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Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家 – Affordable Chinese Restaurant in Singapore

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家 is an affordable Chinese restaurant in Singapore Chinatown. Ignore the decor, focus on the food and celebrate the low prices. This is the game plan if we have to host a big affordable Chinese dinner in the most expensive city in the world.

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家

Dong Bei Ren Jia Restaurant Location and Parking

Dong Bei Ren Jia occupies a small shophouse along Upper Cross Street. It is along the same row of buildings as the more famous Chinese restaurant Spring Court which is said to be one of the oldest Chinese restaurants in Singapore. Parking is available at the Hong Lim public carpark and Chinatown Point – both of which are just across the road. Arriving by bus is the most convenient. There is a busy bus stop (Opp Hong Lim Cplx) at the door step of the restaurant.

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家

The decor at Dong Bei Ren Jia is basic and utilitarian. The only touch of luxury is the air-conditioning. The kitchen and small dining tables are located on the ground floor (picture above).

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家

The main dining room takes up the upper level, accessed via a narrow staircase. This is the area which can accommodate big round tables for large Chinese dinners, which makes it a good place if you are thinking of hosting an affordable Chinese dinner for a large group and ambience is not important.

东北人家 Menu

As indicated by its name, the restaurant serves Chinese cuisine from the North-East region (dong bei) of China. Being an area that experiences long and cold winters, heavy hearty dishes are to be expected as well as a greater prominence of red meat on the menu as compared to the usual Chinese restaurants. For those of us less familiar with the cuisine, the Dong Bei Ren Jia restaurant menu has big glossy pictures of the dishes. Ordering was done by filling up an order form referencing the serial numbers. Here are pictures of the order form where the prices are indicated.

Dong Bei Ren Jia menu

Here are pictures of sample pages from the menu. Use the dish number and refer to the order form for the prices.

Dong Bei Ren Jia menu
Dong Bei Ren Jia menu
    

A good spread of food was served for our dinner for ten pax. Being a guest, I did my best to capture most of the dishes but may not have a good description of all of them.

Vegetable Dishes

We had a number of vegetable dishes starting with this mixed vegetable salad ($8).

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家 review

The fried egg dishes with tomato (below left) and bitter gourd ($8, below right) were humble dishes but were tasty and popular.

Fried long beans and broccoli (probably $8 each) were served in between some of the meat dishes.

Fish and Meat Dishes

There were a number of meat dishes including the fried chicken with dried chillies. This was a tasty dish. The dried chillies looked fearsome but they were not too fiery. The chicken pieces were small but tasted great.

The fried mutton (picture above) was a tasty meat dish. The pork dish (below) was quite plain. I believe the meat dishes are priced around $14 – $16 each.

A big bowl of fish soup was served. I am not sure what kind of fish was used for this dish. The fish itself had no flavours of its own but the soup was certainly delicious. Again the chillies have more bark than bite. It was not very spicy.

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家 review

Highlights of Dong Bei Ren Jia Restaurant Dinner

The two favourite items at our dinner were the spring onion pancake (葱油饼) and the pan-fried dumplings. These were devoured as soon as they hit the table. Each pancake costs $3. The pot-stickers were $8 for 10 pieces. Just order these and a bottle of Tsingtao beer ($7.50 a bottle) and one can celebrate happy hour.

Our Affordable Chinese Dinner in Singapore

It became quite obvious that one does not go to this humble Chinese restaurant for fancy Chinese cuisine. Simple, basic dishes were the most enjoyable. Here is a picture of our table.

    

Ratings:
Food: 3
Service: 3
Value: 5
Atmosphere: 3
Overall Rating: 3 TOPs 3 Tops

Ratings:
Food: 4
Service: 3
Value: 5
Atmosphere: 3
Overall Rating: 4 TOPs  4 tops

Dong Bei Ren Jia 东北人家
22 Upper Cross Street
Singapore 058334

Tel: +65 6224 5258

Opening Hours: 11 am to 11 pm

Nearby MRT Station: Chinatown

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The Ordinary Patrons | Real Dining Experience of Ordinary People
an independent Singapore food blog

Most chefs I know are happiest eating simple, unadorned good things.
— Anthony Bourdain
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