New Nutrition House (新五餅二魚) in Milpitas
Apparently since the successful launch of The Nutrition House Dongbei (northeastern) Chinese restaurant, there has been some ownership shuffle. The place was quitely renamed to “New” Nutrition House, but the menu stayed largely the same. It serves northeastern Chinese comfort food such as dumplings and noodles along with less often seen casseroles featuring hearty ingredients such as potatoes, bean thread noodles, and various types of meats.
The portions here are quite large and is usually enough for two meals. After some disappointments with the entree dishes (Gan Pong Chicken was greasy and sweet and almost same as General Tso’s Chicken, as opposed to the authentic Shandong version), we decided to try some rice and noodles.
Good fried rice requires very good wok skills and the control of fire temperature. It is a common dish but not one that is done well by most restaurants. In the old days, when a new chef applied to work at the restaurant, the owner usually asks him to cook a fried rice dish to see how good he is. The expectation is that if he can cook the fried rice well enough, then he should be well-versed in other stir-fried dishes as well.
The green pepper beef fried rice was not a commonly found fried rice dish and we decided to try it. The rice was slightly more moist than what I expected from good fried rice. Good wok work would of rendered the rice slightly more dry. Top Cafe in Milpitas does a very good version of the Yang Zho fried rice. The ingredients consisted mainly of diced green pepper and beef as expected, with sprinkles of diced carrots and onions and the obligatory eggs. The beef was tender but not very flavorful. Overall it is just an ok item, there are better versions of fried rice elsewhere (though one with green pepper and beef may not be found as common). (Grade: B-)
Another item tried was Da Lu Mian (打滷麵; Da Lu Noodle). This is a common home-style noodle dish found in Shandong and other Northern Chinese provinces. It mainly consists of pork strips and eggs in a thick corn starched broth over noodles.
The topping of noodles and eggs in a soy based broth works very well. There’s also julienned bamboo shoots and carrots as well as woodear mushrooms. The flavor is not overly complex, and is a simple soy based flavor with woodear mushroom undertones. The consistency of the broth is between a dry style noodle such as Zha Jiang Mian and a soupy style noodle such as Niu Rou Mian or Cao Ma Mian. The thick broth coats the noodle that’s just beneath quite well. However, the noodles at Nutrition House are not handmade and suffers premature limpness midway through the meal. (Grade: B)
Overall, it is decent version, but I’m hoping there are better versions out there. As this is not a common noodle found in restaurants, I have not found a “best” version yet. I’m suspecting Darda, which also serves this noodle, may have a better version, as well as any Korean-Chinese restaurants that servers it. The reason is that Da Lu Mian is a popular item in Korea at Chinese restaurants. If you’ve tried a good version here in the SF bay area, let us know also.
New Nutrition House
(Milpitas Square; 99 Ranch Shopping Center)496 Barber Lane
Milpitas, CA 95035