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Aug 16, 2006 03:03 PM

Twin Cities Chinese

As a frequent traveler to Asia I haven't been able to find much good authentic Chinese resturants at home. Any suggestions particularly in the east metro/St. Paul area?

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  1. This topic comes up often. As you probably have realized, the TC are better known for their SE Asian restaurants than for their Chinese. That said, there are a few places with good options, as well as a few standout places.
    In your specified area, there is China Jen in Roseville. It is on the high end for the TC, but in, say, NYC, it would probably be considered C-. Anyway, it has things like soup dumplings, cold sesame noodles. There have been a bunch of posts on it lately, the most notable:

    In the rest of the TC, there are a few good options. In the U area, there is Hong Kong Noodle (I am just too lazy to post all the links, etc., so maybe TDQ will come through for you :). In the Southwest area, there is Mandarin Kitchen in Bloomington, which is especially great for seafood and dim sum. YangTze in SLP is hit or miss for dim sum lately, and I have never had a lunch or dinner there. Then there is my personal favorite, Tea House, in Plymouth, which is worth the trip. I particularly love their Chung King Chicken, and be sure to order off the authentic (smaller) menu.
    Jun Bo recently opened and I have never been, but others rave. I think it is in Richfield.

    2 Replies
    1. re: AliceS

      I recently posted an update in Anne's Jun Bo thread here--I'm afraid I didn't really rave about it...

      I have to confess that I've eschewed Twin Cities Chinese because I worried it would disappoint, so I haven't tried anything recently except Jun Bo and China Jen. I preferred the latter.

      Here's a link to our recent China Jen discussion:

      EDIT: Whoops! I realize Alice already posted a link to the China Jen discussion! I'm such a copy-cat! :


      Wherever you decide to eat, please do come back to this forum and let us know where you went, what you ate, and what you thought. This community thrives on feedback from folks like you. Enjoy!


      1. re: The Dairy Queen

        I just picked up a copy of the most recent edition of City Pages, and Dara did indeed rave about Jun Bo. I still stand by my report. However, I will concede that 1) I only went once and 2) I ordered dim sum very late in the evening, which is definitely not prime dim sum time.

        Also, as an almost irrelevant tangent, I happened to be driving by Bui today: still closed. :(


    2. Of course there is also the school of thought that doesn't take into consideration "authenticity." Good food, adventurousness, originality, freshness of ingredients, ambience, fusion, service, and let me say again--good food--are more important to me than authenticity.

      1 Reply
      1. re: FishMPLS

        Fish, your post reminds me of a poster from a couple years back who was specifically looking for the Chinese food that s/he remembered from childhood growing up in the Twin Cities. That person was looking for an "authentic" experience, too, but in this case, they were looking for authentic Americanized Chinese cuisine. Unfortunately, I can't find the thread anymore, although, here's a later thread that refers to it:

        (Does anyone know where that person's first thread went? Did they ever post a follow-up? I'm very curious now.


        I agree that food doesn't have to be true to some kind of ideal to be delicious, but sometimes, you just have a craving for a specific kind of experience.


      2. My top 3:

        1. Mandarin Kitchen
        2. Tea House
        3. Shuang Cheng

        The food at the first two places compares quite favorable the food I have had in Boston and NYC when I lived in those cities. in both instances you need to order from the more authentic menu.

        1. I'm not sure what "authentic" Chinese food should taste like but I would suggest the Rainbow on Nicolette Avenue in Minneapolis. Growing up in the twin cities soured me on Chinese food until I was introduced to Rainbow. The ingrediants are always fresh. The menu has many items to choose from but is not overly expansive. I have been satisfied with everything that I have ordered.

          1. Tea House, Tea House, Tea House!!!

            Just went there for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it, loved it, loved it. Ordered from the "special menu," had the seriously amazing "Spicy Fish Fillet with Szechuan Peppercorns in Hot Sauce" and a great chicken & asparagus dish.

            Then it's a short walk to the Willow Creek Theater for some stadium seating moviegoing...