|Da Dong Bei
|11am - 8pm|
|12 Wuhouci Heng St., Opposite Southwest University of Minorities West Gate|
|028 6672 5380|
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Mark Hiew (more chengdu)|
Friends often remark that when eating out in Chengdu, they find themselves craving “something different.” After a while, they say, there’s only so much fish-fragrant eggplant they can take, and soon enough, they find themselves making a beeline for the nearest Western comfort food. But for those looking for a break from Sichuanese cooking whilst still seeking to explore “Chinese cooking”, Da Dongbei (“Big Northeast”) provides satisfying, authentic Northeastern cuisine in a foreigner-friendly, atmosphere.
Located on the second floor of a building located just opposite the west gate of the Southwest University of Nationalities, the restaurant lies right in the heart of a bustling quarter, making it an ideal refueling stop for those browsing the area.
Accustomed to non-locals, they have a special English menu with dish descriptions and special starred dishes “that foreigners especially like.” Slightly chaotic in ambiance, the motherly wait staff was extremely helpful and responsive.
Northeastern cuisine is far less spicy than its southwestern relative, something many will rejoice in, allowing for more of the ingredient’s natural flavor to come through. Well known for its boiled dumplings, the area is also famous for preserved vegetables and stews. The “Three Fresh Vegetables” dish (12 RMB) was marvelous, with soft, home-style eggplant and peppers. It was tender, savory and very filling. The “Pork and Pineapple” (18 RMB) reminded us of the sort of Chinese food available in the West, perhaps a little too sweet but irrepressibly good nevertheless. Much lighter was the Self-wrap Vegetable Dish (12 RMB), in which strips of tofu are wrapped over cucumber and lettuce and topped a spicy peanut sauce. The egg and seaweed soup was also greeted warmly, proving saltier and thicker than most local equivalents.
Given the large portions, Da Dongbei’s prices are very reasonable, with vegetable dishes ranging from 10-15 RMB, meat dishes from 18-30 RMB and cold dishes from around 6-12 RMB each. Expect to pay 20-30 per person. Cold beer is available. This place is all about lots of food and lively eating, but be warned, the tight table space and consistent crowds makes accommodating large parties difficult.