Given a choice, I won’t have chosen Lao Beijing at Novena Square for lunch but since I was invited and my host LH suggested going there I didn’t object, even though on meeting up outside the restuarant, she did ask, “Are you sure you don’t want to go to Ichiban (Sushi)?” (which is right next door and where I eat quite often).
So last Thursday found me tucking into a hearty meal at Lao Beijing, something I don’t think I’ve done for at least 2 or 3 years. Incredibly, I found myself actually heading there two days later, with mum in tow, to try the food again.
Was the food that good that I had to eat there, twice in 3 days? I’m not sure but LH suggested the place probably because it’s near my home, just two MRT stops from her office and mostly because she was drooling about LBj’s beef noodles!
As for me, I was hungry and morever, hungry for pork, as detailed here, so LBj suited my taste-buds to a T that afternoon.
LH zeroed in on her longed for beef noodles (which didn’t look that appealing) — see pix left — but probably tasted better than it looked. I went for Zhejiang noodles, and was delighted to see it came with shredded raw veggies.
We shared a plate of fat asparagus, probably from Australia, lightly tossed in garlic oil as well as a Chinese version of pork roulade. Followed that with Guilin gao for dessert.
All washed down with lots of pu-er and gossip and light hearted character “assassination” 😛 of people we know, including some ex-colleagues of mine. In short a good time was had by us, old friends, altho LH would insist on calling me “chien beh” in good Korean drama style!
Perhaps it was the company but most likely I just wanted to eat more pork, so I went with mum back to LBj while Picky Siti, her maid, who is fasting, went to hunt for what she wanted to eat for buka puasa later on.
Alas, as has been mostly my experience, return visits seldom live up to expectations, unless it’s Ichiban Boshi, Great World City.
We ordered the exact same dishes, except for the beef noodles. We threw in a pork rib dish, which though tender and meaty, I would fault for having no bite.
Also, the repeat fat asparagus was spoilt by the fact that I had asked for it to be oil stir fry, overlooking to mention I wanted garlic to be tossed in as well. As for the Zhejiang noodles, it tended to be on the mushy side, accompanied by a stingy bit of cucumber strips without any spring onion!
It would be some time be4 I will head for LBj again. Twice in 3 days is more than enough for a long, long absence to allow my tastebuds to forget why I didn’t eat there for so many years in the first place.
You see LBj belongs to the group of eating places where the service is fast and generally pleasant, the prices fairly reasonble but and this is a big but: the food is more often than not, ho-hum. Very much another Crystal Jade Kitchen n Din Tai Fung experience.