Cantonese Cuisine at EMPRESS

Anyone who's been down to the CBD area in the past months will have most likely noticed that the Asian Civilisations Museum and surrounding area has been having a bit of a makeover. This has resulted in the fairly recent opening of EMPRESS, a Chinese restaurant retaining some of the traditional whilst also embracing modern, fun dining. I was lucky enough to be able to head down there for lunch recently and I wasn't disappointed.

The restaurant comprises both an indoor and outdoor seating area. We dined inside, it was raining and obviously you also get the benefit of a little air con too but at night I imagine some al fresco dining would be just perfect. The indoor dining space is lovely though, bright, open and airy. The restaurant space is modern but also includes some traditional Chinese elements to the design alongside the historical aspect of the museum building with the feature wall behind the bar giving you glimpses of the museum's facade. Although I didn't see it, I understand there is also a private dining room as well as the main dining area. All of this right on the Singapore river giving great views, whether by day or night, of the CBD, Boat Quay and the river.

I was there on a week day lunchtime and imagine the restaurant being perfect whether you were a tourist straight out of the museum, an office worker looking somewhere different for you lunch (they have set lunch menus) or looking to hold a relaxed business lunch meeting. Equally with the bar area and outdoor seating this would make a great venue for a few early evening drinks or an evening meal.

Image courtesy of Mercury PR

On to the food! We started our meal with the Triple Roast Platter ($28 for a small portion) a delicious dish and great for sharing, it can be ordered as a small, medium or large dish. It comprises of crackling roast pork, EMPRESS char siew and EMPRESS sweet and sticky pork ribs, certainly keeping to the restaurant's Cantonese roots. The fatty goodness of the char siew was delicious and the crackling roast pork was super crunchy. I could happily eat this dish again and again!

Triple Roast Platter - crackling roast pork, EMPRESS char siew and EMPRESS sweet and sticky pork ribs
Image courtesy of Mercury PR

We then tried a couple of the soups on offer, I was reliably informed that no Cantonese meal is complete without soup and these certainly did not disappoint. I had the king prawn dumpling in supreme broth ($14) with my companion having the teapot soup ($14), which I also tried a little of. Both soups have a chicken based broth and were incredibly hearty, just right for that rainy day. My soup had some delicious chunks of chicken in it as well as possibly the biggest dumpling I have seen or at least certainly eaten!

King Prawn Dumpling in Supreme Broth
Image courtesy of Mercury PR

Teapot Soup - Supreme Broth with pumpkin, seafood dumplings and crispy spring rolls
Image courtesy of Mercury PR

The soups were followed by some delicious tofu, the seafood spinach tofu ($22 for a small portion). This is made in house and served with prawns, fish and scallops, this too can also be ordered as a small, medium or large portion. Whilst I may not be the biggest seafood eater around this was delightful. This was followed up by a delicious beef dish and one of several vegetarian options the fried brown rice medley ($20 for a small portion), available in small, medium or large portions and also giving diners a healthier option to choose as well if they wish.

Fried Brown Rice Medley - Hon Shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, goji berries, pine nuts
Image courtesy of Mercury PR

Finally came dessert, I always have room for a dessert but I'm generally not a fan of many Chinese desserts, EMPRESS though has come up with a range of desserts that are totally unexpected making them absolutely amazing! I had the Coconut Custard with Filo Pastry containing Thai pineapple, honey mango, passion fruit pearls and coconut ice cream. The result was something light and refreshing, perfect to round off a meal on the right note.

I admit that even after over five years living here I do sometimes still find traditional Chinese restaurants just a little intimidating. EMPRESS though has got it just right in my opinion, keeping some of those traditions but embracing a relaxed, unstuffy and modern approach too, both in its food and decor, making this a restaurant that is accessible and welcoming to all. Definitely a restaurant to add to your 'go-to' list.

Opening Hours - EMPRESS
Monday - Sunday 
Lunch: 11.30am – 3pm (Last Order 2.30pm) 
Dinner: 6pm – 11pm (Last Order 10.45pm) 

Opening Hours - EMPRESS Bar 
Sunday to Thursday 4pm – 12midnight 
Friday & Saturday 4pm – 1am


For Enquiries and Reservations 
Tel: 6238 8733 
Email: /

This blog resulted from an invitation and represents the thoughts and opinions of the writer. All information on this blog is provided "as is", with no guarantee of completeness, accuracy or timeliness and the writer will not be liable for any losses, injuries or damages from the display or use of this information. All text and photos on this blog are the original works of the writer unless stated otherwise.

Thank you to EMPRESS restaurant and Mercury PR for the kind invitation.


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