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Aug 31, 2009 11:46 AM

mai village - msp

is mai village any good these days? used to love it, then a couple years ago or so, it seemed dirty and just not as good so we quite going there. my brother and his wife are in town and want to treat us to dinner there tonight; anyone been there lately? if so and if you like it, food recs?

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  1. Not lately, alas, but my recollection of it seeming more run down than the days of old are similar to yours. I remember that they did beef dishes best.

    Since you are dining as a guest of your brother and his wife, it might be hard for you to suggest another place, especially if they have fond memories of Mai Village, but you might be able to get away with suggesting Ngon Bistro, just up the street, on the basis that the weather's nice and they have a new patio and wouldn't it be a shame to sit indoors?

    If you do end up at M.V. do let us know if things have improved. An "uphill" report!


    4 Replies
    1. re: The Dairy Queen

      We like Ngon Bistro much better but there are a few things I like there and so do like to go there occasionally. We had one horrid evening there about 6 months ago. We were served cold egg rolls that looked like they had been languishing for some time unclaimed. Very bad service, things mistimed, no utensils, staff not responsive when it was one thing after the next wrong. So we didn't go back until just recently when friends suggested it. So we thought we should give them another try.

      And things were much better. I noticed the owners there. I had heard that he had some medical issues and perhaps he was away for a while? Anyway, things were better.

      Still think that food at Ngon is fresher. But Mai Village is good for some of the standbys.

      1. re: karykat

        thanks dq and karykat for your thoughts. we did go to mai village monday night because my brother and his asian wife had enjoyed it years ago on their last visit to town. she had spoken with the owner and he showed her some of the beautiful things he brought from vietnam and she was hoping to see more again. it was a lovely evening. andrew ordered the 7 courses of beef - we shared - and tho i'm not a big beef lover, it was all quite tasty. i got the curry chicken and the other two got bun salads - one marinated pork and the other beef and shrimp. we were all happy puppies with our food and service. good, not great, but worth it for the price and the atmosphere. the food is served on pretty celadon green dishes, our server was cheeky in a pleasant way (she suggested a change in original order as she thought the selected dish would be a little boring.) we spoke with the owner after dinner. he was very gracious and showed us some of his beautiful artifacts from vietnam. he had been very ill with cancer 4 years ago and given 6 months to live, but he's doing well 4 years later. he sat in a healing chair made out of a beautiful and exotic wood and he attributes his recovery partially to that. the arms of the chair are so smooth and beautifully turned that it was probably soothing and thus healing. i think mai village is on the upswing and we will return after our fine experience on monday. it may not be the most hip or interesting in their food, but the beauty of the place (the koi pond, carvings, etc.) add a worthwhile dimension to the experience.

        1. re: carolita

          Thank you carolita for a lovely report. I always enjoy hearing about that 7 courses of beef dish. Some day I am going to order it! I do love the koi pond and carvings. And very interesting/sad/inspiring about the owners battle with cancer. Maybe it explains why it declined there for awhile. Hopefully, as you say, Mai Village, as well as the owner's health, is on the upswing!


          1. re: carolita

            Very good to hear. I remember at the old location, the owner had a number of large salt water aquariums with a good collection of different corals. And he always loved to point those out.

      2. I also had a very good lunch the other day. Our server was remarkably good, especially careful about an allergy concern of my companion as well as efficient and friendly without overdoing it.