Regulars swear by Roland Restaurant’s painstakingly handmade yu sheng.
It goes without saying that any self-respecting Chinese restaurant will offer yu sheng this festive period, but for the most authentic rendition, the obvious choice is to go back to the originators of this dish. Roland Restaurant’s Lo Hei Yu Sheng is derived from the very recipe book of Roland Lim’s godfather, Sin Leong, one of Singapore’s Four Heavenly Culinary Kings some 40 years ago, and one of the co-creators of the now quintessential dish.
There’s nothing gimmicky here, just the tried-and-tested formula of freshness and attention to detail. The ingredients, served with the raw mackerel slices, are all prepared in-house by hand—outsourcing’s almost a taboo word here; the sesame and peanuts are self-roasted to ensure maximum freshness and fragrance, and even the pok chiu (pillow crackers) has an extra bite to it. Drizzled with the special plum sauce for the perfect balance of sweetness and tartness, the yu sheng becomes more than just a symbolic appetizer of sorts and instead makes for a delightfully tasty meal highlight.
Another must at the reunion dinner table is fish—and how we polished off the Marble Goby In Tri Sauce! A butterfly-cut splitting the fish right down to the center allows for an even fry; it is so crisp that one poke of the fork breaks off a chunk of white meat, unbelievably tender on the inside despite the deep-frying. The sauce, reminiscent of the Thai-style sweet, sour and spicy dressing, rather than drizzled over the fish, is pooled at the bottom of the plate, giving diners a choice to enjoy the natural flavors of the fish. For something with extra wow factor, order the Pomfret In Two Styles, which is a 2-in-1 dish—fried on one side, and stir-fried on the other with mixed vegetables.
Another in-house creation, the Salad Prawns With Honeydew, yields a subtly fragrant pairing. Unlike the previous dish which tantalizes the taste buds with distinct notes, this course of pan-fried battered prawns served with juicy melon cubes in a honeydew rind, leaves a cool honeydew flavor on the tongue after each bite.
|CN PHOTOS: Michael Chan|
Other noteworthy dishes from the Chinese New Year set menu (S$298 to S$988 for 10 people) include the familiar Fried Glutinous Rice. As opposed to conventional cooking methods where the rice is, for the most part, steamed for that moist, slightly sticky texture, the version at Roland’s is fried till fully cooked before being laid on a lotus leaf and briefly steamed. As such, the rice is less sticky, but equally tasty and, dare we say, doesn’t leave you with that stuffed feeling.
The Prosperity Moss With Dried Oysters, a savory stew of dried oysters, black mushrooms, tender pork, black moss and dried beancurd smacks of flavor as it does of nostalgia—we particularly love how the earthy aromas of the mushrooms not only balances but brings out the briny sweetness of the oysters, just like how our grandmothers used to prepare it.
For a reliable, wholesome reunion dinner this coming Lunar New Year, Roland Restaurant more than delivers—after all, the recipes have stood the test of time, with many regulars returning to feast year after year.
89 Marine Parade Central,
+65 6440 8205