Source: Roland Restaurant’s FB
Location: 89 Marine Parade Central, #06-750, Singapore 440089
Telephone: 6440 8205
Opening hours: Daily, 11.30am-2pm; 6pm-10pm
Roland Restaurant is a three in one Chinese restaurant located in Marine Parade, Singapore. The three in one concept comes from the fact that they sell seafood, Cantonese dishes and Dim Sum. They’re also well known as one of the pioneers of Chili crabs, Singapore’s national dish.
Roland Restaurant has a long and illustrious history. The current owner is Mr. Roland Lim, and he runs the restaurant with his wife Lilian, son Justin and younger brother Richard. Roland Restaurant has a seating capacity of 1100 pax, and is a closed, air conditioned establishment complete with rotating lazy susans, table cloths and carpeting.
Roland Restaurant’s Long History
They didn’t start out quite so luxuriously. The ones who started the seafood business were actually Mr. Roland’s parents, Mr. Lim Choon Ngee and Mdm Cher Yam Tian.
They started their humble stall in 1956 beside the Kallang River , where they set up a shed with a few tables. The kitchen was a charcoal stove and the cooking was done outdoors. The menu was rather limited, with chili crabs being one of their signature dishes. It was served with slices of French baguettes that customers would use to scoop up the delicious chili crab sauce.
Despite their limited menu, the number of patrons rose due to their delicious food and generous portions.
Soon they moved to Bedok Beach along the Upper East Coast Road and called themselves ‘Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant’. Their reputation grew by word of mouth and soon the elder Mr. Lim and Mdm. Cher decided to retire to New Zealand in the 1980s. Despite selling off the shares of their original business, the desire to sell seafood was inherited by their son, Mr. Roland, who later started his own restaurant.
The family continues to serve many of the signature dishes created in the early days, including those perfected by Mdm. Cher, like Cockles dipped in her one of a kind Home Made Mum’s chili sauce.
Let’s Take a Look at Roland Restaurant’s Menu
Roland Restaurant’s menu is divided into it set menu section and ala carte section. Here, you can find your quintessential Chinese 7-course set meal priced between $88 to $468 for 5 people. These set meals are pretty popular among those ordering for a large crowd, such as a family or company event.
Menu items on the set list include dishes like Pomfret in Two Ways, Black Sauce Prawns, Signature Chili Crabs with fried buns, fried prawns with salted egg and pumpkin, fish maw soup and many others. Each set comes with one type of fried rice as well as a dessert dish served at the end.
They also have an Ala Carte Menu where you can order individual seafood dishes. The seafood on offer include Lobster, Prawns, Abalone, Bamboo Clams, Live Fish ( including Garoupa, Soon Hock, Sea Bass, Patin, Tilapia and Pomfret) and Live Crabs.
You can supplement your seafood with servings of beancurd, vegetables, fried rice and fried noodles.
Let’s take a look at some of their more outstanding menu items:
1. Signature Chili Crabs ($75 for two crabs)
Roland Restaurant’s heritage from Palm Beach Seafood Restaurant means that they can claim to be the ‘founders of the chili crab’, which they do on their menu. Mdm. Cher is said to have perfected this sauce in her own kitchen, which was originally sweeter and had much more tomato sauce. Over the years, Roland Restaurant has tweaked that recipe based on customer feedback to make it thicker, richer and more naturally flavored.
Whilst in the early days their chili crabs were served with French loaves, today its served with fried or steamed Mantou. The practice of eating mantou with Chili Crabs is very normal in this day and age, as the slightly spicy and tangy sauce just goes so well with them, especially the fried mantou.
Source: Roland Restaurant’s FB
2. Classic Black Sauce Prawns ($30/$45/$60)
Fresh and juicy prawns are cooked in Roland Restaurant’s own special Black Sauce, which is soy sauce based with a hint of sweetness. If you’re craving for prawns, this is one of the restaurant’s must order prawn dishes since the sauce is unique to their kitchen and this style of cooking prawns isn’t found anywhere else.
Source: Roland Restaurant’s IG
3. Local Lobsters ( $14.80 per 100grams)
Lobsters are another luxury item at Roland Restaurant that’s worth a try. Lobsters are kept fresh and live, and cooked upon order. You can choose to have your lobsters in one of five cooking styles, including having it steamed with garlic, baked with cheese, braised with superior stock and cheese, fried with spring onion and ginger, or stir fried with spices and garlic. Alternatively, you can also order Roland’s Lobster with vermicelli in a clay pot.
4. Pomfret in Two Styles (Seasonal Prices)
Pomfret fish is a regular favorite because of its soft flesh and lack of bones. Here at Roland Restaurant its served in a unique way, whereby its cooked in two different styles. One side of the Pomfret fish is deep fried, while the flesh from the other side is removed and stir fried with vegetables. An extremely unique presentation indeed.
5. Fried Crab with Salted Egg and Yam( $81 for two crabs)
Although not as famous as its chili sauce counterpart, this particular style of cooking crabs is also popular with Roland’s customers. Rather than a wet sauce, this one is done in a dry sauce consisting of salted egg yolk, pine nuts, curry leaves, crispy strips of yam and dried shrimp. The dry toppings are really addictive and go great with a bowl of white rice.
To Sum It Up, It’s A Truly Singaporean Experience
Delicious seafood is always a treat. If you’re looking for a classic seafood joint and one of the best chili crabs in Singapore, head on over to Roland Restaurant at Block 89, Marine Parade Central.
In addition to all the wok fried dishes, they also serve Dim Sum on the weekends, which you can pick from steaming hot trays.