This time round, Ernie and I were doing our usual Saturday lunch routine, and we decided that a visit to the past would be kitschy. The restaurant seems a lot smaller (half the size actually) than I remembered, but maybe it's because I was half my height the last time I was there.
The pushcarts serving the various dim sum started arriving at our table soon after we sat down. There's no menu to order from, so you just pick whatever's on the pushcarts. It was hilarious when Ernie commented that this was such a novel and new way of serving dim sum and all restaurants should start serving dim sum this way. I eventually told him (between guffaws) that this was actually the traditional way dim sum restaurants used to operate.
Overall, the dim sum was just so-so. But it was cheap, which made the lunch a lot more palatable. There were only 3 items that were memorable. The first was the Roasted Duck ($18). This was juicy, succulent and lip-smackingly flavourful. A warning to those watching their diets, this was a tad oily. But I still loved it.
The other was the Prawn Rice Roll (most dim sum dishes are from $3 to $3.50), silky soft rice rolls with sweet crunchy prawns slathered with a soy marinade.
The third was the Century Egg Congee, the porridge was smooth and delicate. I loved the crackers on top. Methinks it's the same type of crackers sprinkled on top of yu-sheng salads.
The rest were ordinary at best. The Siew Mai was the typical coffeeshop variety, more minced pork than prawns filled the dumpling.
The skin of the Prawn Dumpling was a little too floury and thick, but the prawns were fresh and crunchy enough.
The Deep Fried Prawn Wrapped in Beancurd Skin was notable, but also ordinary.
Steamed Bbq Pork Buns, the buns were a little too thick and the bbq pork was a little dried out.
The Steamed Yam Cake was alright, smooth and creamy but similarly unspectacular. I'd mistakenly ordered this because I thought it was steamed carrot cake (the lady spoke in Mandarin, yu4 tou2 gao1 = I thought it meant carrot cake).
We also got a platter of Roasted Pork and Bbq Pork. This was decent but ordinary. The roasted pork was a little soggy and the bbq pork was a little too hard. This was probably a result of the dishes being on the pushcarts for some time and not freshly served.
For carbs, we got a Steamed Glutinous Rice Wrapped in Lotus Leaf. This was chock full of chicken pieces, and Chinese sausage, decent quality but unmemorable.
For dessert, we got the Mango Sago with Pomelo, refreshingly sweet, with a tinge of sourness from the pomelo. Perfect in aiding digestion.
Red Star Restaurant
Blk 54 Chin Swee Road
Tel: 6532 5266
Open daily from 7am to 3pm for breakfast and lunch and 6pm to 10.30pm for dinner