Lao Beijing serves up authentic Northern Chinese cuisine at Velocity, which is connected to Novena MRT station. Located on the second floor, this Chinese restaurant is right in front of the escalators down and up from the first floor (in front of Watson's).
Though SQUARE 2 and Velocity have plenty of dining options with all varieties of food and eateries to cater to all palates and budget, I thought the authentic Chinese menu Lao Beijing offers might be more appreciated by my 87 year old grandmother whom I am bringing for a nice dinner that day.
Honestly, the interior seemed a little chaotic: communist-themed posters, random Chinese paintings, kopitiam-style tables and chairs and a huge wall plastered with street-food cartoons - a random mishmash of all and every thing Chinese. If this décor hinted a funky take on Chinese food, the menu begged to differ (in a good way!).
In the menu included traditional and very Northern Chinese food items (for example, Braised Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chilli, Chongqing-Style Firecracker Chicken and Poached Sliced Beef in Spicy Sauce) and familiar Singaporean zi-char items (like Spicy Beancurd with Seafood served on Sizzling Pan, Fried Prawn Ball with Golden Salted egg Yolk Sauce and Stir-fried French Bean with Minced Pork and Dried Shrimp).
Lao Beijing could be a great place to try Northern Chinese style fish cuisine - there's a variety of fish options on the menu! I didn't find out this time, knowing grandma's almost-allergic reaction towards freshwater fish (which is commonly used in Northern Chinese cuisine). It has a distinct "mud smell" - as grandma always say, so we skipped the fish menu altogether.
Even though Lao Beijing Famous Popiah seems like a popular signature item among the diners, the lazy me didn't want to work so much for my meal (you need to self-wrap your popiah!) so we skipped it too.
In the end, we decided on Roast Irish Duck (half), Stir-fried Cucumber, Black Fungus and Minced Pork with X.O. Sauce, and Country-style Stir-fried Pork with Chilli.
Service was actually very good in Lao Beijing. The waiters and waitresses (quite matronly and Northern Chinese - I presume) were polite and efficient. When my mom dropped her chopsticks, a waitress appeared in an instant with a new pair.
Food were served very promptly and in quick succession after ordering - I was really impressed. They were piping hot - definitely not scooped from a pre-cooked pot!
Roast Irish Duck (half) - $26++
If you are looking for a plump duck with tender lean meat under a layer of crisp roasted skin and juicy poultry fat, welcome to culinary heaven!
The tender duck slices are VERY JUICY! They went well with the subtle plum sauce that added just a tiny accent of sweetness to compliment the juicy lean meat. God bless the Irish!
I also really enjoyed the moments in savouring the thin crispy poultry skin (after well, skinning off the layer of fat).
Even though this duck dish is somewhat oily, the soft tender meat and amazingly crisp skin is a great combination and I'd highly recommend this dish to try!
Stir-fried Cucumber, Black Fungus and Minced Pork with X.O. Sauce - $14++
This isn't a dish that I am familiar with, so I thought I would give it a try!
It was certainly a great first impression. Crunchy cucumber slices and springy black fungus, well-complimented by the umami flavour of minced pork. The slight hint of pepper also made it a savoury Northern Chinese dish which I enjoyed.
Country-style Stir-fried Pork with Chilli - $16++
This dish is totally self-explanatory - full of sliced green and red chilli, which were both surprisingly not at all spicy! I loved how the chef has perfectly charred the chilli to cook them well-enough yet retain their crunch! The pork slices were lean and tender - those health conscious will appreciate. And chilli is supposed to increase metabolism, no?
It was a really nice dinner at Lao Beijing. I thought their service was very nice, and the high quality of ingredients combined refreshing taste of their menu was appreciated. Though the noisy décor tells a different story, but don't judge the book by its cover. Culinary gems lie within the menu pages.
We spent about $25 per person.
238 Thomson Road #02-11/12
Tel: 6358 4466
Lunch: 11.30am - 3.00pm
Dinner: 5.30pm - 10.00pm
Sat, Sun & Public Holiday:
Lunch: 11.00am - 3.00pm
Hi-tea: 3.00pm - 5.00pm
Dinner: 6.00pm - 10.00pm