FIRST IMPRESSIONS Lights adorn the trunks of the trees that line the path leading into Keppel Island and to the white complex that hosts not only Privé, but also a bar, bakery-café and a small marina. The tableau of sailboats and blue water is as close as one can get to a Riviera ambience in Singapore.
THE FOOD After receiving an efficient welcome and being led to my seat, I was offered warm bread rolls (hard, walnut and raisin sourdough) as I mulled over the menu. In true Asian style, my partner and I shared our starters, and no one seemed to mind. We enjoyed the Eight Herb Ravioli of fromage blanc and tomato coulis (US$12), but we were even more impressed with the delicate Japanese influence on the Carpaccio of swordfish belly, ligurean olive oil, shiroshoyu, sesame seeds, chives (US$12).
After we knocked back a shot of Mushroom Cappuccino, we were blown away by the Oyster Panna Cotta tinged with fennel, anise seed, orange muscat wine and sage (US$19). This was panna cotta in a different light as it formed a bed to a deep-fried oyster, giving it a soft rich coat and body to bite into.
For our mains, we had the Poached Hokkaido Scallop Lasagna with Sea Urchin Roe Cream (US$26) and Filet Mignon of USDA-certified Angus Tenderloin 8oz/225g (US$40). The meat was tender as expected and I was pleased to discover the lasagna with the sea urchin cream coming across smoothly, devoid of that sharp taste cooked sea urchins are known for.
I was full but I still succumbed to the Lemon and Raspberry Chiboust Italian Meringue and Crème Patissiere (US$9) and Molten Centre Chocolate Soufflé-Espresso Ice-Cream (US$12). Divine.
DRINKS Worth mentioning is Habibi (US$9), a sweet cocktail of Wyborowa Exquisite, Monin Rose and apple juice with a sprinkle of saffron in a martini cocktail glass.
SERVICE The staff made excellent recommendations, very important for those new to the restaurant. There was a footstool available to “seat” my handbag and laptop carrier. Too many restaurants forget this little, but important (to us) detail.
PRICES Dinner for two costs from US$70 per person, including a cocktail. On weekdays, a value lunch special should be available.
VERDICT Its wide tables and comfortable chairs make this place a good choice for a business meal. Definitely worth a return visit.
CONTACT 2 Keppel Bay Visa, Keppel Bay Marina, tel 65 6776 0777, www.prive.com.sg. Open from 12 noon to 3pm Monday to Friday for lunch, from 6.30pm to 11.30 pm for dinner Monday to Saturday. Closed on Sunday.
Goh Chui Peng