Thursday, January 14, 2010

2 Birds 1 Stone: Dong Bei Ren 东北人 (Shanghai)

After my mini dumpling crawl, we hailed a cab to the Bund for the Huangpu Riverboat Tour. The Bund is currently under construction, so traffic was a mess! We arrived at the Bund Pier at 1:45 pm when the cruise ship was ready to set sail. We threw 100 yuan a person to the ticket agent and rushed toward the boat. I didn’t even bother to negotiate with the ticket agent to lower the ticket price per person. I was most likely over charged because I read that most cruises cost ~45 yuan a person. At least we didn’t waste another hour waiting for the next cruise.

Oh well, the cruise was worth the cost. We were able to kill 2 birds with one stone by seeing both Shanghai’s past and future in this short 45 minute cruise on the Huangpu River. As the boat sailed up and down the Huangpu River, we were able to see the historical landmarks of the Bund on the western shore and the modern skyscrapers of China’s financial center in Pudong on the eastern shore.

After the cruise we spent the rest of the day walking through the Fresh Concession. We decided to kill more birds in one day by trying Northern Chinese cuisine for the first time at Dong Bei Ren.

Dong Bei Ren is a colorfully decorated restaurant with wooden structural beams and brown bamboo furniture, filled with loud, happy people eating and drinking. The warm, welcoming environment, along with the comforting Northern Chinese stews and braised dishes created the perfect location for dinner after a long day of touring the city.

We ordered:

Deep Fried Pork With Sweet and Sour Sauce - I don’tlike Sweet and Sour Pork in the states, but this was the best sweet and sour deep fried pork I have eaten. The pork is lightly fried. It was not too oily, but perfectly crispy. The sauce was sweet, but not too thick and ugly red like how you find in the states. It was perfect.
Deep Fired Pork With Sweet and Sour Sauce Assorted Sour Sauerkraut Pot
Assorted Sour Sauerkraut Pot - Pickled cabbaged soup with tofu, pork, vermicelli noodles. It was warm, a little sour. The soup was great over rice. It was perfect for the cold weather.

Stir Fried Three Vegetables - Eggplant, Onion and Green pepper, swimming in oil. It was okay, but too oily for my taste.
Stir Fried Three Vegetables Pan Cakes
Baked Corn Pancake - To me, this was a tasteless pancake.

Sweeten Bean Paste Baked Corn Pancake - I liked the bean pasted filling, but my American tongue wanted more sugar in the corn Pancake.

I enjoyed my first experience of northern cuisine. Because we were pressured for time, I needed to maximize my experience and diversify your meals by killing multiple birds with one stone.
Dong Bei Ren's Menu Interior of Dong Bei Ren
Dong Bei Ren - South Shaanxi Road Branch:
2F, No. 1, South Shaanxi Road, Luwan District (near Middle Yan'an Road)

Dong Bei Ren - Panyu Branch:
No. 46, Panyu Road, Changning District (the intersection with West Yan'an Road)


Dong Bei Ren - Shuicheng Branch:
2F, Rutai Hotel, No. 555, Shuicheng Road, Changning District (the intersection with Maotai Road)


Dong Bei Ren - Changshou Road Branch:
No. 360, Changshou Road, Putuo District (near Changde Road)


  1. I am a huge fan of sweet and sour pork (even the ones with the red sauce), although I always order sauce separate. I always heard that sweet and sour pork was an American addition, but I guess I am wrong. I can't eat fatty/oily foods without feeling like I want to die an hour later. I'm surprised you didn't look for pan-fried chicken or hand-cut noodles--maybe that's just what I'd look for.


  2. There will be a post on hand-made noodles. Look out! You should read Fortune Cookie Chronicles. It's an awesome book about the history of Chinese food in America.


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