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Best Dim Sum restaurant in Mpls/St. Paul, MN

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Les Mar 31, 2006 02:04 PM

What is the best Dim Sum restaurant in MSP?

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  1. j
    Josh Resnik RE: Les Mar 31, 2006 04:32 PM

    Mandarin Kitchen!

    It is in Bloomington on Lyndale and 87th.

    10 Replies
    1. re: Josh Resnik
      d
      Danny RE: Josh Resnik Mar 31, 2006 06:59 PM

      I've not been too excited by my last two visits to Mandarin Kitchen. It has the potential to be absolutely incredible every time you go, and they do have things you won't find anywhere else.

      But, between the trek to Bloomington, the long waits (despite reservations), the cramped space, and the spotty service - I've found myself saying, "This place isn't worth the aggrivation, when the dim sum is almost as good at Yangtze."

      I'm also curious about what's going on at Bui's, but haven't tried it yet.

      1. re: Danny
        a
        Alice RE: Danny Apr 1, 2006 01:59 AM

        I agree about Mandarin: I think it is marginally better than Bui but the wait is so so so so long and it is so crowded, I just can't take it.
        I love Bui. I think you are better off going at "peak hours" like 11-1 because there is higher turnover of dishes, hence less mushiness as described earlier on this board.
        I used to love Yangtze, but the last time we went it was abysmal, particuarly the very un-freshness of the dishes.

        1. re: Alice
          c
          Chris Mitra RE: Alice Apr 4, 2006 08:16 AM

          Yes, that was my mushiness that I had described at Bui's. :)

          I don't think it was because of the turnover -- our special-ordered beef noodles (hot out of the kitchen) were also gooey.

          Maybe we just hit an off day. But it was still good enough for us to try again. Like I said, the buns were terrific.

          I agree with all the previous statements about Mandarin Kitchen. Potential to be great, but lots of hassle. Ironically, I like everything at Mandarin *except* the buns. :)

          1. re: Chris Mitra
            a
            Alice RE: Chris Mitra Apr 4, 2006 11:16 AM

            I gather you live way up NE of the cities, if you are ever feeling lazy and hungry for dim sum, try My Le Hoa (not sure of the spelling) in Little Canada. Not great, but adequate and I think it is close to you.

            1. re: Alice
              m
              minka RE: Alice May 30, 2007 01:36 PM

              I know that it's one year later, but in case someone doing a search ...

              We used to frequent Yangtze since we lived 5 mins away. Then we discovered Mandarin Kitchen and starting trekking there even though it's 10 miles away. Just a couple of months ago, a friend who knows both places wanted to have dim sum without the fuss and went back to Yangtze because of convenience. She told us that they had hired a new chef and that the dim sum was better than ever … a match of MK. We went to try, and although it was much improved, it was still a bit less fresh and interesting than MK.

              A couple of weeks ago we wanted to introduce friends to MK, and when we arrived there, the place was completely gutted … closed down for renovations. So we went back to Yangtze. WOW … what a difference the two months made. The new chef is finally making all the difference. The carts come super fresh, piping hot in fact. The portions are a bit smaller and easier to handle. The wrappers are really light. The fillings are super crisp, clean and not quite as processed … you can see the chunks of plump shrimp (too many places overcook the seafood) and scallops, nice woodear mushrooms in the shark fin dumplings, and great Taiwanese style steamed dumplings. In our opinion, it has now surpassed all other dim sum places we’ve been to. And it’s only 5-mins away from home … don’t know if that’s necessarily a good thing though as we’ll be tempted to go every week!

              Now’s the time to give Yangtze another try.

              1. re: minka
                bluesman13 RE: minka May 31, 2007 01:47 PM

                any reports on the food at Yangtze other than Dim Sum?

                The last few I went there (at least 1 year ago), the food was horrible - lots of filler, large prices, etc.

                1. re: minka
                  t
                  tex888 RE: minka Jul 2, 2007 11:52 PM

                  Thanks for the update on both Yangtze and MK minka.

                  When I was growing up in NJ/NY, my parents would always gossip with their other Hong Kong friends about which chef left which restaurant, etc.

                  Somehow, with yum cha (dim sum), the chef is truly important in elevating a place beyond mediocrity. You really can tell the difference if they switch dim sum chefs or if he's on vacation.

                  Like the difference between baking and cooking, a restaurant that may have a good dinner service, may have terrible dim sum. The skills needed for the two meals are quite different.

                2. re: Alice
                  bob s RE: Alice May 30, 2007 06:18 PM

                  Also in case people are doing a search -- My Le Hoa is no longer in business.

                  1. re: bob s
                    j
                    jenniegirl RE: bob s Mar 17, 2008 09:33 PM

                    I think Grand Shanghai is the pits. It's ooey gooey chowmein and just substandard Chinese food. It's two blocks away, so I'd like to like it, but it's just nasty.

                    1. re: bob s
                      k
                      kimma RE: bob s Apr 10, 2008 09:12 AM

                      Nooo- say its not true!

          2. k
            KCMPLS RE: Les Jun 12, 2007 09:18 PM

            Grand Shanghai in St Paul has dim sum on Saturdays and Sundays. They have the best Bao in the TC area IMO, get them pan fried. Also good are smoked fish, mock goose, vegetable and pork wonton soup. Ask for the dim sum menu. I've been going there on a regular basis for a while and I have never had anything bad. For an authentic experience, although not everyone likes these, try an order of "You Tiao" ( fried dough that's about 12 inches long), and wash it down with a bowl of sweet soy milk.

            They are currently remodeling their storefront so it's easy to miss. They are located one block east of Green Mill.

            1328 Grand Ave
            St Paul, MN 55105
            (651) 698-1901

            6 Replies
            1. re: KCMPLS
              g rote RE: KCMPLS Jun 12, 2007 09:20 PM

              Have we really gone this far in a Best MSP Dim Sum post with nary a mention of Jun Bo. Really?

              1. re: g rote
                k
                KTFoley RE: g rote Jun 12, 2007 10:13 PM

                Hey now, the first half of this thread was conducted in the sping of 2006 -- Jun Bo hadn't even opened.

              2. re: KCMPLS
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                tingerbell RE: KCMPLS Jun 12, 2007 10:20 PM

                i think grand shanghai is close, my friend drove by last week and they had a for lease sign on the window. OMG I love You Tiao, i never knew wht it was called in chinese, but i love it in congee or dipped in coffee( strong with condense milk).

                1. re: tingerbell
                  k
                  KCMPLS RE: tingerbell Jun 13, 2007 07:11 AM

                  Grand Shanghai is open. I was just there last weekend and the waitress told me they were remodeling the doors and windows. Inside it was business as usual. Maybe the best thing to do is to call ahead before you go there.

                2. re: KCMPLS
                  diesel RE: KCMPLS Jun 13, 2007 08:25 AM

                  Oh, so many fond memories of you tiao and dou jiang (soy milk) while breakfasting in China. Thanks for the tip - I didn't realize you could get them here!

                  1. re: KCMPLS
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                    skecher RE: KCMPLS Nov 6, 2010 08:23 PM

                    well i just realized how old these posts were, but we just went to grand shanghai and it is definately not a dim sum that i have ever been to. on a scale of 1-10 for food i give it a 2 for chinese and there was no dim sum on carts going around or anything... they may serve some dim sum entrees on the menu, but it wasn't a "dim sum" restaurant at all. basically chinese with mediocre service.

                  2. bob s RE: Les Jul 4, 2007 08:54 PM

                    Places mentioned in this post:

                    -----
                    Little Szechuan - West End
                    5377 16th Street, St. Louis Park, MN 55416

                    Jun Bo
                    7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

                    Mandarin Kitchen
                    8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

                    Yangtze Chinese Restaurant
                    5625 Wayzata Blvd, Minneapolis, MN 55416

                    Grand Shanghai Restaurant
                    1328 Grand Ave, Saint Paul, MN 55105

                    1. m
                      minnmike RE: Les Nov 25, 2007 02:56 PM

                      A friend of mine visited me in Boston I took her to one of many resturants that serve dim sum. We had a great well priced dining experiance. Boston has a huge Chinese community and many places that serve dim sum. We went to Mandarin Kitchen on a Sunday to have good dim sum but instead got very limited choices of dishes that were not up to par. To top it off the prices were in excess and a 15% tip was automatically added to the bill without consent. When I asked the cashier about the tip he responded "we add 15%". We were a party of 2. All in all I would not recommend this place for dim sum. Perhaps they have better meals and service during non dim sum hours

                      4 Replies
                      1. re: minnmike
                        k
                        kimma RE: minnmike Apr 10, 2008 09:29 AM

                        I used to be a big fan of My Lee Hoa in Little Canada, but now I live in Boston, and I think the taste of the food in Chinatown is horrible. Boston's Chinatown is the 3rd largest in the US- but I have yet to find a place that has salt and pepper calamari, Chinese broccoli with oyster sauce, good shark's fin dumplings, taro balls, AND awesome chile oil like other dim sum restaurants do (like My Lee Hoa did). Sure, they have all the standards, the sticky rice, the shui mai, ect- but most places in Chinatown in Boston have such a limited fare of my favorites- its hard to get everything I want at one place. The other thing that kills me is that most places (not China Pearl) only have either Tabasco sauce or commercial Sriracha sauce- my dumplings deserve better. As to gratuity- that is my favorite part about dim sum, everywhere I go the tip is included. Another big difference between MN and MA is that in MA, due to the high cost of living, it is expected that everyone tips 20% not 15%- so whenever we go out to eat and there is a 15 or 18% gratuity we always throw down a little extra.

                        1. re: kimma
                          k
                          KTFoley RE: kimma Apr 10, 2008 09:52 AM

                          As noted above, My Le Hoa has been closed for a year.

                          1. re: KTFoley
                            The Dairy Queen RE: KTFoley Apr 10, 2008 09:56 AM

                            I think kimma is devasted, based on his response to BobS http://www.chowhound.com/topics/12526... Now I regret not ever making it to My Le Hoa. I wonder who has the best shark's fin dumplings in the Twin Cities now? Anyone know?

                            ~TDQ

                          2. re: kimma
                            katebauer RE: kimma Apr 10, 2008 11:09 AM

                            I always tip 20% here in MN.

                            waiting for this post to be deleted by moderators for being off topic...

                        2. j
                          JimGrinsfelder RE: Les Nov 26, 2007 01:07 PM

                          Mandarin Kitchen used to be really really good. I haven't been in a while.

                          Grand Shanghai is totally open for business as of November 2007 and shows no signs of slowing down.

                          Mai Village (I know, it's Vietnamese) has a decent Dim Sum service.

                          1. cheeseguysgirl RE: Les Mar 9, 2008 05:17 PM

                            We went to Yangtze this morning, arrived at 12:45 and were seated immediately. Received water and hot tea within 5 minutes, and food carts began shortly thereafter. We had the most amazing pillowy noodles stuffed with shrimp (they also offered them later stuffed with pork). We had pork sticky buns, shrimp and sticky rice balls, shrimp wrapped in potato, very unusual creamy fried spring rolls, abalone shu mai, scallop shu mai, and veggie stuffed tofu skins with an interesting tangy sauce. Besides the stuffed noodles, my favorites were the pork in fried taro (I have decided I would enjoy shoe leather if it were served in velvety deep fried taro), and the shrimp and veggie in sauteed dough balls (had the taste of fried dumplings, but there were no seams on the balls like you see if they use the wrappers). All that for less than 40.00. Really lovely experience.

                            1. a
                              Abby B RE: Les Mar 10, 2008 07:33 PM

                              I have to second Jun Bo. Easily the best.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: Abby B
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                                Ummm RE: Abby B Mar 10, 2008 11:00 PM

                                i don't think jun bo is that good... it was okay, but having eaten at many authentic restaurants overseas, it's just not up to the standard.

                                haven't tried other dim sum restaurants at the TC though so can't compare.

                                i wrote a revieiw here:
                                http://www.chowhound.com/topics/485821

                              2. h
                                Haricotsv2 RE: Les Mar 14, 2008 07:03 PM

                                I really love the dim sum at Mai Village on University and Western in St. Paul. They don't use MSG in their dim sum, and it's delicious and varied. It's a bit unusual for a Vietnamese restaurant to have Chinese sushi, but try it--lovely atmosphere and really nice servers too.

                                1. s
                                  soupkitten RE: Les Mar 18, 2008 09:35 AM

                                  i really like mandarin kitchen on the weekends. it gets bangin' in there, so the food is generally very fresh and hot. it has been remodeled (expanded) since this thread began in 2006, so it is no longer the crowded hassle the posters describe at the beginning of the thread. give mk another try!

                                  1. Serenity_MN RE: Les Apr 10, 2008 08:55 PM

                                    I have to say that I was not impressed with Jun Bo. I was there last Sunday with a good friend of mine from out of state. He happens to love Dim Sum, and whenever I am traveling with him, whether it is in Seattle, San Francisco, or New York, we always end up at a Dim Sum restaurant. And so, we tried Jun Bo.

                                    The restaurant was crowded and not well set up. There were repeated traffic jams of carts in between the tables, and the selection at the particular time we were there was not good. Now, I might have been willing to forgive all of that, if the food had been good, but it wasn't. Some of the items that were supposed to be served hot, were cold, others had lost their texture from being oversteamed, or maybe just sitting on the carts too long...

                                    I was really hoping for a great Dim Sum experience and based on what I had read here, that was what I expected.

                                    I am going to make a point of going back, not because I want a repeat of this past experience, but because I want to believe that I just happened to be there on a bad day...

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: Serenity_MN
                                      The Dairy Queen RE: Serenity_MN Apr 11, 2008 01:09 AM

                                      Sorry you had a lousy experience. It's one thing to have a ho hum experience, but it really stinks to have a ho hum experience when your expectations are very high. Unfortunately, it sounds to me like you were there on a typical day. I'm not sure which posts you had read here that led you to believe you were going to have a great dim sum experience--while it certainly has its fans, Jun Bo isn't really universally adored on this board.

                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/483427
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/48582...
                                      http://www.chowhound.com/topics/40481...

                                      I think there are strategies you can adopt to improve your overall experience at Jun Bo, some of which are mentioned in the threads I linked (that's in addition, of course, to the "standard" strategies for getting the best out of any dim sum experience--such as figuring out the flow of the carts so you can secure a table closest to where the fresh stuff comes out of the kitchen, etc.

                                      )

                                      ~TDQ

                                      1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                        Serenity_MN RE: The Dairy Queen Apr 13, 2008 10:26 PM

                                        Thanks TDQ. And now that I have read back, I realize that there were only two people who said they liked Jun Bo, and one... maybe wasn't actually saying that, since all that was said was, "Have we really gone this far in a Best MSP Dim Sum post with nary a mention of Jun Bo. Really?" That might have been noting that NO ONE wanted it on the list the best. And then later is was followed by a "I have to second Jun Bo. Easily the best."

                                        Perhaps I actually ended up there because it was in a convenient location, and because I thought there were a few people here saying it was a "favorite."

                                        Now that I know better, I think I'll try some of the other possibilities mentioned in this post. :-)

                                        1. re: Serenity_MN
                                          s
                                          soupkitten RE: Serenity_MN Apr 14, 2008 09:31 AM

                                          puhleeze report back on the dim sum search, Serenity! it would be much appreciated by many people! thanks in advance. :)

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