My Old Place, Aldgate, London
So there is good Chinese food in Aldgate! For the longest while I lost all hope there was anything authentic in this corner of London, but My Old Place surprised – and proved me wrong. It’s a hotspot for Szechuan cuisine and you’ll see that reflected in the clientele. It’s a local’s secret, so listen up!
My new place
There are a couple hallmarks when it comes to an amazing Chinese restaurant. Usually: rude staff, two hundred dishes on the menu, chipped dinnerware, packed/ noisy customers and dishes arriving at random intervals. You’ll find that all at My Old Place.
I haven’t seen that many Chinese restaurants in London with an actual Chinese-looking set of customers so this was a good sign. Only a few minutes wait until we got a table, and it’s the kind of place you might end up spending a while in – the food was a tad on the slow side. There’s private rooms for some of the corporate groups as you do in Aldgate.
Sweet and super times
The food was so delicious and the portions for central London are insane. We ordered four dishes for the two of us and could have easily done away with half that. We noticed quite a few tables doing the ol’ Asian over-ordering so they could get leftovers to make for a second meal.
The duck pancake dish from My Old Place was the only misfire. As the duck is deep fried, it’s done dry and not the mix of oily/ crispy that I need from one of my favourite meals. Especially the meat.
Other gifts from the deep fryer fare better. The sweet and sour pork was a table winner, and the chilli chicken and eggplant were both great (although slightly different to what we expected).
Nothing was particularly spicy of our selection, so not sure if this is blunting of the usual Szechuan spiciness or just the things we picked or that my tastebuds are building up tolerance.
At My Old Place we spent £25 per person, which felt was a fair deal when you get this much food. Service was minimal although you get the same service charge slap that you do anywhere else. However, our stomachs were content and we were oh-so-happy to have this in our neighbourhood.