It is a traditional for Cantonese families to have a big feast on the 2nd day of Chinese New Year and typically this is during lunch as it symbolises the opening meal of the year. For the Cantonese, this is the most important meal of the year as it is suppose to symbolise great meals for the rest of the year. Typically in the past, Chinese mums will be cooking at home to make sure there is chicken, fish, meat and seafood on the table.
We have been visiting the same restaurant for many years now mostly because it is perched on top of the flour mill and the restaurant revolves in the clockwise direction as you have your meal. In a Chinese fengshui view, it is good to be on top and turning circles brings good luck and fortune. Prima Revolving Restaurant has been established since 1977 and the entrance itself is very grand with the typical fish tank and marble walls.
After taking the lift to the 9th floor, you will reach a middle section. There are 2 lifts which will bring you to the 9th floor.
Prima Restaurant is a Classic Beijing styled restaurant and over the years have been winning multiple culinary awards with some of their dishes. The head chef is famous in the local culinary scene.
From the middle section, you have to take the escalator to reach the upper section of the flour mill itself.
This is the view you get from the mid section escalators. Going for a meal here feels very much like an adventure.
You will find the washroom and another flight of stairs before reaching the actual restaurant. As the restaurant is very old, not much renovations have been done and the journey from mid section up is not really wheelchair accessible or convenient for old folks.
The stairs will take about 2-3 mins for the young and probably 5-10mins for the old people.
The restaurant itself is huge with multiple tables. The centre part of the restaurant remains still while the middle section part moves in the clockwise direction. The movements is very subtle and will not affect the meal.
Each complete round takes about 1 hour which is just about the duration of the entire meal.
The first dish for our 2nd day meal is the lohei which is the tossing of Chinese salad. Basically the higher the toss, the better the luck and with each toss, we typically say meaningful and auspicious words for the year. The lohei at Prima is very delicious with just the right amount of sweet sauce and sour sauce and they also added jellyfish to the dish for a good crunch.
The 2nd dish was the crab meat and fish maw soup which is totally over flowing with fish maw. They were super generous with the fish maw and other ingredients and the soup itself was very savoury and not too starchy.
Interestingly, they also served scallion pancakes together with the fish maw soup which had crispy and flaky crust and crunchy insides with very strong scallion flavours.
The salad fried prawns were huge and juicy with mayonnaise salad sauce and frozen vegetables. The prawns were fresh and huge although I would have liked it steamed but the salad sauce itself was pretty nice and reminded me of the chunky salad in KFC long ago.
The fried Grouper fish came fried in sweet and sour sauce. The meat was sliced to squares before frying so it is really convenient to eat. The meat itself is also very springy and fresh with the skin slightly crispy. The overall sauce complemented the fish very well with seafood and other vegetables.
I had to rush to take a picture of the Peking duck before it got sliced up. Famous for their Peking duck, it is a must to have this on the menu.
The sliced skin is served crispy and crackling together with flour or egg crepes.
We had the egg crepe which was thin and full of egg flavours. Using it to wrap the skin and meat of the duck together with a stick of cucumber, scallion and sweet sauce is the best way to savour the Peking duck wrap. The duck here has very good and crispy skin with succulent duck meat.
The remainder of the duck meat is then chopped up and fried till crispy with a light batter. The flavour was subtly salty with a good light garlic taste.
The abalone, mushroom and broccoli dish was served with a brown braised sauce. The broccoli and mushroom itself was soft and well braised but personally I found the abalone not done properly as the flavours did not seep through causing it to have a slight fishy taste.
The last dish was the fried rice with Chinese waxed ingredients and wrapped in lotus leaf. The lotus leaf itself gave the rice very nice lotus fragrance and the rice was very soft and starchy. The flavours were just about right with the saltiness from the waxed meats and the sweetness from the dried shrimps.
Lastly we had the hawthorn flavoured jelly which was very light on the stomach and has a refreshing taste on the palate.
Overall, we love the food at Prima although once in a while there might be some misses on certain dishes especially on super peak days like Chinese New Year. On normal days, the restaurant is also extremely popular for their dim sum and other interesting dishes and we nearly always never had any complain about the food. The view is also another food reason to visit on a Sunday afternoon.
Address: 201 Keppel Rd, Singapore 099419
Operating hours: 11 am to 2.30 pm and 6.30 pm to 10.30 pm ( Sundays open from 10.30 am)