Today, I decided to return to Lao Beijing in Tiong Bahru Plaza for an early Mother's day celebration as we couldn't make it this Sunday. :(
As my hub came slightly later, I asked my mother to place the order first. She is afterall, the 'star' of the night. ;) It took a while for her to come to a decision as there were too many choices and she was amused (just like me) by the interesting categories of food on the menu such as '水里游的' and '不甜的甜品', just to name a few. Finally she decided on the following.
1) Ma Po Tou Fu
I was rather surprised she chose this because firstly, she has never expressed her liking for this dish before. Secondly, it's also my hub's favourite dish. I have no idea why they have so many food that they like in common, but for some reason, am very happy that this is so.
2) Beijing Style Sweet and Sour Fish
I had to convince her that S$38 for this fish is not expensive, although I feel otherwise. :P It IS expensive, but for my mother, I don't feel the pinch. :P
3) Kailan with Garlic
A vegetable dish to complete the meal.
Ma Po Tofu (8/10)
Perhaps because I have had taken blander or spicier versions of it, Ma Po Tofu is something that I don't really hanker after and definitely a dish I will not suggest when placing an order. However, they cooked it so well that I kept returning to the dish after my first try. The tofu were still whole and the sauce complements the tofu very well.
Beijing-Style Sweet and Sour (Song shu) Fish (8/10)
Just in case you thought I got my mother and husband to 'pose' by placing their chopsticks on the fish, you are very much mistaken. The reason for their plunging in could either be that this dish looked attractive(com'on, you really have to agree with that. Dishes that are red or orangey always whet appetites, no?) or they were very hungry! ahhah but why were they SO hungry that they couldn't even wait 5 seconds for me to do a snap? Answer will be revealed later. ;)
Meanwhile, my comments. This fish not only looked attractive in terms of presentation, but was also very tasty. I wonder how they managed to remove all the bones and make them into 'flower buds' like that. The sauce was sweet and sour, like it's supposed to be, but a bit towards the starchy side.
After we have finished up the 'body', my mother put back the tail and said, '有头有尾'. Hee! so funny!
Kailan with Garlic (7/10)
Came the vegetables. Ooook is the word. I wouldn't say that it's fantastic, yet I couldnt find any fault with it. Maybe what I like is, although the stems were very huge and seemed difficult to bite, it was not.
I really like the chinese yet very modern design of the restaurant. It has got that clean cut look. I always like it when a restaurant uses an all-white plate/bowls to serve their food. It sure made their food more appetizing!
Came the important part of the blog. The service is really good. Unlike other restaurants whereby they will stop being so attentive when the crowd comes in, the waiters and waitresses were very prompt in refilling the cup with tea at all times. They even ask if they can get us new plates when our plates are slightly filled with food.
But of what use is good service if the food are not served promptly? After the Ma Po Tofu was served, we had to wait about 20 minutes for the fish to be served. And that was not without several reminders to different staff members. Ok, maybe the elaborate presentation of the fish did require some time to prepare. But, the vegetables? It came even later than the fish and what's more by another 10 minutes or so. If I say we spent 45 minutes on waiting time, I wouldn't be the least exaggerating. Oh, that explains much for the hunger thing huh? kekeke
When we were about to pay the bill and leave, we were pleasantly surprised by the 变脸 performance. This is the first time we see a live performance on this and my mother seemed pretty entertained. :)
All our unhappiness stemmed from waiting seemed to be forgotten as we stepped out of the restaurant, with pretty ladies bidding us goodbye... :P
Tiong Bahru Plaza