5 biscuits, 2 fish ("nutrition house") in milpitas. generally good.
after seeing the post, i was very curious about this place, so i went with my dad and dongbei friend. at 5:25 pm on a sunday, there was already a line out the door. wallace's post is accurate. it's packed, inside and out. hours are indeed posted as 6am to 2am!
no one in the crowd is there for atmosphere, so big surprise, the food is pretty good. the lamb hot pot was rich and savory, if a tad mild. the baby greens were bright and crisp. the steamed lamb dumplings were actually very good (both filling and wrapper) except that i'm convinced we were given pork by mistake. i love lamb dumplings, but since these were so good, it wasn't a prob for me, but i'm not a muslim! somehow, the only real letdown was one of the most iconic dongbei dishes, green pepper with pork.
apparently, these are supposed to be moderately spicy peppers stuffed with ground pork. what was served was roasted peppers covered with simple sauteed julienned pork. the shortcut is obvious, and in my opinion, fatal to the dish. the pork and peppers had no opportunity to fuse their flavors. additionally, the peppers were like a box of chocolates. most were totally mild, even sweet. but a few seemed like full on serranos, perfectly indistinguishable and inextinguishable. whew!
anyway, it's worth going, but be prepared to wait a bit or go at odd hours. personally, i'd rather go at odd hours. the service is overwhelmed at sunday dinner (they forgot our rice even). and my impression is that their simpler, stewier, doughier offerings are their true strength.
they need to improve their organization, but with naught but a 2am to 6am window to reflect on how, it doesn't seem they have the time or energy to do it. the crowds of patrons suggest that for the time being at least, they won't have to.
There hasn't seem to be too much talk about this place. I've gone to it several times and it seems that recently the crowd levels have really gone down. No more long lines waiting, even in lunch time. I've heard there has been a couple of ownership changes which may be the reason for the lost in quality. Or it could be just that the new-ness of a Dongbei style restaurant, which I believe it is one of the first of its kind here, is wearing off.
My recent visit has focused on their rice and noodles. It is unfortunate that most restaurants cannot do a good fried rice. The green pepper and beef fried rice I tried here are average and not worth getting again. Top Cafe has one of the best fried rice in the area.
The Da Lu Noodle, which is a home style Shandong noodle dish is done decently here. The soy based broth and ingredients are good, but the not so Q store bought noodles brings it down a level.
The Cao Ma Mian is a lame attempt at the original, with sour tasting broth and not much excitement in either broth or ingredients. It comes with the same bad noodles as the other noodle dishes.
Anyone has any good items that they like at this place?
Recent visit to Nutrition House:
Any updates on Nutrition House? I stopped by yesterday to pick-up the take-out menu. It is two sheets (green and yellow), printed front and back in small typeface, and has gotta be one of the biggest Chinese menus I've run across. The green one seems to be mostly Dongbei dishes, while the yellow one is all over the place.
496 Barber Ln, Milpitas, CA 95035