I read about The Prime Society in the Business Times on 23 July 2007, and decided to check it out with my family. Just how would it compare with Lawry's, Morton's, Just Steak etc?
Firstly, Prime Society has a 'hip factor' because it's in Tanglin Village, one of the most happening places in town at the moment. There's ample seating space outside if you just want drinks.
A very cheerful lady took my phone reservation earlier on. I'd give bonus points just because she knew how to pronounce and spell my name properly, which has been a rare experience for me in Singapore! Definitely no Lians or Bengs in here.
The restaurant is clean and classy without being too showy, even with a few chandeliers. They took pains to spruce up the place all the way up to the ceiling, with lots of aeration and spotlights, and rustic-looking brick walls on the inside.
We brought our own wine. The corkage charge was $28 and the staff took great pains to remind us (at the entrance and again at the table) about it. However, that was all the attention we got for a while. The wine sat on our table for a long time despite us telling a male waiter that we wanted it prepared. Finally a more savvy-looking female waitress showed up and got things going. I have to agree with the Business Times article that the service is choppy. Hopefully they will work out these kinks in time.
The menu stated that it was a temporary one. The management is currently working on a full-sized menu. In fact the temporary menu has only limited cuts of steak - Fillet Mignon, marbled Ribeye and Sirloin. There is also fish, pasta, ribs, sandwiches, salads and side dishes.
We had mushroom soup, which was the soup of the day. It was not bad at all. It is not the white, starchy stuff you get at cheaper restaurants. This soup was pureed into a fine brown texture. The first smell that hit me though was something more exquisite. Truffle oil! It was drizzled onto the soup. There was also melted cheese in the middle. It was one of the more pungent variety. Some kind of sprout was also sprinkled on top of the soup. Overall, the soup was quite unusual because of the strong personalities of its added ingredients, and we wiped our bowls clean.
For the main course, my mum and sister ordered a 160g Fillet Mignon each but the kitchen accidentally served my mum a larger cut, which costs $6 more. A waiter told us this after we had all started eating, then added that they would absorb the cost. That was nice of them.
My dad had the marbled Ribeye and it was apparently so soft that you didn't even need a knife to cut it! I am so going to try that next time.
Wanting to try something different, I ordered the Australian Sirloin but it was average. On the outside, it was full-flavoured but not spectacular. It claimed to have crackling fat but while the fat was somewhat tasty, it was definitely not crispy or crunchy.
The steaks came with many types of sauces and side dishes. We each had a side of grilled vegetables (aubergine, zucchini, carrots) which were heavenly, and fries which were crispy and seasoned with pepper. We didn't even need ketchup. We chose to have red wine sauce, avocado cheese sauce, pepper sauce and Bearnaise sauce to go with our steaks. We finished every bit of steak on our plates.
We also ordered a mixed salad which was larger than I expected for a side dish. The green olives were huge - like the size of a big toe! The semi-grilled baby tomatoes were succulent.
Some of you may appreciate the wry sense of humour, from the signboard that says this place is only for the Upper Cut, to the paper placemats that give serious-looking labels to cross-sections of fish, pork, and even artichokes. But when you read them carefully, you will notice puns, innuendo and digs at certain celebrities like Paris Hilton. It is just as well that you do, to distract you from the waiting time in between.
The cutlery is also served in a most unusual manner, in envelopes addressed to each patron. The envelopes are sealed, meaning you have to tear them, which makes me wonder what their stationery costs are like. But they're quirky and have differentiated themselves from other steakhouses. Welcome this new kid on the block.