The West

Singapore food, fashion fun for Royals
Catherine, Duchess of Cambridge, sits for dinner as she visits the Istana on day one of their Diamond Jubilee tour in Singapore. Picture: Getty Images

Roasted duck and chicken consomme was on the menu for the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge's first official dinner of their overseas tour.

But it was Kate's dress, and not the sliced baked mooncakes, that was the hero of the night.

The daring multi-coloured dress by Singaporean-born designer Prabul Gurung fell just above her knees, while its swirls of cascading flowers complemented the exotic grounds of the Istana, the president's residence.

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The Duchess, who has shunned a personal stylist, elected for understated accessories, teaming the bold outfit with sleek black stilettos and a black clutch.

As always, her engagement ring was on display, coupled with a fine silver and diamond bracelet on her right wrist.

The Duke of Cambridge, who was honoured with a Royal Guard, took the time to speak to soldiers before the couple headed inside the Istana, reminiscent of a rather grand wedding cake.

"Very impressive," the duchess was overheard telling President Tony Tan and his wife Mary.

William raised some knowing chuckles during his speech to about 50 guests.

"Catherine and I greatly look forward to learning much more, and seeing much more, during our stay here, particularly us Aston Villa fans."

He then added that the Queen - who visited Singapore in 1972, 1989 and 2006 - had told him and Kate before they left London how much they would enjoy themselves.

"How right she was," he said.

Kate raised a glass of water rather than wine at the two toasts made by the president and the Duke of Cambridge.

They dined on a seven-course Chinese meal in the Banquet Hall lit by five grand chandeliers.

William and Catherine's first night feast in Singapore - Jubilee Dinner Factbox:
The seven-course Chinese banquet at the State dinner featured:

  • Roasted duck with salad and smoked duck with sliced mango
  • Chicken consomme with herbs, spices and wolfberries
  • Steamed fillet of marble Goby with crispy bean crumbs in soya sauce
  • Pan-fried Wagyu beef cubes with radish and carrot
  • Braised bean curd with Honshimeiji mushrooms and spinach
  • Stewed La Mian (hand-made noodles) with chicken wonton and bean curd
  • Chilled jelly served with mango, sago and pomelo and sliced baked mooncakes

Wines were a white burgundy Faiveley Puligny Montracht ler Cru Garennes (2008) and a red Bordeaux Alter Ego de Palmer.

The West Australian

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