Simple Fare

Lao Beijing 老北京 @ Plaza Singapura

Part of the Tung Lok group, Lao Beijing opened its doors in 1996 serving authentic Northern Chinese cuisine. It is one of the first restaurants in Singapore to sell pork soup dumpling 小籠包, and popularise Northern China-style potstickers 鍋貼 and dumplings 餃子.

Since then, diners who appreciate good quality Northern Chinese food have recognised Lao Beijing as the place to come to for affordable, good-value, quality traditional dishes such as ‘Zhajiang’ noodle 老北京炸醬麵 and Beijing-style Crispy Skin Roast Duck 北京烤鴨.

涼拌皮蛋豆腐 century egg and tofu dressed with sweet vinegar

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涼拌皮蛋豆腐 century egg and tofu dressed with sweet vinegar

川味海鮮酸辣湯 Sichuan-style hot and sour soup with seafood

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川味海鮮酸辣湯 Sichuan-style hot and sour soup with seafood

The “seafood” was just a single piece of prawn and some fake shark’s fin. The taste was fine, I would rather they stick to the original and charge less.

愛爾蘭烤鴨 Roast Irish Duck

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愛爾蘭烤鴨 Roast Irish Duck

Ducks from Ireland are all the rage with restaurants here, with at least 13 serving them. Chinese restaurants in London, such as Four Seasons, use the same birds. Most come from the family- owned Silver Hill Farm in Monaghan, north of Ireland. They are raised according to the specifications of the restaurants and are usually slaughtered when they are 42 to 45 days old. These free-roaming ducks are fed a grain-based diet and raised in a calm environment with soft music playing in the background, which relaxes their muscles just before they are slaughtered. This makes the meat less tough.

Irish ducks do not have a gamey smell and are more succulent, whereas ducks from Malaysia are skinnier. Roasted Irish ducks are more fragrant and juicy as these meatier birds have a good amount of fat that makes the meat more tender and flavourful. Yummy, comparable to London Fat Duck, but they did it first in Singapore.

老北京炸醬麵 Beijing-style Zhajiang noodles

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老北京炸醬麵 Beijing-style Zhajiang noodles

The Zhajiang noodles came nicely presented. The portion was not a large one but reasonable. The dark sweet sauce with minced meat mixed with the smooth thin noodles combined to make the dish quite delicious and enjoyable.

小籠湯包 Steamed juicy meat bun

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小籠湯包 Steamed juicy meat bun

They claimed to be one of the first to introduced it in Singapore, but they are not the best. The skin is rather thick and the filling dry. Stick to northern cuisine, xiao long bao is southern.

老北京三鮮水餃 LBJ steamed shrimp, pork and chive dumpling

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老北京三鮮水餃 LBJ steamed shrimp, pork and chive dumpling

I like their LBJ dumplings, reminded me of how a Chinese grandmother would do it. The feeling it gave me was just like a hearty spaghetti bolognese by an Italian nonna – simple, rustic, fulfilling.

Afterwards

The interior design of Lao Beijing takes after a traditional Chinese teahouse, which exudes a nostalgic feel. Diners can fully immerse in the culture of Old Beijing through traditional Chinese art pieces within the restaurant.

Lao Beijing used to be of one of the top places to head to for good Northern Chinese cuisine. However the F&B business is always changing and the middle ground has shifted to casual dining or moved up to fine dining. It is difficult to survive without changing.  By trying to be more than just a cosy family friendly Chinese restaurant it has become a rather ordinary modern casual diner. Overall it is not bad but not outstanding or memorable in any way – it is just an eatery we would go to if we need a quick simple meal.

Lao Beijing (Plaza Singapura)
68 Orchard Road #03-01 Plaza Singapura, Singapore 238839
Tel : +65 6738 7207

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Date Visited : Jun 2016

Closed in 2018, they still have a branch in Velocity@Novena offering the same cuisine.

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