The Prive ACM Cafe and the Empress Chinese restaurant are two eateries that the folks at the Prive Group are setting up at the Asian Civilisation Museum. The Empress Restaurant was not yet ready when we were there, but should be open by the time you read this post. We had lunch at the ACM Cafe which was fully operational. In fact it was also operationally full. This cafe could be a tourist attraction in its own right.
The Prive ACM Cafe is an attractive place. It is hard to describe the decor or to pigeon-hole its style. It is simple, laid back with some old world charm. This it accomplishes by incorporating elements of retro Singapore, for example coffee shop crockery, storage cabinets with wire-mesh doors and rattan chairs, but still exuding a fresh, airy atmosphere.
The indoor air-conditioned dining space is a narrow L-shaped one which was fully occupied when we were there. There are alfresco seating from which you can get good views of the Singapore River and Cavenagh Bridge. We suspect the out door area will become prime locations when the temperature drops in the evenings.
The menu of the Prive ACM Cafe contains the usual cafe food items. This is a place for drinks and casual dining, not serious dining which you can find in their sister Empress restaurant a few steps away. Here is a picture of part of their menu – sorry about the the reflections which we could not avoid as it was encased in a plastic sleeve. You can see their menus on the website (link below).
We started our lunch with a Mango Chia Seed Pudding ($10). It was both beautiful to see and to eat. A good start to the meal!
The Brioche and Kaya with Poached Eggs ($8) was a more upmarket (and expensive) variant of our traditional coffee shop kaya toast breakfast. Note the retro soy sauce and pepper dispensers. This yuppie variant did not look or taste right. Give us the old style half-boiled eggs anytime.
Next came the serious food. The Linguine Mushroom Alfredo ($18) was a good pasta dish. Thick creamy sauce and pasta done just right.
The Baby Red Snapper in Parchment ($26) sounded like an interesting fish dish, but it turned out quite disappointing. It looked and tasted pale and plain.
The burger at Prive was described as the “Signature Burger” ($27) and it better be good. And it was so. Juicy wagyu beef patty with various tasty but waist-enhancing trimmings. Start dieting tomorrow.
You can also design your own sandwich at Prive ACM Cafe. Here is our creation. Croissant with chicken and a few toppings – good value at $10.
The wine that we selected from the rather short wine list was a Sunday Block Chardonnay from South Australia ($70). An uncomplicated, refreshing wine to drink with the diverse types of food that we ordered.
Our Lunch at the Museum ended with a single dessert for sharing even though we had already eaten too much. The enticing cake display was too attractive to ignore, so our compromise was to just choose one. No harm right? Since we were going to start dieting tomorrow.
The tummy expander that we selected was a slice of the Passion Fruit Meringue Chiffon Cake ($6). It was a large slice but thankfully, very light. To go with the cake we ordered some cups of local coffee. They were each served with a couple of the old style round biscuits with a blob of coloured sugar on top. The presentation and biscuits were good, but the local coffee was not.
All in all, we had a mixed experience with the food. But the overall meal was enjoyable, helped no doubt by the vibrant atmosphere of the place. Before we sign off, here are some pictures of the about to open Empress Restaurant. (December 2015 update – please read our review of Empress here).
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs
Prive ACM Cafe
#01-02, Asian Civilisations Museum
1 Empress Place
Tel: +65 6776 0777
Eve of PH: 8:30am-10:30pm (Last order for food and drinks at 10pm)
Sun & PH: 9am-10pm
Nearby MRT Stations: Raffles Place
Parking suggestions: There is no car park at the Asian Civilisation Museum and the former surface lots near Victoria Theatre are now gone. Public parking is available at the basement carpark of the New Parliament House, at Six Battery Road and at One Fullerton across from the Fullerton Hotel.