My Old Place opened in 2011 in Spitalfields, offering a somewhat Sichuan-oriented menu in an informal setting. The menu is vast and includes plenty of Cantonese staples as well as some Sichuan dishes. A few of the dumpling dishes are made fresh to order by a lady working in a little booth to the side of the bar.
Pork dumplings arrived piping hot and had reasonable texture. They weren’t the delicate, neatly folded creations that you might get at somewhere like Din Tai Fung, but had a hearty filling and were good, with vinegar provided on the side that you could add to your own taste (13/20). Sichuan prawns had nicely cooked prawns with Sichuan peppercorns providing their characteristic numbing spiciness (13/20).
Gai lan stir-fried with garlic was cooked well, the pieces of Chinese broccoli not as tender and delicate as you might encounter at a flashier place, but entirely pleasant nonetheless (13/20). The only let down was the sliced pork with chillies, which suffered from rather overcooked, and not particularly tender pork. This was stir fried with a few vegetables, and was just about edible but not particularly good (10/20). Singapore noodles were much better, the texture of the vermicelli being fine and were capably cooked. This is a dish that sometimes can end up with hard, overly crisp noodles, but these were just fine (13/20). Egg fried rice was also pleasant, though not in the league of the version at, say, Royal China (12/20).
We drank jasmine tea and rather over-ordered on food, as the portions are generous. However they will happily pack up anything that you can’t finish. Service was fairly basic but other than a little difficulty getting attention, it was efficient enough, if a little light on charm. The bill came to £35 a head, and if you ordered a little less but drank some beer then a typical cost per person might come to a similar amount, perhaps £40. Other than the pork dish the food was quite good, and the restaurant at this lunch sitting was packed with Chinese diners. This is an old school kind of Chinese restaurant rather than one of the modern breed of higher-end (and pricier) Chinese places, such as the Yauatcha branch that is not far away. It was entirely pleasant and I would happily come back if in the area.