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My kinda buffet.

imageA bunch of friends wanted to try out the ‘Korean BBQ’ at ‘Seoul Restaurant’ at Chijmes tonight and at first I wasn’t too excited because buffets and semi-creative restaurant names make me sceptical. The place however looked quite nice and they sat us in one of their separate rooms. The buffet they has on was à la carte buffet (?) which we had to leave our private room for as apparently it’s not available in there. Anyhow, back in the main room with the crowd we ordered loads and loads of stuff from the slightly reduced “buffet” menu.

All the food and meats were fairly nice and for the amount we ate at $50ish per person also pretty reasonably priced but the two outstanding dishes for me were the ‘L.A Galbi‘, soy sauce marinated bone in beef short rib and the chilled ‘Mul-naengmyeon‘ 냉면.

The ribs were rustic beefy, deep flavoured from the soy and even though a bit tougher to chew my favourite of the carnivore options.

imageThe buckwheat noodles were truly outstanding, refreshingly chilled with some crunchy textures from radish and cucumbers and the noodles itself had a weirdly awesome slippery texture, chewy and squeaky. Following a friend’s recommendation I used the entire accompanying mustard mixing it into the cold broth, which brought tears to my eyes, made it nose-cuttingly sharp and surprisingly fun to eat.

The place is good, value for money with a tasty selection of meats and other dishes and the à la carte buffet concept takes out the queues and battling for the most popular plates, usually longer exposed to the air than one wishes for, so definitely my clear preference on a buffet take. Just weird rules like the different menu for the private rooms is probably due for a makeover.

Seoul Restaurant 서울
30 Victoria Street
#02-01A Chijmes
Singapore 187996
Tel: +65 6338 8548
http://www.seoul.com.sg/

It’s been a very lao time.

imageIt felt like a hundred years that I had been to ‘Lao Beijing’ but tonight I wanted to refresh my memory big time and went berserk on their menu. I spotted ‘Xiao Long Bao‘ (小笼汤包) so it came naturally to start with those favourite little steamers. Not being the prettiest of its’ kind, they were quite nice, had thin skin and a generous slurp of soup in ’em but neither the meat nor the broth had a too distinguished flavour.

imageDumpling time wasn’t over just yet so we had a round of awesome ‘Pork & Cabbage Jiao Zi‘ (boiled). The cool thing here was the cabbage, not very common and tasted great together with the fine meat mass. Aside another regular on my orders, some crunchy and slightly spicy, delicious garlic cucumbers.

imageOver to the noodles some ‘Beijing Style Zhang Jian Mian‘ (老北京炸酱面) came our way. The noodles were soft and and thin and the whole thing tasted nice refreshing with all those chopped scallions but wasn’t really like a bean sauce but more like a lightish bolognese, nonetheless good.

imageAlso the ‘Dan Dan Mian‘ was more an interpretation of the bowl I like so much. Nearly a clear broth with some minced meat and chives taking a swim in it. No sesame, no peanuts, no gooey creaminess made this not really extra special but still tasty enough to give it a like.

Even though the food was not sweeping me off my feet, it was still tasteful and delicious maybe with a slight setback caused by their  modifications on my old time favourites. It’s quite a busy and bustling place at peak hours in a bit of a warmer setting than the usual dim sum restaurants and surely has some decent dishes to offer. I might come back to try their high tea buffet as even though I’m not a big fan of such, ‘Xiao Long Bao‘ free flow doesn’t sound too bad to me.

Lao Beijing 老北京食堂
238 Thomson Road
#02-11/12 Velocity@Novena Square
Singapore 307683
Tel: +65 6358 4466
http://www.laobeijing.com.sg/