Prima Towers Revolving Restaurant On Keppel Road

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One of the nice things about having a wedding dinner at a revolving restaurant is that you (and your spouse) can wave at the guests as they whizz by.

And, if done right, eating and drinking while experiencing a mild centrifugal force presents an opportunity for some spectacular spewage. Nevertheless, we’ve been talking about eating at the Prima Towers Revolving Restaurant since the dinner at Beijing Gong a month or so ago. And as a dear friend flew in from Australia for a short holiday, it’s a no-brainer for where to eat.

It’s a long climb up to the top of the tower since the lift only stops at the ninth floor but that’s ok since I need to practice climbing stairs so that I can finally make it to lunch at Flutes with Joone!

The restaurant proper looks a little rundown but thankfully, the service and food was not. Eslim and I had fun going through the menu and with the help of TTC’s email suggestions, we managed to plow through the menu ordering in broken Chinese. There were set dinner menus, but somehow we tend to prefer to order a la carte.

Initially there was some tension over the wine glasses. If we are to pay corkage, we expect proper wine glasses to match our wines. Pouring a $300 Bordeaux into a $2 generic wine glass from a supermarket is a tragedy. Fortunately, we brought our own wine glasses.

Moving along, the appetizers in the menu all looked very good, but we decided on two cold dishes because we just could not resist cold mustard and sesame sauce with cold chicken noodles and cold pork slices with garlic.

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The cold sesame chicken noodles, being one of their signature dishes, was outstanding; creamy sweetness contrasted with the sharp tangy mustard. It was gone too soon. The “Korean” sliced pork covered a mound of mung bean glass noodles. While good, it was definitely overshadowed by the chicken noodles.

Another signature dish was the “crab meat” made from egg whites and fish. Topped off with an egg yolk, it tasted exactly like crab meat. Some at the table felt that it would be more authentic if the fish was omitted and the flavours of the “crab” was created only from the oils and spices.

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In any case, this delicate, fluffy concoction was devoured quickly and like all great dishes, left us wanting for more.

This looked to be an egg-heavy dinner because what caught eslim and my eye was the Sharks Fin with Salted Egg soup. How can we not try something as intriguing as this? It turned out to be creamily delicious with the superior broth nicely rounded off by the creamy salted egg yolks. However, the accompanying Chive Dumplings stole the show.

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Fried in fragrant Scallion oil, the dumplings were piping hot, slightly crisp on the outside but wonderfully light on the inside. We could have just ate those for dinner and went away satisfied. In fact, we ordered more of them. If you do order this, order it early as it takes 20 minutes to prepare, but believe me, the wait is worth it.

The Peking Duck was adequate with the staff putting on a dazzling show of wrapping, slicing and finally serving the skin with spring onions in an egg wrap (you have a choice of full vegetarian or octo-lacto veggie wraps). The Sea Cucumbers were huge and juicy. This may intimidate the uninitiated who are used to the smaller, spineless and basically unidentifiable version usually served with cabbage.

The outstanding dish of the night (not an easy title to claim as they were all good) was the Braised Pork Belly. It was served as two huge chunks of meat in a lake of sauce.

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Do not let such nondescript plating fool you. The thick reddish brown sauce was black vinegar that have caramelized into a thick sweet syrup because of the slow cooking. And the meat basically fell apart at the slightest touch. Even the bones turned soft and gelatinous.

This is braising at its pinnacle.

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Still craving for some meat, we had their Stir-fried Veal which was tender to the tooth and the remains of the duck was used to stir-fry thick noodles. The duck meat did not add much to the flavour, but the noodles were wonderfully al dente. And just when you thought it was over, we had their fried chicken that was also a must-try.

By this time, we were the only ones left in the restaurant and dessert was served. This is the famous “San Bu Tie” which requires an advanced order. It came in a simple bowl with what looked like a lump of bread dough.

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It was amazingly good. Firm, chewy with a satisfying give yet surprisingly not sticky. It had a fragrance that’s similar to freshly-made Chinese Love Letters. The Captain, Alex, told us that 25 eggs went into the making of this dessert.

Immediately, everyone started making mental notes that their cholesterol quota for the week has been met. But it was a excellent finish to a spectacular meal.

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As you walk into the restaurant proper, you will see 3 walls lined with awards for food excellence. While it almost guarantees a good meal, it only shows half the picture of what to expect. For us, what made the night really special was the Captain, Alex and his team of service staff that made us comfortable, anticipated and saw to our every need. No matter how good the cooking, a restaurant will be torpedoed and sunk if the service and hospitality does not match the level of culinary excellence. The Prima Towers Revolving Restaurant certainly got it all correct.

Prima Towers Revolving Restaurant has closed for renovations. We were told that they will reopen Q2 next year.

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Posted on 2nd Nov 2007 in Beijing, Makankaki, Old School

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There Are 4 Comments

 

Alex commented on November 2, 2007 at 8:20 pm


What are the wines of the night?


 

Ivan commented on November 4, 2007 at 4:19 pm


@Alex: The wine theme that night was “French”. We brought the usual wines that we usually bring for dear friends. I’ve captured them all in this Flickr set.


 

Mama BoK commented on November 6, 2007 at 9:49 am


i wonder if eslim would host a dinner like that for me.. when i come home from Canada.. ?? muahahah!!


 

Ivan commented on November 7, 2007 at 12:50 am


@Mama BoK: You can always join our Makan Kaki dinner sessions!


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