Da Ban Chinese Restaurant (大班中国风味馆) @ Jalan Zainal Abidin, Penang
A few slots away from Dynasty Tang Chinese Restaurant, there is another Chinese restaurant located at Jalan Zainal Abidin (opposite Sentral College and UMNO building), with the recent mushrooming of Chinese restaurants nearby, this area has turned into a "Little China". You can actually find a lot of Chinese restaurants operated by Chinese (people from China) and most of them are very authentic and worth of trying , namely this and this, thus, the competition is rather fierce between all these restaurants, so Da Ban Chinese Restaurant opt to offer more to their customers but they are rather pricey compared to other Chinese restaurants and they charge 10% service charge to the total bill too, which other Chinese restaurants nearby would not. I was quite satisfied with their portion nevertheless. Their main focus is on Sze Chuan cuisine too I believe, which you can find all those Sze Chuan spicy poached fish slices, Chong Qing spicy chicken etc.....
You will be served two plates of appetizers which will be charged at Rm2 per appetizer. This was their dried anchovies which tasted quite salty. The other appetizer was the ordinary steamed peanuts.
Free flow of Chinese tea is also available in this restaurant. The waiters and waitresses will constantly topping up the tea for you. Service was quite satisfying.
Shredded Meat With Hot Pickled Mustard Tuber Soup Noodles (雪菜肉丝汤面, Rm 9.90) The noodles came in an unbelievable huge portion. The sourish and acerbic soup has chunks of shredded pork meat in it while the noodles were quite springy as in the texture was quite obvious that the noodles were hand-made which something similar to Ramen. It would be even better if they could have provided us with some chilies.
Pork Porridge With Century Egg (皮蛋瘦肉粥, Rm 10.80) The portion was rather big too and the porridge was being served using a clay pot which helps to preserve the heat. There were quite a lot of pork and century egg found in the porridge. However, my friend commented that the porridge was rather tasteless and more flavor was demanded.
Chicken Porridge (虫草益气春鸡粥, Rm 10.80) Unlike the pork porridge, this chicken porridge was reasonably flavored and was full of chunks of chicken meat. Although it stated there that this porridge will be cooked using cordyceps, but the taste was very mild and it should not be easy for one to even notice that. The taste and texture were overall decent.
Sze Chuan "Ma Poh" Toufu (麻婆豆腐, Rm 12.80) This dish comes in a small portion but comes in a rather high price. The taste was rather disappointing to my liking, more saltiness would make this dish better. The spiciness was satisfying but the aroma just was not there. It lacks of the "numb" (麻) feeling which this dish supposed to have. The use of Sze Chuan pepper corns (花椒) is seen as a must in this dish but unfortunately, it was no where to be found in this dish.
Shanghai-nese Steamed Dumplings (上海小笼包, Rm 12) As we all have known and aware of the "soup"contained in Shanghai steamed dumplings as the soul of the dish, the soup in these dumplings were fairly few and insufficient. The dumplings were served to us scorching hot and there were some vinegar-ginger given to us to compliment with these dumplings.
Service Charge: Yes (10%)
Government Tax: No
Address: 84, Jalan Zainal Abidin, 10400, Penang. (Opposite Sentral College and UMNO building)
Business Hours: 12.30pm - 4.00am Closed on every Tuesday
Phone Number: 604- 227 2777