Capturing authenticity in both its appearance and cuisine, Lao Beijing in [email protected] Square is where you’ll more than likely find well-executed Northern Chinese fare in the form of exquisite fish dishes, noodle dishes as well as an array of juicy dumplings. Famed for their xiao long bao and famous customisable popiah, the restaurant has bagged numerous awards over the years and sees a constant flood of loyal patrons daily.
A favourite venue for family dining and cosy gatherings, the restaurant enthrals with their contemporary approach to traditional classics. Take their highly acclaimed Signature Beef Noodle for instance that features 3 delectable soup base varieties, or even Signature Grilled Fish with Tomato Broth that paints a fresh new look on the traditional ‘kao yu’ dish of Southwest China.
Besides its Signature Dishes, the restaurant also presents diners with 7 intriguing new dishes. These are set to wow the palates of customers old and new. If you haven’t dined at Lao Beijing before, you’re completely missing out. If you have, there is no reason to not go back again for more affordable, mouth-watering food that’s great for communal dining!
Some folks may shun the idea of eating with their hands, but we absolutely love it. Doing so provides us with a heightened sensory experience and it just makes food taste better (if that even makes sense).
Which is why when it comes to Lao Beijing’s two stellar DIY dishes—signature Lao Beijing Famous Popiah (S$28++) and Lao Beijing Crispy Skin Roast Duck (S$60++ for a whole duck)—we get really excited. Not only do they look and taste divine, they require some elbow grease as well.
Every single component from the individual popiah skin to the star attractions and even the various ingredients are done to perfection. The turnips are tender and cooked to the right consistency and the roast duck is fragrant, succulent and delectable.
A stunning centrepiece and one that is as gorgeous as it is delicious, the Signature Grilled Fish with Tomato Broth (S$68++) is what you totally have to try.
Prepared in pretty much the same way as many cities in China, the colossal fillet of fish is first grilled separately before being placed in a large rectangular pot alongside fresh vegetables, enoki mushrooms and pineapples.
Once it reaches the table, a piping hot tomato broth would then be doused over top, cooking the vegetables, heating up the fish and at the same time, imparting its sweet, umami-packed qualities onto every single ingredient.
Another fish dish that had us diving in for seconds and thirds in a hurry was the Braised Fish with Pickled Cabbage and Chilli (S$24++). With its slight sour tang, gentle amount of heat and refreshing clarity, this dish was easily one of our favourites of the entire spread.
Pickled in-house, the cabbage takes on a rather sourish appeal but is well balanced with both salty and sweet notes. Having been braised over a period of time, the fish slices take on a warm and refreshing flavour whilst retaining its structure really well.
Arguably one of Lao Beijing’s most popular dishes is the Xiao Long Bao (S$10++ for 10 pieces). Expertly hand-moulded and served piping hot every time, every bite comes with the promise of luxury in the form of a rich, savoury pork broth that washes over the palate nicely. Spoon over a drop or two of plum vinegar and a few slivers of ginger, and that is happiness right there.
To complement those potstickers, why not order up a serving of the restaurant’s prided Beijing-Style ‘Zhajiang’ Noodle (S$10++)? Essentially a savoury and fragrant noodle dish consisting simply of soybean paste, julienned vegetables and stir-fried ground pork, this top-seller is great for if you’re looking for something mild yet filling.
Perhaps one of the most underrated yet tasty side items you can possibly get is the Zhenjiang Pork Ribs (S$18++). Deep-fried to golden perfection before being coated in a luscious, sweet sauce and topped with sesame seeds, this dish is one that begs to be eaten with white rice.
You’d be silly not to order up a bowl of the Original Beef Noodle with Triple Treasure (S$18++). Featuring a beefy trinity of brisket, tendon and tripe, alongside springy hand-pulled noodles and a hearty broth, this bowl is undeniably one of the most comforting delights around.
This flavour bomb comes in three different varieties of soup base: original, spicy and tomato broth.
Adding on to Lao Beijing’s stellar repertoire of quality favourites is 7 new dishes. This gives you another reason to visit the restaurant!
KUROBUTA PORK SERVED ON SIZZLING HOT PLATE
Dazzling in both the theatrical element that comes along with it, as well as its addictive flavour is the Kurobuta Pork served on Sizzling Hot Plate (S$24++). Served sizzling on a hot plate, before being flambéed, this dish is a sight to behold.
The Kurobuta itself was incredibly tender and the sticky sauce that envelops it is sweet and savoury with a tangy, almost vinegar-like kick.
STEAMED ‘SOON HOCK’ WITH PICKLED CHILLI
If you’re looking for a sharing dish, our recommendation is to opt for the Steamed ‘Soon Hock’ with Pickled Chilli (Market Price).
The overly generous topping of red chilli may intimidate at first, but the pickling process—to our greatest relief—does take the fiery edge off the chilli, resulting in a tangy, almost sweet concoction that complements the freshly steamed fish beautifully.
BRAISED SUPERIOR FISH MAW AND MUSHROOM
For the ladies who fancy something jam-packed with collagen, then perhaps the Braised Superior Fish Maw with Mushroom (S$48++ (S), S$58++ (M), S$68++ (L)) should sit right with you.
This classic Chinese dish is packed with skin-healing properties and is absolutely flavourful. Braised in a flavourful sauce for several hours, the fish maw acts like a sponge that not only becomes tender during the process but also soaks up all the intense sauce.
‘MALA’ SOFT-SHELL PRAWN
We were particularly thrilled to have a go at Lao Beijing’s new ‘Mala’ Soft-shell Prawn (S$28++); it not only looked majestic, it was also accented with one of our all-time favourite flavours—mala.
Essentially the same flavour components of the iconic cereal prawn but with a spicy accent to it, the dish really did taste as good as it looked. The outer layer was crispy, savoury, and the iconic mouth-numbing spice added a nice touch to the sweet prawn.
Both the Four Vegetable Delicacies with ‘Huai Shan’ (S$18.80++) and Homemade Black Beancurd with Wild Mushroom and Seafood (S$18.80++) were cooked using only the freshest seasonal vegetables and masterfully prepared to retain as much of its natural flavour and colour as possible, on top of a layer of solid wok hei flavour.
BRAISED RED-SPOTTED GROUPER WITH GINGER WINE
A hearty concoction of fresh grouper and an aromatic sauce, we were pretty darn sold by their Braised Red-spotted Grouper with Ginger Wine (S$36++). Infusing ginger and wine, the sauce took on a pungent and zesty appeal with a nice kick from the wine.
We really liked that they went with grouper among all other fish varieties as it really held its firmness well without crumbling.
238 Thomson road
[email protected] Square, #02-11/12
Tel: +65 6358 4466
Mon to Fri: 11.30am – 3pm, 5.30pm – 10pm
Sat, Sun & PH: 11am – 3pm, 3pm – 5pm, 6pm – 10pm
Nearest Station: Novena
This post was brought to you by Lao Beijing.