You can say that Empress straddles the middle ground when it comes to Chinese cuisine: the Cantonese food is traditional enough to please your grandparents, while the stylish Chinoserie ambience would appeal to the yuppies and white collar brigades that throng this part of town. The Prive Group’s first Chinese concept seems to have hit a winning formula. The dishes are well-executed and presented with some flair.
Take for example, the Deep-Fried Tofu & Salted Egg Yolk ($10) and Crispy Eggplant & Pork Floss ($10): the crisp, bite-sized puffs of warm tofu are the perfect foil to the salty egg yolk coating, while the deep-fried tempura-like eggplant is given a tossing in fragrant pork floss to enhance its savoury factor. The Triple Roast Platter ($28), which highlights the Spanish grain-fed Duroc pig breed, is a must-try with its moreish trio of Crackling Roast Pork, Char Siew and Sweet & Sticky Pork Ribs that fall off the bone. If you have always lamented that Chinese desserts are boring and uninspiring, the desserts here my just change your mind. Try the Cheng Tng ($12), which comes in the form of frozen granita with jujube and jasmine tea-poached pear.
1 Empress Place. Asian Civilisations Museum, #01-03. Tel: 62388733