EMPRESS by The Privé Group @ Asian Civilisations Museum

Stylish, contemporary yet traditional, EMPRESS is the newest flagship concept launched by The Privé Group. Located at the newly refurbished Asian Civilisation Museum, this modern Chinese restaurant is an amalgamation of just the right balance of fashionable elegance and traditional elements. High ceilings add a touch of glamour to the pillar-less indoor dining space which sits about 80 pax comfortably, while the alfresco terrace boasts of a stunning waterfront view of the Singapore River and Boat Quay- the ideal backdrop for a watering hole to kick back a couple of drinks post-office hours.

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And although it stays rooted to traditional Cantonese flavours, the food served at EMPRESS is anything but conservative as the aesthetics and presentation of the dishes inject some fun and vibrance to the usually strait-laced nature of oriental cuisine.

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Appetizer highlights include the Crispy Eggplant & Pork Floss $10/$15/$20 which was superbly fried to a crisp on the exterior yet still soft and mushy inside. Dressed almost completely with pork floss for added crunch and sweetness, these sticks of eggplant were delightfully addictive to munch on as we waited for our mains to arrive. The Crispy Aromatic Duck Salad $18 too was another refreshing change to the usual salad choices with that plum-citrus dressing and chunks of duck meat deep-fried till golden.

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To get a taste of their signature roasts, we would highly recommend that you order their Triple Roast Platter $28/$42/$56. But do remember to specify if you would prefer the fattier or leaner cut! Made up of the EMPRESS Char Siew, Crackling Roast Pork and EMPRESS Sticky & Sweet Pork Ribs, this platter certainly does justice to its Cantonese roots as it maintains those classic rich flavours.

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Our personal favourite was the EMPRESS Sticky & Sweet Pork Ribs $18/$27/$36 for its beautiful marbling and juicy fattiness. Tender while still maintaining a chewy bite, these succulent ribs charmed our tastebuds with that sticky sweet marinade which was charred to just the right degree.

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No Cantonese meal is complete without soup and this Teapot Soup $14 was the perfect remedy to warming our bellies. Creamy and comforting, this broth which had a preparation time of more than four hrs, was intensely flavourful and downright satisfying. The teapot was clean by the time we were done savouring every last drop.

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Seafood options include the Singapore Chilli King Prawns $28/$42/$56 served in a semi-thick sweet chilli gravy complete with egg ribbons. The de-shelled prawns themselves were plump, fresh and juicy while that gravy was reminiscent of our classic local favourite- Chilli Crab, without the mess of having to dirty your fingers.

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Order a side of Golden Mantou $6 to dip into that spicy tangy gravy and you really will not regret it.

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If you need some carbohydrates to fill you up but do not want to order a bowl of plain white rice, go for the Fried Brown Rice Medley $20/$30/$40– a wholesome and healthy alternative which was surprisingly actually very tasty and texturally interesting. Filled with Goji Berries, chopped Asparagus, whole Pine Nuts and Hon Shimeji Mushrooms, this probably ranks pretty high on my list of Fried Rice picks.

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EMPRESS also offers a decent and varied range of desserts, which is quite unusual for a Chinese restaurant. And if you only have room for one dessert to end your meal, order the Sticky Date & Longan Pudding $12 which comes with a scoop of homemade Goji Berry & Vanilla Swirl Ice Cream served alongside and doused completely in Gula Melaka Butterscotch Sauce. We dare say that this version could probably give the signature Sticky Date Pudding at the Privé outlets a run for its money!

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For a lighter option, the Coconut Custard with Filo Pastry $12 is a safe combination that can hardly go wrong and thankfully, it did not. Chunks of Thai pineapple and honey mango with coconut ice-cream, this dessert had an enjoyable tropical attitude which delivered.

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The Peanut-Coated Black Sesame “Mochi” Balls $12 also was another standout for its mochi balls that had a nice chewy “qq” texture similar to Muah Chee and paired rightly with a black sesame ice-cream that was grainy and nutty. A delicate balance of fusion done right, the older folks might just be able to appreciate this one.

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Overall, the EMPRESS experience was both warm and embracing. The food with touches of Western influence was positively solid and of good quality while the ambience and interior decor was simply exquisite. Definitely an ideal spot for your business lunches and even intimate dinners.

Starting 27 Feb 16, EMPRESS will also be launching its Champagne Dim Sum Brunch every Saturday. At $58++, diners can order a selection of premium dishes that include a daily soup selection, Singapore Chilli King Prawns, Crispy-Battered Sea Grouper, Triple Roast Platter, Salt-Based Sesame Chicken and desserts, as well as unlimited servings of savoury and sweet dim sum. Free flow of champagne and drinks will also be available at an additional $48++ or $60++. Reservations are highly recommended. 

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1 Empress Place
Asian Civilisations Museum
#01-03
Singapore 179555
Tel: 6238 8733

Opening hrs:
Monday-Sunday
Lunch: 11.30am –3pm (Last Order 2.30pm)
Dinner: 6pm –11pm (Last Order 10.45pm)

Singapore

One Response to EMPRESS by The Privé Group @ Asian Civilisations Museum

  1. Tan Soon Boey says:

    Our family of 8, went to Empress Restaurant for brunch, on New Year Day.
    The service was very good and the food was excellent. We also like the environment.
    Thank you very much.
    Best wishes for 2017.

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