Roll
Mango, Century Egg, Pickled Ginger Glass Roll


Mango, Century Egg, Pickled Ginger Glass Roll



The Crispy Prawns, Satay Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings (SGD $6.80) is beautifully presented as a pair of white swans / black swans. Similar to its counterpart, this has a crisp exterior which crunches softly to reveal the piping hot moist interior, whose blend of yam / taro, fresh deshelled shrimp / prawns, and satay gravy marinated minced chicken, are tender in texture with sweet savoury nutty earthy flavours. Interesting fusion flavours here, nice.

Crispy Prawns, Satay Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings (SGD $6.80)


Crispy Prawns, Satay Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings
Crispy Prawns, Satay Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings


Crispy Prawns, Satay Chicken, Yam Taro Dumplings



Impressed with the Steamed Lava Yam Taro Bun (SGD $6.80), whose fluffy soft bun tears apart easily to reveal a thick, luscious, creamy filling of yam / taro paste, which slowly oozes out. Almost silky smooth in texture, this has bright earthy sweet salty flavours that are so addictive. Couldn't stop at just one, so we got more. Highly recommended!

Steamed Lava Yam Taro Bun (SGD $6.80)


Steamed Lava Yam Taro Bun
Steamed Lava Yam Taro Bun



A house signature dish, the Shredded Scallops With Fish & Egg White (SGD $30 / $45 / $60) is generous in its portion of soft wobbly egg white, flaky tender shreds of white mackerel fish, and chewy dried scallops. Completed with a single luscious egg yolk, you're meant to stir the dish well, mixing everything together with a splash of black vinegar, before eating. This has bright eggy sweet savoury sour flavours; I really enjoyed it. Highly recommended!

Shredded Scallops With Fish & Egg White (SGD $30 / $45 / $60)


Shredded Scallops With Fish & Egg White
Shredded Scallops With Fish & Egg White


Shredded Scallops With Fish & Egg White



A house favourite, the signature Peking Duck - 1st Serving (SGD $70 + $10) features the peking duck skin, served with your choice of soft egg crepe or flour crepe, alongside juicy crunchy cucumber, crisp leeks, and a sticky hoisin sauce. Wrap the crisp duck skin with all the ingredients, and bite in, releasing the lovely vegetal sweet savoury meaty salty flavours. Enjoyable making your own wrap.

We chose the Peking Duck - 2nd Serving In Ginger Onion Gravy, which uses the remaining duck meat, stir-fried in a luscious ginger and spring onion gravy. The duck meat is nicely tender with a light chew, and deep meaty savoury flavour. The ginger and spring onions lend a soft crunch, and the gravy is tasty with deep savoury salty herbal flavours. Overall, a good choice of dish for sharing. Good!

Peking Duck - 1st Serving
Peking Duck - 1st Serving (SGD $70 + $10)


Egg Crepe
Egg Crepe


Peking Duck Skin
Peking Duck Skin


Peking Duck Skin


Cucumber
Cucumber


Leeks
Leeks


Sauce
Sauce


Peking Duck - Wrap
Peking Duck - Wrap


Peking Duck - 2nd Serving In Ginger Onion Gravy
Peking Duck - 2nd Serving In Ginger Onion Gravy


Peking Duck In Ginger Onion Gravy


Peking Duck In Ginger Onion Gravy
Peking Duck In Ginger Onion Gravy



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