The well-loved Russo-Hainanese restaurant was opened in 1985 by a group of colleagues from Troika, a restaurant serving similar cuisine. Shashlik closed in December 2015 but was revived and reopened, after a facelift in March last year. Though the restaurant received a fresh coat of paint, and new carpeting and furniture, it looks largely the same. Even better, diners can still taste the old school dishes that made Shashlik the place to be in the 80s and 90s: items like Cherry Jubilee (prepared table-side), shashlik of beef (below) and of course, the signature borscht soup.
Roland Restaurant is the de facto home of the chilli crab (below). It’s said that Madam Cher Yam Tian, the mother of Roland Lim, the current owner-operator of the restaurant, created the dish after her husband asked her to cook up something creative with the crabs he had caught. The couple then, in 1956, started selling it at their modest eatery by the beach in East Coast. Little did Madam Cher know that many decades later, her creation would eventually become one of the iconic – and some say, national – dishes of Singapore. When at Roland, try other dishes (main photo) created and popularised by her as well: deep-fried baby squid and you char kway (dough fritters) stuffed with squid paste.
One of the few places in Singapore where one can partake in dim sum the traditional way – selecting the bite-size treats from push carts – Red Star was opened in 1974 by four local chefs who were collectively known as the culinary Heavenly Kings. Besides a large variety of dim sum, this restaurant also serves up affordable, authentic Cantonese fare and a good dose of nostalgia with its charmingly aged decor and elderly servers.
Biryani (spiced rice) is the calling card of this grand old dame (said to have been established in 1914), who boasts royalty as part of its long list of loyal customers. The Indian-Muslim restaurant was started by chef M. Abdul Rahman and is now run by his grandson, who still serves up favourites such as chicken Mysore and roti Mariam. The must-try at this North Bridge Road mainstay, of course, is the biryani, which comes in chicken, mutton and fish versions.