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May 11, 2010 04:46 AM

Peking Garden - Midway Center?

Anyone try this place yet? I just noticed it this weekend. There were a lot of people waiting in line.

I wonder if it's related to the old Peking Garden over by the U of Mn? The one that got torn down a while back.

Peking Garden
1488 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

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  1. PG is a really popular place because of its buffet. It is probably not in the category of a gourmet Chow-heaven. But, my Toisanese husband and I go there because the family, who owns PG, is also Toisanese and they are always very happy to make things not on the menu for us. It's where we go to have food "just like Mom used to make." From the menu, we like things such as "steamed pork loaf with salty fish," bitter mellon with chicken and black bean sauce, and watercress with bean curd sauce.

    7 Replies
    1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

      They have bitter melon there? On the menu? Yum. I'm having a craving badly right now. Yes, it is related to the old Peking Garden that got torn down. It moved to this new location. Sadly, they no longer offer dim sum. The buffet is yucky (or typical kind of comforting in its way) and I always mean to try the regular menu. I live nearby.

      Peking Garden
      1488 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55104

      1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

        The menu looked pretty good. Thanks for the recommendations. I'll be sure to try those three dishes when I get to PG.

        Does Toisanese cuisine include soups? If so, which are typical for Toisan region? I saw West Lake soup on the menu, but according to the little bit of reading I've done, West Lake Soup is from Hangzhou, not Toisan...


        1. re: JimGrinsfelder

          Yes it does. Toisan is an area south of Canton (Guangzhou) from which many Chinese-Americans today claim their ancestry. While Toisan would be a subset of Cantonese cuisine they feature in general very little sugar and a strong emphasis on seafood (fresh, dried and salted.) Peking Garden appears to be mainly a buffet place and wedding banquet facility. They also seem to have an odd way of serving Peking Duck.

          1. re: scoopG

            What's the odd way of serving Peking duck? (Apologies if it's been mentioned and I forgot...)


            1. re: The Dairy Queen

              1 Taste: $25.95
              2 Tastes: $29.50.
              3 Tastes: $33.50

              Normally you see one whole Peking Duck and a price for that. Also interesting that each menu item is also listed in Vietnamese as well as English.

          2. re: JimGrinsfelder

            I actually do not know which soups are distinctively Toisanese and which ones are Cantonese-Toisanese. To keep this post relevant to the MSP board, I should probably say that what I consider "Toisanese soups" (i.e., "Mom's soups") are served at places such as PG and Mandarin Kitchen (and now-closed Jade, whose owner, Carl Wong, is also Toisanese) and are not on the menu. They are usually referred to as the "house soup (of the day)" and served on the house when you order 3 or more dishes. (If they know you, they usually offer it even when you order 2 dishes.) They are thought of as humble, down-home stuff that non-Chinese/non-Cantonese/non-Toisanese people would want to have, and hence not on the menu. So, if you are not/look Chinese, they may not offer it unless you ask. Chicken feet soup, lotus root soup and "thay-may" (meaning "4 taste") soup are often served at the above-mentioned places.

            Mandarin Kitchen
            8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

            1. re: Ms. Fennelbulb

              Cantonese (or 粵 - Yue) cuisine in general is marked by light and bright presentation of the food, deft use of oil, essential taste of the raw ingredients is allowed to emerge and a great emphasis of textures is displayed. The menu at Peking Garden is predominately American-Chinese fare (Hawaiian Chicken?) One should not have to proffer some secret handshake to be able to nab authentic Chinese grub.

        2. Yeah, it's the same Peking garden from stadium village. It had to be torn down to accommodate the TCF stadium. I used to eat there all the time. But after it moved to St. paul, it's too far. I went there recently and it's still great. They're known for their seafood.

          maybe some chinese food experts here, can suggest some specific dishes.