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Jun 21, 2007 01:16 AM

[MSP] Authentic Chinese

Where can I find authentic Chinese in the Twin Cities area? Duluth has a lot of Chinese places, but most or all of them are Westernized.

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  1. I have a few favorites:

    In St. Paul, Little Szechuan on University Avenue. (I especially like the fish fillet and tofu in spicy tasty broth, the dan dan noodles, and the green beans in special sauce. Also, there's a stir-fried cucumber appetizer dish I really like. They have a green menu and a black menu--get the black menu for the authentic dishes.)

    In Roseville on Snelling at Cty Rd B, China Jen (I love their scallion pancakes, but I've been pretty happy with everything I've tried there.

    Also, new, Tea House II on Suburban Ave in the strip mall behind Target off White Bear Avenue in St. Paul. I've only been for one visit, but I was pleased. The first location of Tea House apparenlty has a secret/authentic menu, which is not that secret. I don't know if you have to ask for the secret menu at T2, also.


    1. Do you have a type of Chinese you are looking for specifically (szechuan, cantonese, huaiyang, tiawanese, dim sum)?

      TDQ makes some very good suggestions if you're in St Paul.

      1. There's also Jun Bo (Richfield) and Mandarin Kitchen (Bloomington). Caution: Jun Bo has gotten very mixed reviews - a few raves but lots of negative comments - and I think Mandarin Kitchen is still closed for remodeling.

        Jun Bo
        7717 Nicollet Av. S.

        Mandarin Kitchen
        8766 Lyndale Ave. S.


        2 Replies
        1. re: AnneInMpls

          Oh the topic of Jun Bo, they also have an "authentic" menu--make sure you get the one with the red dot on the cover.


          1. re: The Dairy Queen

            I'm going to throw Evergreen into the pot of suggestions. Sweet and Sour chicken isn't deep fried. Kung Pao chicken isn't in a hot gravy - instead, there are actually chilis. Sesame cold noodles aren't made with peanut butter. Lots of vegetable side dishes that are practically main dishes. It's on 2424 Nicollet Ave So - Eat Street. Weekend Menus is more expansive than the weekday menu, and of course the dinner menu is better than the lunch menu. It's in the basement of its building, but don't let that put you off. It's gotten national press, and won best Chinese in the cities by a couple of local papers.

            I love the place.

        2. Another option near Tea House II is HoHo Gourmet. If you order basic Midwest Chinese then that is what you will get, but the back page and the chef specials are usually quite good. Also you may need to ask about the 2-3 specials (dine in, not the take out specials) that are posted in Chinese near the center of the dining room. The best stuff tends to be the Hong Cong style dishes. HoHo is clearly visible from I-94 between White Bear Ave and Ruth st.

          2 Replies
          1. re: ChrisS

            I've never heard about this place. Very intriguing! Can you comment more on some of the dishes you've tried?


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              The Szesuan eggplant is a solid rendition of the dish. Before Tea House II moved in, the "special" menu on the back of the menu was about the only source east of downtown St. Paul for food to satisfy the local first and second generation Chinese-American population. I can't think of anything I would avoid off of that part of the menu. The "chef specials" menu has a black bean chicken dish that I like, and the specials often include some kind of simple stir fried greens that is usually very fresh and well prepared (gai lam, baby bok choi, etc..). As for the basic Americanized standards (egg fu young, general tzo's chicken, etc..), they are a cut above most of the mom and pop chow mein joints the dot the east side and first string suburbs. It isn't an exceptional place, but does satisfy the locals. As is almost always good advice at mid or low end chinese places, avoid the buffett.

          2. New Hong Kong Kitchen in St Paul has really good Hong Kong Cantonese Chinese food. Not as many live fish selections as Mandarin Kitchen, but I prefer their renditions of things like salt and pepper squid; or stir fried dou miu peapod sprouts. Their menu is divided into the Americanized dishes (General Tso, etc) in the first half and then the authentic Hong Kong dishes in the back half.

            They used to be our first choice when they were close by in their old Edina/Yorktown location. Now, we still will make the trek over to St Paul if we're remotely heading eastward.

            New Hong Kong Kitchen
            1192 Dale St N
            Saint Paul, MN
            Phone: (651) 489-8635

            5 Replies
            1. re: tex888

              Hmmm! Another place I've never noticed, but, surely, have driven past. According to MapQuest, it's on Dale at Maryland, right at Marydale Park. Between this post and the "Seafood in Minneapolis" thread, I now have a serious craving for squid--I might have to check this place out tomorrow. Great tip, thank you.

              And, ChrisS, thank you for elaborating on HoHo Gourmet's menu. Eggplant prepared well is always worth a trek!


              1. re: tex888

                Hey, I noticed the New Hong Kong Kitchen yesterday, as I was taking a new route to Roseville, and wondered if it was related to the old Edina place. I really liked their food and I'm very sad that they're no longer close to my work.

                Thanks for the info! I'll have to take this route again soon.


                1. re: AnneInMpls

                  We live close to the New Hong Kong and get take-out from them frequently. It is related to the former Edina place -- they even use their old menus. NHKK serves ultra fresh, expertly prepared food -- their scallops are especially wonderful. I feel it is our neighborhood's undiscovered gem.

                  1. re: AnneInMpls

                    Yep, it's the same manager/owner from Edina. I never got the full scoop why they moved to STP.

                    The one nice thing about the move is that you can have dessert across the street after your meal at:

                    Conny's Creamy Cone
                    1197 Dale St N
                    st paul, Minnesota 55117
                    (651) 488-4150

                    1. re: tex888

                      Across from Conny's? I love Conny's. Now I know exactly where this place is. Thank you!


                      Connys Creamy Cone
                      1197 Dale St N, Saint Paul, MN 55117

                      New Hong Kong Kitchen
                      1192 Dale St N, St Paul, MN 55117