Jun Bo report - Twin Cities
I went to Jun Bo last night, and liked it very much.
The Chinese menu (the one with a red dot on the cover) was smaller than I expected - only a few pages - but I got the impression that it's just a starting point. When I asked about fish, there was a conference on the best selection for a single diner. The owner suggested a steamed sea bass filet in black bean sauce, so that's what I ordered. It was fabulous - flavorful, rich, and steamed so beautifully that it melted in my mouth.
I also had snow pea shoots with garlic. It was the best version of this dish I've ever had (but note that I don't get out much).
Jun Bo is huge, and reminds me of the places in a big city's Chinatown. They're a little disorganized (they've only been open a few weeks), but the service is very friendly and helpful. And the food is great - up to the level of a big-city Chinatown.
I'll definitely go back - maybe even tonight! (After I eat my leftover fish and pea shoots for lunch.)
I got take out from Jun Bo last week and was very pleased with both dishes we ordered. I loved the manila clams in black bean sauce. It was one of the best renditions of this dish that I have had anywhere. The clams were fresh and juicy. The black bean sauce had a hint of white pepper which gave it a really nice flavor. We also got the Chinese broccoli with salted fish. I really liked that dish as well. This was much better than our first experience at Jun Bo a couple months ago when we went for dim sum. Not that anything was bad, but I did not think it was as good as Mnadarin Kitchen.
Finally got a chance to have dim sum there and we really loved it. I don't remember everything we got, but here goes:
shrimp rice noodle (that's the shrimp wrapped in long wide rice noodles): this is the dish by which I judge dim sum and this one was very good
Soup Dumplings: yes you heard it right, and they were great
Baked Roast Pork Buns: super
Some Squash thing that everyone loved
a seaweed dish that was very nicely spiced
Pork with peanut dumplings: very good
There was some other stuff I cannot recall. Suffice to say we loved it, and I get the feeling there are hundreds of dishes. IT is quite big and comfortable and does not have the frenzied feel of Mandarin Kitchen.
Update on Jun Bo. We went late on a busy weekend evening. They were hosting a wedding party, a large (birthday?) party, and at least one other large group. The birthday party was wrapping up as we arrived, so it was loud (and echo-y) and chaotic.
When the hostess seated us, see she was in a quandary about whether to give us the "authentic" (red dot) menu or the Americanized one. Smart woman: she gave us one of each. For those of you looking for the authentic menu, it's the one where the "o" in Jun Bo has been filled in with a red marker.
Service was slow; it took a long time (10-15 mins?) for anyone to take our drink orders. When the birthday party left, the service picked up.
It wasn't the proper time of day for dim sum, but when they brought the cart over for the couple at a nearby table, we couldn't resist. They serve dim sum all day. You can order off the cart until 9PM, then off the menu after that.
The young woman serving off the cart was wonderful. She went beyond just lifting the lids of each of the steaming dishes to show us what she had and naming them, she also described each in detail and even told us which were her favorites. She was pleased when we ordered the steamed chicken feet with black bean sauce on her recommendation.
We also ordered: steamed roast pork buns, fresh shrimp dumpling (the flat half moon shaped, not the ha gao), steamed shark fin dumpling), and the steamed chives with pork dumpling.
Also, at one point in the evening, they brought two dishes out of the kitchen: steamed lotus seed buns and deep fried shrimp (I think): we tried the steamed lotus seed buns.
We also ordered one of the dishes off the menu that the Star Tribune mentioned in their review: the champagne baby beef ribs.
The ribs were lovely, tender, with a silky texture. Of the dim sum, I liked the chicken feet and the lotus seed bun. I don't have a lot of recent experience with either, so don't I know how these compare with the ideal. Of the other dim sum items, we liked the shrimp and the shark fin dumplings; it's not surprising that a Cantonese restaurant would excel at seafood. The other dim sum items were pretty average (my dining companion liked the steamed chives with pork, I thought it was very chunky). It might not do the dim sum menu justice to order late in the evening. But at least I got my dim sum fix.
As we were nearing the end of our meal, I asked if they had any baked fresh egg tarts. They were out, but they came back with baked pineapple bun or coconut custard tarts (with maraschino cherry), which effort I appreciated. We tried the latter: it was okay, not as smooth as I hoped and it wasn't warm.
No wine on the menu! I realize later they have a full bar, so they probably would have brought me a glass had I asked. They were good about refilling our drinks (beer and pop), but not the water. We asked for hot chili sauce, it never came.
The large party near us had lobster--it looked wonderful. Also, a gorgeous fresh fruit tray with watermelon, pineapple, maraschino cherries.
Overall, I would say this is a good spot if you stick with the food that is likely to be either a specialty or hot or fresh straight out of the kitchen. Now, isn't that just common sense anyway? Still, if you stray from that, you're likely to be disappointed.
$50 for two people, with drinks.
Jun Bo: 7717 Nicollet Av. S., Richfield, 612.866.6888. (You can see if from 494) Hours: Monday to Thursday 11AM to 1AM, Friday 11AM. to 3AM, Saturday 10AM to 3AM, Sunday 10AM to 1AM. Full bar. Fax 612.866.9888. They do take-out; you can call or fax in your order.
re: The Dairy Queen
One update to my post: the tab was $50 for two people with drinks, including tip and tax. May I point out, with DOUBLE tip--they add the gratuity automatically, which we didn't realize until after we'd added our own tip... Ah, well, we thought the gal running the dim sum cart was working especially hard.
We went to Jun Bo this weekend. I agree with Anne... this is the closest to a "big-city" dim sum house that I have seen so far in the area. I liked it better than Mandarin Kitchen, Yummy, and a few other places (whose names I can't remember) that we have tried.
We were there for dim sum on Saturday. Some of the dishes were a little cool when we got them (the crowd was starting to dissipate -- 1:30pm) so I think they still need to work on logistics & pacing a little bit. But hey, they only opened a few weeks ago, so I don't fault them for this. Unlike a previous report I posted here about a different place whose cool dishes were "gooey," these were still tasty. In general, I think this is a great addition to the area. Every dish was consistent, and it looked like there was a lot of variety which we did not get to sample, leading us to want to return very soon.