New things to try at Dong Bei

We all know how much I love Dong Bei’s dumplings. I love it so much that after discovering how to go back there, I’ve been back three more times AND going back again tomorrow. It’s easy to see why I love this hole in the wall dumpling place: their fresh dumplings are simply the best I’ve ever tasted. I love it so much that I almost never order anything else. Good thing that I brought over friends who wanted to try new things.

Dong Bei Fried Tofu

Discovery #1: Fried Tofu
I wouldn’t have known about this hadn’t Ming wanted to try something fried. We also ordered the fried eggplant along with this, but the eggplant soaked all the oil and it wasn’t as pleasant as the tofu. The tofu sandwiched flavorful ground pork, fried then slathered with yummy sauce. One order has about 10 pieces of ‘tofu sandwich’ and costs Php100.

Dong Bei Wong LoKat Herbal Tea

Discovery #2: Wong LoKat Herbal Tea
I saw the boxes of Wong LoKat stacked in a corner during previous visits, but never bothered to ask about it. Last Saturday, when we went back, our server offered us this herbal tea, saying it’s like C2 iced tea. We decided to try it, and we were presented with this red cans of tea, glistening with moisture since it cam straight out of the refrigerator. The ice cold tea was very refreshing and was quite tasty. Juned says it tastes like it had Chrysanthemum, while Melo and I agreed it tasted faintly like it has arnibal, the syrup used for making sago’t gulaman. Chrysanthemum or arnibal, I love this tea!

Discovery #3: Seafood noodles
Due to Arpee’s dietary restrictions, he wasn’t able to taste the fried tofu. To compensate, he ordered the Seafood Noodles. The broth has this subtle flavor bordering on bland. It’s perfect because you can taste the ingredients. The noodles are fresh (as always), and the shrimp does taste fresh. Another winner!

Dumplings and Noodles at Dong Bei Restaurant

My apologies for the previous posting of this entry. This was originally scheduled to be published last Monday, but for some reason, WordPress didn’t publish it. Then when it was published, I find out that the rest of the entry has disappeared. Here’s the complete entry.

I wouldn’t have discovered Dong Bei if I hadn’t joined Ivan Man Dy’s Big Binondo Food Wok. Tucked in one of Binondo’s not-so-busy streets, you wouldn’t really think to venture into this area, thinking the restaurant serving the best dumplings in Chinatown can be found here.

Dong Bei Pork and Kutchay Dumplings
Dong Bei Pork and Kutchay Dumplings

Dong Bei restaurant, unlike most Chinese restaurants who mainly serve Cantonese dishes, specialize in Northern Chinese cuisine. Customers come in for their specialty: fresh handmade dumplings. The dumplings are made right then and their by their crew. Though they also freeze dumplings for storage, the dumplings served are cooked fresh.

Eric, my travel buddy for this mini Manila re-discovery trip, and I shared a mixed plate of pork and kutchay (chives) dumplings. The dumplings are served with a sauce made with soy sauce (?), vinegar and chopped garlic, with chilli on the side. Not the typical soysauce + kalamansi sauce we’re used to, but their sauce was good and matched their dumpling very well.

Dong Bei Kutchay Dumplings
You can actually see the ingredients of their dumplings!

Halfways through our plate, we realize that Dong Bei also make their own fresh “handiwork” noodles. Intrigued, we decided to try the noodles. Calling a server, we asked for their bestseller. She recommends Soy Bean Sauce, which she said is “like spaghetti.” We took her word and placed our order.

Dong Bei Soy Bean Sauce Handiwork Noodles
Soy Bean Sauce Handiwork Noodles

As the server said, the sauce is served on the side along with long strips of cucumbers. What an odd combination, I thought. But it has been a pretty hot day; the cool cucumbers would be great to eat. After a round of photos, we quickly mixed the noodles with the sauce and cucumbers and took out first taste. It was great! Somehow, the combination of the noodles, the cucumber and the pork cooked with soy bean worked really well together. I’m definitely ordering this again when I come back to Dong Bei.

A plate of 14 pieces of dumplings and the bowl of handiwork noodles costs Php 100. Ice cold cans of cola costs Php 25 each. Our bill amounted to Php 250. At Php 125, this has been a pretty great meal.

Dong Bei Restaurant
642 Yuchengco St (formerly Nueva)
Binondo, Manila

From the Binondo Church, walk along Ongpin street (where the big purple fire trucks are). Turn left at the first corner and cross the intersection. Dong Bei is at your right.