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Mandarin Kitchen: Don't Get It.

My nine year old loves dim sum and it was his request for "library and lunch" today. Out of expediency, went to Jun Bo, but as I had thought I read somewhere, it was closed (not much of a loss, but it was close by). Next closest, was Mandarin Kitchen. At 1pm it was still a zoo with lots of people waiting for tables. Went quickly and we were seated in one of the back rooms in about 15mn. Then waited, and waited. Two carts. And a couple of trays. And NOTHING more for 45 mn. Two kinds of dumplings only (har gow and shu mui, no surprise there) that were only so, so. What a waste of time. The same two carts when around and around. What the??? And what we ate (5 different items) was mediocre at best. It has been a long time since we have been there and we won't be returning soon. I am back at Yangzte.

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Jun Bo
7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

Mandarin Kitchen
8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

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  1. Also, I don't consider "we ran out of food as an excuse". What restaurant gets by with the food is good at 6pm but sucks by 9? They aren't new and this pattern of business isn't either. I imagine it is the same week after week. And if they have service until 2pm...

    1 Reply
    1. re: shanemio

      Mandarin Kitchen ownership changed a few years ago but the name and location remained the same. Things seem to have been in decline since.

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      Mandarin Kitchen
      8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

    2. So is this confirmation that Jun Bo has, in fact, closed for good?

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      Jun Bo
      7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

      5 Replies
      1. re: bob s

        Looked closed to me. I didn't drive up to the front door. And there were cars parked on the side, but it looked dead at prime dim sum time...

        1. re: bob s

          Jun Bo is dead and gone. Menards wanted their land to build a home improvement super store.

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          Jun Bo
          7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

          1. re: MarkG

            That will be a welcome improvement over Jun Bo!

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            Jun Bo
            7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

            1. re: MarkG

              I never find anything good to eat at Menards. Although, I have seen Spreckles pop there and I recall someone on Chowhound once asked where to buy that...

              ~TDQ

          2. Mandarin Kitchen serves dim sum beginning at 10 am on weekends and Monday holidays. Every single item is served fresh and they run out around 12:30 pm. If you want fresh dim sum, you need to be there before then. If you wanted to be seated right away, then you need to be there by 10:15 am at the latest.

            Note that they're not out of food. You can order lunch off the menu. Jun Bo and many other places in town serve dim sum throughout the day. That works if you have frozen dim sum that get steamed prior to serving. Authentic dim sum is never reheated, so that's not possible at Mandarin Kitchen. The "zoo" reflects appreciation of freshly cooked cuisine by the cognoscenti.

            I'm not associated with the restaurant in any way, other than as a frequent diner. I'm constantly puzzled by comparisons between Mandarin Kitchen and Jun Bo (did not happen here). Mandarin Kitchen is not always the best, but the food is always fresh and authentically cooked. Jun Bo's approach to cooking is the same as their approach to building maintenance.

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            Jun Bo
            7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

            Mandarin Kitchen
            8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

            7 Replies
            1. re: discus

              Is Jun Bo still open? Their website is up, but the phone number is not in service. There were rumors a few months ago that it was closing.

              ~TDQ

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              Jun Bo
              7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

              1. re: The Dairy Queen

                Jun Bo has been closed for at least a month.

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                Jun Bo
                7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

                1. re: ibew292

                  Ok, that's what I thought. I thought maybe something had changed and I'd missed it, though, for me to want to go back to Jun Bo (even if it were still open) the FOOD would have to be one of the things that had to change. Too bad. It showed so much promise in the beginning.

                  ~TDQ

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                  Jun Bo
                  7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

              2. re: discus

                Well, thanks, I think. I have been eating Dim Sum in Minneapolis and St Paul for longer than Mandarin Kitchen has been opened (and in cities like San Francisco, Vancouver and Hong Kong as well) and feel pretty confident about my assessment. And if the "cognoscenti" deem it great...count me out. I never wanted to belong to that club anyhow

                I have always liked and want the cart experience for dim sum. I don't go to order off a menu. They know their business and should plan accordingly - there were still lots of full tables waiting for the "fresh" food they ran out of.

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                Mandarin Kitchen
                8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

                1. re: shanemio

                  My comment on the decline of Mandarin Kitchen is not about their Dim Sum service. Since their normal service declined, I sort of assumed the Dim Sum went down with it. Maybe it's still good. I remember they used to serve the Dim Sum on carts. I wonder if they still do early in the day and switch over to ordering off the menu later in the day? It's hard to tell from discus' post.

                  I tried Jun Bo once and didn't like it.

                  I've had good Dim Sum at Mai Village (a Vietnamese place) on University in St. Paul, but not in a couple of years.

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                  Jun Bo
                  7717 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55423

                  Mandarin Kitchen
                  8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

                  Mai Village
                  394 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

                  1. re: JimGrinsfelder

                    Mai Village no longer has dim sum.

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                    Mai Village
                    394 University Ave W, Saint Paul, MN 55103

                2. re: discus

                  I'm going to point one thing out, never having eaten there. You are probably entirely correct that they run out around 12:30pm. But when you're running out, and you can no longer offer the full quality dim sum, then you stop selling it. You don't give them a couple of leftovers and then ignore them for 3/4 of an hour. A restaurant should take more pride in their food than that.

                3. We once ate there for lunch . . . our meal was late and the order was wrong . . . and we were the only ones there.