My Old Place 老地方 – London Middlesex Street

Mandarin classes finished for the year, but that doesn’t stop me or many others still speaking in Mandarin… I’m still bad at it. Still need to listen more. And I need to stop finding and watching Korean dramas!! One classmate decided to have a gathering between her old classmates and this years classmates… Unfortunately a lot of them couldn’t make it, so it ended being only three of us! That’s a shame… couldn’t order many dishes… 😦

It was decided we would go to My Old Place 老地方 (Mando: lao di fang, lit. Old Place) which is situated in the East Central side of London. I rarely eat in the East Central side… I think I need to find more places in the East! This is a much talked about place from the Chinese as well as the English, as the food is cheapish and it’s a place to eat spicy food, northern Chinese style. I rarely eat northern Chinese food except for Peking duck and dumplings, so it was a different experience coming to this restaurant…
Outside My Old Place 老地方

Still outside

A bad picture of the lower ground floor…

My female classmate had already booked the table, we were just waiting on people… The others never turned up, and the restaurant was already packed with Chinese people, plus a bunch of English people throwing a surprise party for a guy named Archie! Heheh. (Didn’t take a picture of the guy, I don’t think he would have wanted me to blog about his birthday surprise!). 
The guests were mainly Cantonese and Mandarin speakers… The waiters and waitresses spoke in Mandarin, so my Cantonese wouldn’t have helped in this situation. We sat next to a Chinese family of three who looked like tourists.

An old bowl with my Tsing Tao beer

I got my male classmate to order in Mandarin, since he is better than me… He spent 3 years in China! Me… zero years!! I’m English born brought up in a Hong Kong disciplined household!! 😛 I think the family sitting with us were a bit surprised! Heheheh.

Ok, so what did we order…

First was this dish ordered by my female classmate. 茄子. (mando: qiezi; canto: keh ji)… I actually had loads of aubergine the night before. And it tasted like this… A lot of people eat this… This isn’t a spicy dish but enriched with a thick sauce. There’s a lot of aubergine to get through for three people!!
Aubergine 茄子 with the big bowl of rice

Next was my dish 泡椒炒鲜鱿 (mando: pao jiao chao xian you; canto: paau jiu chaau sin yauh; trad: 泡椒炒鮮魷) Fried Pickled Peppers with Cuttlefish… I thought I had ordered something that wasn’t spicy, but unfortunately it was. This was a bit too spicy for my two classmates and so they decided to skip. I liked it, and I had the dish all to myself, but I only seemed to have eaten all the cuttlefish. I like seafood! But the peppers I left out, as it got too spicy for my tongue. Would have taken it home, but what would I have had it with? More rice I guess.

Fried Pickled Peppers with Cuttlefish 泡椒炒鲜鱿

This is 锅爆肉 (mando: guo bao rou; canto: wo baau yuk; trad: 鍋爆肉)… meaning “pot-exploding-meat”, but in English it’s actually called Dried Fried Sweet and Sour Pork. In Cantonese style this would have been orange in colour. My male classmate pointed out that this dish is from Harbin due to the natural colour sauce. There are two northern styles apparently… Well it tastes like my dad’s version but it had a very strong vinegar taste to it. 

Dried Fried Sweet and Sour Pork 锅爆肉

Total cost came to £32.50 I think. Not bad for three dishes, a big bowl of rice to share, 2 beers and a juice! Wow. I think I should come here again and hopefully get more people to come!!

My geeky rating: 4.5/5

Good points:
– Seating is in old Chinese style… sharing a table if you can!
– Tasty northern Chinese dishes
– Inexpensive 😀

Bad points:
– Bowls are a bit worn… need new tableware
– Service is a bit slow, but it was very busy that night… And it was a Tuesday too! Blimey!

Address: 88-90 Middlesex St London E1 7EZ
Telephone: 020 7247 2200

Website: (This website hasn’t been updated for years, so expect to pay a little more than what it says on the website. There’s also a few more dishes added onto the actual menu)…

p.s. I did an hour’s presentation at work on this day… so I really deserved this dinner (^_^)v … didn’t even tweet or moan about it! That’s how good it was 😀

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