The pleasure of having friends

To quote Badger from Wind in the Willows, "I hate company. Whether it’s two for tea or thirty at a ballroom party! I hate company!"

With all the work and other personal projects piling up, this blog decided to take time-out to indulge in a guilty pleasure. I am running out of friends co-conspirators to do things like this.

So it was to my great delight that Dachsie said yes.

The first time I visited LaoBeijing was actually in Shanghai. I still dream of the Peking Duck we had. With exactly 108 slices of skin wrapped in eggroll skins, the meat minced, cooked and served in crunchy cabbage and finally, duck soup from the bones.

So it was with great anticipation, I reserved a whole duck.

Well, which part of "Indulge in a guilty pleasure" you don’t understand? I mean, the only other time you get this is during weddings and funerals where there really is insufficient duck or roast pig to have more than one serving.

Hint for Dach: Mmmm… Roast Pig…

We also ordered some appetizers. To sort of "balance out" the guilt from the Peking Duck.

Century Egg with Tofu Appetizing Crunchy Green Cucumber

The cold Century Egg with Silken Tofu was smooth and creamy. A delightfully refreshing starter. The only complaint was that the Century Egg did not have any taste, the acrid bittersweetness that was supposed to compliment the Tofu was missing.

Some pork floss might be good too. 😉

The other starter had the rather mundane name of "Cold Crunchy Cucumber".

The reason I ordered it because it was actually the restaurant’s "signature dish". It was exactly that: Cold and crunchy. Even though there was evidence of Chilli oil and powder, it was hardly spicy at all, almost bland. I thought some sweet acidity from sweet vinegar would be nice.

Then all of a sudden, the Roast Peking Duck appeared. This was not a good thing as we barely started on the starters (ha!). The waiter seemed perplexed at the concept of having starters before the main.

Roast Peking Duck Egg Roll Skin

Alas. From the look of the thing, I think they gave me a small duck. Rolling of the eggroll was difficult and almost futile as the meat was hard.

Roast Peking Duck with Cucumber, Spring Onions and Sweet Sauce on Egg Roll Skin

This implied it was cold and not fresh. Quite far from what I have experienced in Shanghai. Nevertheless, when you dine with a chirpy friend, you tend to look on the bright side of things: I am getting enough Roast Peking Duck to eat. Hooray for Dach! 😉

We also ordered other things like 3 Cups Chicken, French Beans with preserved vegetables (Si Ji Do) and mince pork and the other signature dish: "Steamed Meat Dumplings".

French Beans with spicy pork and preserved veg (SiJiDo)

Surprisingly, they were not very good at all. To qualify, the chicken and the French beans did not have the sufficient "wok hei" to elevate it to the status that the dishes belong to.

The Steamed Dumplings had the pre-requisite "soup" inside. It was made more interesting with the addition of TangKui which enhanced the sweetness.

Steamed Juicy Meat Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

Unfortunately, you can taste the "frozen pork".

In the end, the serving staff was not well trained and the servings were fast and came out cold. Even for a weekend, this is rather shocking for a restaurant of the Tung Lok Group.

Like I said, the people you eat with determines the whole dinner. And all in all, I had a great time chatting and escaping from reality briefly.

Thanks Dach.

Posted on 24th May 2006 in Chinese, Food and Drink


There Are 2 Comments


dachsie commented on May 24, 2006 at 10:51 am


I thought dinner was really yummy!

And I must declare.. I was an unknowing partner in crime!

good stuff though. The chicken would have gone well with rice.


sesame commented on May 24, 2006 at 1:54 pm

Arrrgghh…I hate you! 😛 Cos I love Peking Duck and it’s been a while since I’ve had any. Now I feel so deprived…

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