Dong Bei Dumplings and Xiao Long Bao in Binondo, Manila

Dong Bei's Affordable Xiao Long Bao in Binondo, Manila
Dong Bei's Affordable Xiao Long Bao in Binondo, Manila
Following up on our Binondo Food Trip - P250 Challenge, the next food stop after Sincerity Restaurant (where we had some Oyster Cake and Fried Chicken) is Dong Bei Dumplings and Xiao Long Bao!

When I blogged about Tasty Dumplings back in 2013, I received some recommendations regarding a good dumpling place in Binondo, as well. This happened to be Dong Bei, and although it has been long due, I finally was able to try the dumplings there! Hence, let me grab this opportunity to thank those who recommend me to try it!

Locating Dong Bei Dumpling
Dong Bei is located in Yuchengco Street. You may walk by Ongpin Street (the street on the right when you are facing the Historic Binondo Church), and turn left at the intersection. The signage isn't prominent, so you need to be keen to spot it. In order to help you out, here's a snapshot of the place, shot a few meters away from the store.
Dong Bei Dumplings in Yuchengco Street of Binondo, Manila
Dong Bei Dumplings in Yuchengco Street of Binondo, Manila

Fascination with the Process
Just to share something personal with you, I have been growing a fascination with cooking and anything related to the process of coming up with a dish lately. Being nosy as I may be from time to time, I decided to check out how they make the dumplings.
The Raw Dumplings of Dong Bei - hmmmm, looks amazing!
Unfortunately, I wasn't able to witness the entire process of making it, since they already have a meat mixture (the raw meat filling) on hand. Anyway, what they practically do is to wrap them up and shape them cutely (as you see in the photo). Oh, by the way, you may order raw dumplings for take out at P200 for 31 pieces!

Since we were on a food trip, we needed to try it on the spot! Nobody thought of ordering something for take-out, though.

Dong Bei Dumplings || P120 for 14 pieces (Chives and Pork) || P120 for 10 pieces (Shrimps)
The famous dumplings of Dong Bei Dumpling Store
The famous dumplings of Dong Bei Dumpling Store
Observably, the dumpling wrapper used was considerably light and thin unlike that of a Japanese Gyoza which can be one of the differences against the Chinese dumplings. The size of these dumplings is almost as large as the circle formed when you make an O sign using your hand.

Dong Bei's Steamed Dumplings
Dong Bei Dumplings at only P100 for 14 pieces!
As for the taste, well it wasn't as spectacular as I first expected, but it wasn't bad at all. Perhaps, I am not just a dumpling-person. What I noted about the taste was the strong flavor coming from the herbs and veggies (i.e. chives and celery). Most of my food trip buddies enjoyed the dumplings, and I think I somewhat did too!

Now, here's something that made us all excited - The Xiao Long Bao! I don't know if this a bad thing or not, but my first taste of a Xiao Long Bao was exquisite causing my benchmark to be high (unfortunately, I forgot the name of the place where I had it).

Steamed Xiao Long Bao || P110 for 6 pieces
Steamed Xiao Long Bao of Dong Bei Dumplings
Steamed Xiao Long Bao of Dong Bei Dumplings in Binondo, Manila
Being delicate as it is supposed to be, the Xiao Long Bao of Dong Bei must be handled with care. Some of us got so excited that they perforated the wrapper causing all the goodness to spill away, literally. Again, be gentle when you munch on these.

Dong Bei's Affordable Xiao Long Bao
A Closer Look of Dong Bei's Affordable Xiao Long Bao
As mentioned, I have a high benchmark when it comes to a Xiao Long Bao, and this resulted to a shallow appreciation of the Dong Bei's Xiao Long Bao. I am not quite sure, but it felt like it came in too far from what I had before. However, when I try to isolate this experience, I think they were decent and good enough  as evidenced by my friends' reaction and review. The taste is close to the dumpling, but this has a more potent veggie and meaty flavor, plus the "soup inside" is a nice comforting food experience.

For food trip purposes, I still believe that you should have this in your must-trys, as well as the dumplings, especially when you haven't had them before. It will be a great adventure!

Here's a photo of my food trip buddies! I encourage you to engage in a food trip as well with your friends! 
DLSU BSA 110 Students - Binondo Food Trip
My Binondo Food Trip Buddies - the biggest I had so far
As you may notice, the place is in no way grand; however, this just adds to the adventure. Also, this store can accommodate approximately 14 people.

Wrapping Up
I wouldn't say that I had a magnificent experience with the dumplings and Xiao Long Bao. In fact, I still yet to find the best ones around the Metro. However, Dong Bei definitely qualifies as a food trip material

Budget Needed:
  • P36 each for a group of six (6) people to enjoy 2 pieces of dumplings and 1 Xiao Long Bao. However, if you want to really be full, the budget will raise to 
  • At least P120 each for two (2) persons to enjoy a fried rice and 7 pieces of dumplings.

Dong Bei Dumplings
Location: 642 Yuchengo Street, Binondo, Manila
Store Hours: 10:00 am to 8:00 pm daily (according to one of the staff there)

Prices indicated here in this blog are as of 6/10/14

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