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Friday, 11 March 2011






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Prima taste :

Traditional Singaporean experience

David Chin, Executive Chef cum General Manager

Prima Taste restaurant can proudly boast of themselves as the only authentic, exclusive Singaporean restaurant in the vibrant Colombo town. A franchise which has its other outlets in places like Indonesia, Hong Kong and China, Prima offers the diner a wonderful, traditional Singaporean experience.

So I made a visit to this place by the invitation of David Chin, the Executive Chef cum General Manager at Prima restaurant. I was greeted by David who himself is a Singaporean national and he said that the Prima taste was initiated in Sri Lanka for diners who want to experience and relish the vibrant Singaporean cuisine without making a flight to Singapore. “Our menus are standardized in most of our restaurants and we have a separate menu which is a bit localized”, said David.

I witnessed a number of Chinese, Thai, Hong Kong and Singaporean nationals paving their way to Prima to have a quick lunch and quite a number of locals also were rushing to the restaurant. “We have a seating capacity of 135 and we are open for lunch from 12 to 3 pm and for dinner from 7 to 11 pm”.

This flagship restaurant boasts an elegant ambience with a distinctly Singaporean decor, featuring motifs of Singapore’s national flower - the orchid and a photomontage of old and modern Singapore. A well designed ‘show kitchen’ adds to the experience and turns out a comprehensive menu of more than 60 Singapore favourites such as its signature dishes - including the Singapore Chilli Crab, Hainanese Chicken Rice (poached chicken with chicken fragrant rice), Laksa (rice noodles in spicy coconut broth), Singapore Curry and Satay (spiced barbequed meat skewers) as well as Bah Kut Teh (herb & pepper pork rib soup).

To achieve the most authentic results, the restaurant uses the famous Prima Taste ready-to-cook pastes and sauces manufactured by Prima Food Pte Ltd in Singapore. These pastes and sauces are developed by a dedicated R and D team comprising master chefs and food technologists with excellent industry track records. To produce the finest flavours, Prima Food source and select premium quality ingredients from around the world.

What to order

Drinks - Soothing Barley water and refreshing Lychee juice.

Fish Fillet with palm sauce

David ordered a Barley water for both of us and it was a totally new experience for me. The hot Barley water was cooling and surprisingly nice although me not being a Barley fan.

However the Lychee juice was a winner. It was cooling, refreshing and the sweet juice was tantalizing. Lychee fruits are also dug in to the juice which made it even more better.This is a definite try for all you Lychee fans!!!!!!

Starters - Scrumptious Chicken satay and spicy Curry Puff

The perfectly grilled juicy chicken satay was bursting with flavours and the sweet peanut sauce was the ideal accompaniment to it. A dish fully worth it with 12 succulent chicken satays in skewers, it is a MUST TRY at Prima.

The curry puff which was a patty filled with a spicy mixture of chicken, vegetables and egg was yet another novel experience for me. David told that it was a traditional Singaporean dish and I relished the vibrant flavour of the spicy patty and the crust was just so tender which had the right amount of crunchiness to it.

Main dishes

* Delectable Fish Fillet with spicy Palm sugar sauce

Although there isn’t a huge list of main dishes, the Fish fillet with palm sauce was a winner.

The red snapper fillets were batter fried and dipped in a piping hot sweet Palm sugar sauce which was out of the world. The palm sugar sauce which was made out of Brown sugar, an essential ingredient in Singaporean cuisine added a lot of essence to this amazing dish and turned out to be one of my favourites at Prima.

* Traditional Crispy Chicken rice

Chicken rice is synonymous with Singaporean cuisine and this is the only place in Sri Lanka which you can savor an authentic Chicken rice. The chicken which is deep fried is not piping hot and is relatively cool and the rice is made out of chicken stock is the warm part of the dish.

A chicken stock clear soup is also served along with the dish and three amazing sauces namely dark soya sauce, chillie sauce and a ginger sauce accompany the dish. This is a wholesome meal and is one of the most popular dishes at the restaurant. It is another definite try.

Chicken satay. Pictures by Dilanka Mannakkara

* Mouthwatering Mee Goreng

Another signature dish at Prima is the Mee goreng with seafood “Pungol style” which is a stir fried thick noodle namely Hoiken noodles in a spicy tomato sauce with an assortment of seafood. Juicy chunks of fresh prawns and cuttlefish, green peas and potato are mixed and a sambal paste is served along with it.A dish which can be just eaten even without a side dish and I noticed that a lot of customers ordered the Mee Goreng.

* The signature Singapore Chille Crab

Probably Singapore’s most favourite and famous dish is the Singapore Chille Crab. A pure Singaporean dish, the Chill crab made from an authentic recipe can be relished at Prima.

The preparation which takes around 40 minutes is complex as it involves the fresh lagoon crab frying with the stock, simmering with the sauce and mixing with egg whites. The sauce was simply amazing and the crab was so fresh, juicy and luscious and has to be eaten along with hot bread rolls. The best way to eat the crab is simply to forget your cutlery and use your hands. If you go to Prima don’t ever forget to try out the Crab.

* Desserts - Exotic Chandal

Singaporean desserts are probably more exotic than most of the other eastern Asian cuisine styles. Chandal is a dessert drink made out with generous helpings of coconut juice, red kidney beans, red and green jelly and scraped coconut.

It is topped with crushed ice which is caramelized using Brown sugar to give a slight bitter coffee taste to the Chandal.

The kidney beans gave a sweet, crunchy bite to the chandal and coconut juice gave the sweet flavour to it.

Diners who want to try out something different from the traditional desserts, here is your chance and you wont be disappointed.

So make a date to Prima situated at No 50, Sri Jayewardenepura, Rajagiriya opposite the Mc Donalds and savor the authentic Singaporean Cuisine as much as I did.


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