We never talk about chinese much here, so I'll comment on Beijing, which is the last in a series of Chinese fish restaurants as you walk west on La Gauchetiere from St Laurent.
My friend from out of town and I were planning for Vietnamese at the Imperial, but it was closed, and we wanted something other than Pho, so we ended up there. I've actually been before because its usually good. I'd be interested in hearing about those others. Their "lobster festival" signs scare me...Maybe that's just summers on Cape Cod, where "Lobster Festival" means "tourist trap?"
Overall, we were pleased, and it made a nice contrast to Sunday's visit to LPDC. We tried ordering two small soups, clams with black beans, scallops with pea pods, and honey walnut chicken. The waiter explained that they were out of pea pods, suggested scallops with mixed veggies. He also explained that each soup was about 3 bowls. We dropped one soup and ended up with a pork and watercress, which was delicious. The broth was excellent, lots and lots of deep flavors, and we got 4 or 5 of those little chinese food soup bowls out of the small. The clams were also very good; in the shell, with a black bean sauce with garlic and lord knows what else. It wasn't a black bean paste, thats for sure. Lots of flavor, a bit of spiciness.
The main dishes weren't bad, but they weren't great. The scallops were very tasty, but there were too few of them stirred in with the veggies. The chicken needed something, and given a small bout of something earlier in the day I didn't want to pile hot pepper on it. (The walnuts were great, though).
They give you a stack of orange slices with the fortune cookies, which is a nice touch.
Thanks for the report, John. Have been meaning to get to the Beijing for a while now. The northern Chinese dishes are said to be its strong point.
The reason so many Chinese restaurants serve oranges gratis is that they need the peels for several classic dishes. I've been at Chinese restos in NYC and San Francisco where the staff brought plates of unpeeled tangerines and then discretely whisked away the peels as soon as the customers had removed them. Ingenious, really: the customers leave thinking they've been comped a fruit course and the staff gets someone to unsuspectingly do their work for them.
Are we to understand that you actually ate at LPDC? What'd you have and how'd you like it?