Two days ago, I tried Nutrition House restaurant for lunch in Milpitas. The English name isn't even on the outside; it's tucked away in the same mall as the Ranch 99, in the corner next to the hot pot restaurant.
They specialise in Dong Bei cooking, from North Eastern China. I'm not sure what to expect since I haven't tried this type of food before.
There seem to be large quantities of hard-looking bread roles and other bread dishes across the back of the restaurant. The Dongbei specialties on the menu include a lot of meat-based dishes, some spicy dishes, a number of potato-based dishes and a large array of dumplings along with the more traditional types of dish.
I tried eggplant and potato in pork soy sauce, which tasted similar to the Cantohese dish, but with the addition of potatoes, more gravy and less chilli. Overall it was quite tasty, but heavy on the oil (not really a problem for eggplant).
Spicy fish and tofu was very simple - fish slices and tofu in red chilli oil with a small handful of sichuan peppercorns thrown in for good measure. This tastes as one would expect.
We also tried a Dongbei-style pork (fried pork with brown gravy). The pork was again nothing special - fried bits of meat in a rich, slightly sweet brown sauce.
One dish of boiled dumplings with chive, egg, shrimp and what appeared to be some meat were delicious. They have far more dumplings on the menu, so next time I will try several varieties.
Finally, an order of mixed vegetables was just standard - green veggies, mushrooms, carrot slices etc. I suppose I deserved that for thinking it would be anything different!
I would like to go back, try some of their breads, and order more from the Dongbei menu next time.
However, I'm in need of advice as to what to order, and which Dongbei dishes would be the ones to look out for! Can someone help?
PS. It was very very crowded at lunch time, and the entire clientelle was Mandarin-speaking.