If you’re hankering for local fare in the bustling Orchard area, and wish to steer away from the food courts or travel to the suburban for hawker fare, you may consider heading down to Prima Taste Kitchen where they house an expansive menu of local delights at the comfort of a clean, hygienic and air-conditioned environment, where wait staff are more than happy to serve you.
Lychee Sensation (S$2.90++)
A signature drink would be the Lychee Sensation, which I thoroughly enjoyed. The fizzy 7-up, together with the lychee and sour plum makes a delicious concoction – its taste reminds me a little of the F&N ice cream soda, but with a little more oomph.
K-last Sng Boey (Calamansi Juice) (S$2.90++)
Another one of their signature drinks, the Calamansi Juice is refreshing and is a great thirst-quencher. The sweet plum balances the sourness from the calamansi, although it took way too long to soften up, or perhaps I was gulping down the drink too quickly.
Prima Taste Kitchen is a quick-service kitchen, with a comprehensive menu of local delights made from the ready-to-cook sauce kits and premixes, which are available at our local supermarkets as well as the Prima Taste restaurants – you can certainly produce the same dish right in your own kitchen!
Popiah (S$4.80++) (Chilli or No-added chilli)
Certified as Healthier Choice by the Health Promotion Board, Prima Taste’s rendition of the Popiah contains less salt and oil.
As a typical Singaporean, I like my spice. The one with added chilli isn’t too spicy; I couldn’t actually discern the differences between the two! They toned down the spice level to suit foreigners’ taste buds, as many expats patronize the outlet. Wrapped in a smooth skin that is neither soggy nor tough, the tasty Popiah has a moist interior, not scrimped of ingredients – with price to match; $4.80 is definitely an amount I’ll consider before paying for a roll of popiah.
If you scrutinise hard enough, there are prawns, bean sprouts, crushed nuts adding texture, juicy turnips, fresh lettuce to name a few. However, their rendition contains no egg. Served in neat rolls, the skin holds all the ingredients well; they sure weren’t a mess to eat.
Ready-to-cook filling is available for purchase, although you have to purchase the popiah skin and fresh ingredients such as prawns and fresh greens separately. Heat up the filling using a blanching method and viola! You can have the popiah in the comfort of your home whenever the craving strikes.
Rojak is another dish that is certified as Healthier choice; it is appetising, with crunchy dough sticks and fresh fruits well coated with the lip-smacking sauce and topped with crushed peanuts for a more texture.
The tempting sauce paste is available for purchase as well, but with the unavailability of dough sticks at odd hours in the night, I wish they would magically churn out a frozen pack of dough sticks to heat up in the middle of the night when the craving strikes. However, you can make do with an all fruit salad that will be a light and refreshing supper snack.
Hainanese Chicken Rice (S$6.50++)
Another Singaporean favourite, their Signature Hainanese Chicken Rice boasts juicy and tender chicken, served with a bowl of piping hot soup to complement. I enjoyed the boneless poached chicken, especially when dipped in the delicious chilli sauce redolent of garlic. The fragrant chicken rice was a tad dry for my liking, but once doused in the robust Singapore Chicken Curry, it is a different story altogether. Ms Sharon Peh, Marketing Executive of Prima Taste introduced this way of eating the Hainanese chicken rice with the Singapore Chicken Curry. They are the perfect marriage; the flavours from each component did not overwhelm each other.
Note: the Hainanese Chicken Rice comes with plain steamed rice by default, but you may replace it with the Chicken Fragrant Rice at an additional top-up charge of $0.70.
Prawn Noodles (S$6.50)
I enjoyed the soup from the Prawn Noodles; the stock is robust with flavours, although it feels like it is laden with MSG. Not lacking in ingredients, this dish didn’t disappoint.
Singapore Chicken Curry with Rice (S$9.40++)
The Singapore Chicken Curry reminds me so much of home. The fragrant and aromatic curry is so delicious I couldn’t help drinking it like soup! Don’t be surprised if you see me stocking up on the curry paste! Easy-to-follow cooking instructions accompanied with illustrations will make cooking effortless.
Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle (S$6.50++)
Another highlight of the day is their flavoursome Fried Hokkien Prawn Noodle; it comes in a substantial portion, replete with prawns, squid and pork. Their rendition is a wet version of the typical local fare; it is sufficiently moist and sticky –just like how I like it!
Not lacking in ingredients, you can find prawns, fish cake and tau pok together with the laksa bee hoon (rice noodles), although their version doesn’t come with an egg. The Laksa gravy is made from coconut powder instead of coconut milk; it is rich and aromatic. Slurping it down like soup, I found gritty bits near the bottom of the bowl, presumably from grounded dried shrimp, which I didn’t quite enjoy. The laksa bee hoon did not inherit any flavours from the gravy.
Satay Bee Hoon (S$5++)
Lying beneath thick gravy will include bee hoon, pork and liver. I liked how the bee hoon is sticky and moist, with each strand coated beautifully with satay sauce. The gravy is a tad too rich to the point where you may feel jelat after eating too much of it. Ordering a plate to share among 3-4 people will sound wiser.
The meal came to a satiating end with the Chendol. It is decent, though not spectacular. I enjoyed the richness of the coconut milk and gula melaka. The ice, however, wasn’t sufficiently fine; it took quite awhile to melt, with chunks of ice floating around. Conveniently served in a cup with a straw, I was busy slurping away once the dessert melts into a beverage.
The prices are pretty steep for local fares, but it’s an ideal place to bring foreign friends to sample authentic Singapore delicacy without having to travel round the entire Singapore, and not having to worry about hawker centres’ hygiene.
(Replyfrom the Prima: Although our prices are relatively higher as compared to food court and hawker centre, we hope that customers will also take the quality of the food, service, environment and the location, into considerations)
I would definitely purchase the ready-to-cook packages for convenience; they would make a good solution to my cravings whenever I’m travelling overseas, where I will miss Singapore food terribly.
Forenote: This is an invited review.
Prima Taste Kitchen
176 Orchard Road
#01-63/64 The Centrepoint
Tel: +65 6887 3786
About the Author
Melissa Koh is interior design trained, with a strong passion in photography and food. Her dream is to travel the globe, experiencing different cultures, food and art, documenting every moment on camera. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org