The particular Changkat Thambi Dollah street in Pudu nested much Teo Chew restaurants that serves the usual Teo Chew porridge. Take a walk along the street and you’ll find Dong Bei located at the end of the shophouses. In Chinese, Dong Bei literally means Northern East, which refer to the northern east part of China (Zhongguo Dongbei), geographically bordered from Russia, Korea and Mongolia. The region consists of three provinces of Heilongjiang, Jilin, and Liaoning which also gave it the name of Dongbei Shansheng (Three Northeast Provinces), with Harbin, Changchun and Shenyang are the provincial capitals.
Owned by a Chinese family whom had since migrated to KL, Dong Bei opened its door to the public in 1992 and became the pioneer of authentic Chinese restaurant in Malaysia. Unlike other similar Chinese restaurants in the area, Dong Bei exudes a humble and simplistic aura; dining furniture with typical Chinese decors. No fancy clothed waitress, no artistic dishware.
It is advisable to bring along at least one dining companion who can read Chinese as the menu is printed entirely in Chinese and no pictures (!). Else, request for the daughter of the owner who can speak a little English for translation or just let her recommend some dishes to you such as this Liang Ban Gan Do Fu. A cold vegetarian dish or salad, it’s made using home made cold beancurd sheet (not available in Malaysia), then sliced into long, thin strips and mixed with coriander, chilli oil, julienned cucumbers and garlic. Despite a bit oily, it makes a good appetizer with cucumber strips gave it a crunchy sensation.
A simple stir-fried wood ear fungus (Chong Shao Mu Er) that uses imported wood ear fungus from China which are thicker and darker than local ones, hence it’s crunchier. I don’t remember if there’s any evidence of wok hei but it’s one of our favourite dish of the night.
The pork ribs were smaller than usual but still very delectable. Cooked the salt pepper style (Jiao Yen Xiao Pai Gu), every pieces of the ribs were succulent although a little salty. Perfect to go with white rice.
Don’t get freaked out when you saw this dish as the spiciness has been reduced. Served in a large stainless steel bowl (another surprise!), the Ma La Chicken (Ma La Ji Chi Guo) portion is definitely meant to be shared. I got to admit, after I’m used to biting in numerous Sichuan peppercorns that were literally wrapping the meat, my tongue can actually feel the citrusy taste of the peppercorns rather than just spicy feeling.
Will I be back? Definitely yes as there are many other dishes on the menu I’ve yet to try such as lamb skewers and fish in spicy oil. If you’re an adventurous eater, you won’t be disappointed. But do remember to bring cash as they doesn’t accept credit cards.
Restoran Dong Bei
No. 280, Jalan Changkat Thambi Dollah,
off Jalan Pudu, 55100
Tel: 03-2148 7694
Business hour: 12pm – 12am daily