Monday, 3 August 2015

Beijing No 1 – An unscrupulous restaurant in Singapore

Entrance to the unscrupulous restaurant. 
Yesterday, my friend I went to Beijing No 1, a fine dining Chinese cuisine establishment at Marina Bay Sands Singapore that specializes in Beijing and local delicacies. Beijing No 1 is located on the same floor with other Singapore’s famous restaurants such a Waku Ghin, Imperial Treasure and Long Chim.

We were supposed to go to Imperial Treasure, having made a booking but at the very last minute, my friend and I decided to give Beijing No 1 a try as we have tried Imperial Treasure. Besides that, I wasn’t in any mood for anything else except Chinese food.  

After taking our seats and checking out the menu, we’ve decided that we are going to have lobster noodle with a whole roast Peking duck. Before I write further, I would like to make a mention here that staffs in the restaurant don’t wear name tags with their names but were allocated numbers instead (something very common in mainland China where staffs are employed like a battalion in an army), so I won’t be able to name who and who.

In their menu, there are two types of lobsters – Australian and Local. My friend and I are not fond of Australian lobster as we can easily have them during our stay in Sydney or Melbourne. Thus, when the waitress took our order, I asked what type of local lobster do they have and what are the sizes. We were told they have Boston lobster and it is an 800gram one. Great! An ideal size for two of us and that is the average size that we often have at Majestic Seafood at Gardens by the Bay.

The lobster and other dishes that we ordered.
We ordered a classic Beijing cold dish – steamed chicken in chili oil as well and when it was served, my friend and I were praising the deliciousness of the dish. However, our joy was short-lived. When the lobster noodle was served, I started to frown.

“I don’t think the lobster is 800gram” I said. My friend nodded in agreement.

And the lobster's claw is nowhere to be seen!

Do you think this lobster is 800gram?
I asked for the restaurant manager and complained that I do not think the lobster is 800gram. I showed her the pictures from my iPhone of cooked lobsters that weight around the same. The manager then went to check with the kitchen. When she returns, she insists that the one served to us was 800gram but due to their cooking methods, we do not see ours as big as usual and she mentioned that she’ll give us some discounts.

A close up photo with my hand for comparison.
I told her that I am not complaining for the sake of discount but I just want a lobster that is true to its weight. She mentioned that she’ll get another 800gram lobster from the kitchen to show us. Not long later, a chef came out with a live lobster which I believe in around 800gram but it is so much bigger than the one served to us when after factoring in that the size will shrink after cooking. Another thing that we realized is that the lobster that the chef showed us is actually a local lobster (green in color) but the chef insists too that it is a Boston lobster.

We did not make any further huh hah at the restaurant but in our mind, it is set that Beijing No 1 is not an honest establishment. At the end, when the bill came, we were billed for 700gram. Regardless, the damage is done. We will never return to the place again and we urge our friends not to patronize such an unscrupulous restaurant. And, please share it with your friends too. Boycott this place – Beijing No 1(北京一号), L2-03, Casino Atrium, 2 Marina Bay Sands, Singapore. 

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