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Authentic Chinese?

m
MKAbel Dec 18, 2011 11:48 AM

What restaurant in the whole metro area and suburbs serves the most authentic Chinese food?

  1. scoopG Dec 19, 2011 02:35 PM

    Little Szechuan – St. Paul:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617514

    Grand Szechuan – Bloomington:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/646396

    Szechuan Spice – South Minneapolis:
    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/722583

    Edit: Evergreen, the Taiwanese Vegetarian place on Nicollet Avenue is worthy as well.

    6 Replies
    1. re: scoopG
      g
      gildeddawn Dec 19, 2011 04:04 PM

      I second Little Szechuan.

      1. re: scoopG
        g
        gryffindor249 Dec 29, 2011 03:43 PM

        I agree on every one of these choices.

        1. re: scoopG
          m
          martyw71 Apr 11, 2013 09:24 PM

          I took my fiancée (who is from Shanghai) and a friend of hers who is from Hunan province to Little Szechuan, and they both said that their food is authentic Chinese. I highly recommend the fish fillet in spicy tofu broth, spicy and numbing. Their portions are quite large. We ordered 4 dishes for those two ladies, my mom and me. We had plenty left over for another meal for 3 people, and I am a pretty hearty eater.

          1. re: martyw71
            The Dairy Queen Apr 12, 2013 02:07 AM

            We love LS's fish fillet in spicy tofu broth (they used to call this dish fish fillet in spicy tasty broth)--so so so good! We also always get the fried green beans (I'm embarrassed to admit that these are even great even cold as leftovers!) and dan dan noodles.

            ~TDQ

            1. re: The Dairy Queen
              g
              gildeddawn Apr 12, 2013 12:11 PM

              Man, the dry sauteed green beans are so awesome. I'm also a huge fan of those.

            2. re: martyw71
              s
              stepawayfromthetable May 2, 2013 05:02 PM

              I love "fish filet" or white fish in black bean sauce...but that spice tasty broth sounds like it might bring me in to LS! I'm currently looking forward to using a groupon at Tea House in St. Louis Park.

          2. k
            kuan Dec 19, 2011 03:08 PM

            I can't tell if it's truly authentic. It's been awhile since I've been to Hong Kong but I like http://mnhongkongnoodle.com/ a lot.

            1. AnneInMpls Dec 19, 2011 07:22 PM

              Keefer Court reminds me of a little place I visited in Hong Kong (a very long time ago).

              http://www.keefercourt.com/

              1 Reply
              1. re: AnneInMpls
                scoopG Dec 19, 2011 07:26 PM

                You are right...I forgot about this place!
                http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773660

              2. k
                kriminalrat Dec 29, 2011 06:10 AM

                Tian Jin-Chanhassen

                9 Replies
                1. re: kriminalrat
                  scoopG Dec 29, 2011 07:23 PM

                  Why?

                  They are on what, their 3rd or 4th owner in four years?

                  Ate there recently - and while it is better than the original with a totally revamped menu - it is not a destination Twin City Chinese restaurant. Fuller and more detailed review to follow of course.

                  1. re: scoopG
                    k
                    kriminalrat Dec 29, 2011 08:36 PM

                    i don't know where you get your misinformation from but the restaurant has changed owners only once. Your opinion of it not being a destination Chinese restaurant is your own. I know of many Chinese that place it at the top of the list for restaurants in town. I know you think highly of Little Szechuan but I believe you are in the minority as of late. I have seen many negative...PROFESSIONAL reviews.

                    1. re: kriminalrat
                      scoopG Dec 30, 2011 06:29 AM

                      Let's see Ryan (from Tianjin) opened the place early in 2009 and by November of that year had sold the place. Current owner, a Ms. Chen (from Beijing) then bought the place. I write my own professional reviews. See above - I have written about more than just Little Szechuan. On the other hand, you only seem to tout Tianjin. Tianjin is OK if you are in the Chanhassen area but certainly not worth an hour in traffic from Minneapolis or St. Paul.

                      1. re: scoopG
                        k
                        kriminalrat Dec 30, 2011 07:08 AM

                        It is disturbing that chains like Leann Chin have educated diners on what Chinese food is. Scoop, I encourage you to go to Tian Jin and order things like Yan Shan Liang Fen and Shrimp Gluten. These dishes are passed over by Americans because of their unique texture but this is what Chinese people order. Also many americans scoff at intestines, tripe, tounge, etc...but Tian Jin has one of the most extensive selections of offal in the cities. Once again these dishes are what a real Chinese diner would order. Another dish I reccommend is tounge in preserved mustard plant...a unique dish I haven't seen anywhere else.

                        Also, please look down at one of my posts regarding other Chinese restaraunts. I most certainly have not just touted Tian Jin...I have enjoyed many others like Teahouse, LS, GS depending on kitchen staff. Also please note I know of many sales people from China who work at Asian foods (the major asian food distributor) and live in Mpls/STP and regularly make the trek to Tian Jin.

                        There is more out there then General Tao chicken!

                        1. re: kriminalrat
                          scoopG Dec 30, 2011 07:48 AM

                          On my recent visit I sampled nine dishes and will eventually post about it. While the menu (and food!) has improved under Ms. Chen, I still believe the kitchen is cook-driven, not chef driven. She actually has reduced the number of American-Chinese dishes. Yes, I see below your comments on GS!

                          1. re: kriminalrat
                            j
                            justalex Jan 2, 2012 03:22 PM

                            Your post prompted me to re-try Tian Jin today after a pretty miserable visit around a year and a half ago. Service then was horrible to the point of us having to seek out our own utensils from the buffet, despite ordering off the menu. The woman who supposedly was waiting on our table was surly and rude. Total turn-off and the food was nothing special bordering on bland. I had basically written the place off of our list.

                            Our visit today was totally the opposite. The interior appears a bit tired and off, but the service and food were perfect. The young woman who greeted us and waited on our table was so genuinely pleasant and helpful it set the tone for the whole meal. Though not very busy, she was running all the tables and took the time to find a special table for my mother who is in a wheelchair. She even ran to open doors for us on this chiily day.

                            My mom and husband are less adventurous than I am food-wise, so we placed an order for the Chong King Spicy Chicken and Shredded Pork with Szechuan Garlic Sauce. The food arrived after about 10 minutes steaming hot and fragrant. The server warned us about the spice level and I giggled and said bring it on! Luckily, mom and the husband have a tolerance for spice despite their disdain for tofu and other things they consider exotic.

                            The Chong King chicken had a very crispy (I assume cornstarch?) batter but the dark meat inside was juicy and flavorful. The chicken squirted yummy juice when I bit into it, it was that good in relation to crispy outside, moist inside. The Szechuan peppercorns were evident in their numbing effect and overall just a good flavor profile. The usual red and green bell peppers and scallions were there. The same as almost everywhere. I had this dish recently at Tea House in Plymouth. I have to say Tian Jin's version was just a little bit better, and I love Tea House.

                            The pork with Szechuan garlic sauce was more interesting to me. It was spicier and included big pieces of black mushrooms that added a lot of flavor to the dish. I cook all the time at home and don't get how those yummy pieces of shredded pork are so tender. I didn't ask, but it seems to me they must use pork belly. It was so succulent and melt in your mouth.

                            My non-foodie, but spicy, family was very pleased. I'm dying to try their version of Ma Po Tofu which sounds so good. Maybe takeout some day soon.

                            1. re: justalex
                              k
                              kriminalrat Jan 2, 2012 03:41 PM

                              Thanks for the review...The best thing the new owner did was clean up the service situation. The original owners had HORRIBLE service I hate to say.

                              1. re: kriminalrat
                                j
                                justalex Jan 2, 2012 04:34 PM

                                About to dig into the carry out boxes now for dinner. I forgot to mention the portions are quite large, though we're kind of the grazer types. Thank you for inspiring me to try the place again. I know our menu choices were not outside of the box. Can you describe the shrimp in gluten sauce? Also, have you tried the shredded five spice dry tofu? I meant to ask the server but was distracted by a question from my mother at the time. TIA

                              2. re: justalex
                                s
                                suburban_mom Jan 2, 2012 06:20 PM

                                I'm pleased to read this review too. I live really close and we tried it once - the service and food were greatly lacking at that time,

                    2. m
                      Maggie19 Dec 29, 2011 11:48 AM

                      Been singing the praises of Rainbow on Nicollet for years. Little Szechuan in St Paul may have returned to it's glory years of about 6 years ago...

                      15 Replies
                      1. re: Maggie19
                        k
                        kriminalrat Dec 29, 2011 03:10 PM

                        I just read a pretty dismal review of little szechuan in the city pages. Looks like the authenticity left when the head chef left to start grand szechuan

                        1. re: kriminalrat
                          m
                          mull0263 Dec 30, 2011 07:24 AM

                          The City Pages review was of their new location in St. Louis Park - I've only been to the new location once, but agree that they're trying to cater to a different crowd (i.e., very different menu than the St. Paul location). The location in St. Paul is still great in my mind.

                          1. re: mull0263
                            k
                            kriminalrat Dec 30, 2011 08:48 AM

                            Yes you are correct, looks like it was the SLP location. Note to reviewer...Please don't go to a Szechuan restaurant and order cream cheese wontons and egg rolls to review.

                        2. re: Maggie19
                          scoopG Dec 29, 2011 07:23 PM

                          Really Maggie 19? Can you provide a link to your Rainbow review(s)? Little Szechuan still not too shabby based on my recent visit.

                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/617514

                          1. re: scoopG
                            m
                            Maggie19 Jan 4, 2012 01:13 PM

                            Hey scoopG - never reviewed Rainbow. I've just been going there over the past decade and I can count on it's consistency, so I like it. Cool bar/drinks to boot.

                            1. re: Maggie19
                              s
                              soupkitten Jan 4, 2012 01:48 PM

                              at the risk of coming off bitchy..... has rainbow done anything recently to make its menu more "authentic chinese" (per thread title) and less.... "panda express on nicer dishes?" i used to live within blocks, ten years ago, and i'd stop in for a couple of american-chinese items, occasionally, but i think of the place as a half-notch up from pings. and i used to work for the family that owns pings, fwiw.

                              i am honestly asking. i respect that the owners of rainbow have tried to use better ingredients than great dragon and its ilk, and there could be many things to like about the restaurant, but "rainbow chinese" and "authentic" aren't really compatible terms, imo, unless i'm seriously missing something. otoh i really haven't been there in quite some time....

                              1. re: soupkitten
                                r
                                Rowdy Jan 4, 2012 01:56 PM

                                Oh, soupkitten, your question isn't any bitchier than mine: how do those of us in the US even know what's authentic unless we've travelled widely in China? ;)

                                1. re: Rowdy
                                  s
                                  soupkitten Jan 4, 2012 02:03 PM

                                  hey i don't really mind being "bitchy"... i just want to know what to order at rainbow chinese! ;-P
                                  :)
                                  :)

                                  1. re: Rowdy
                                    scoopG Jan 4, 2012 03:05 PM

                                    Or Taiwan, Hongkong, Singapore, Vancouver, Toronto, the San Gabriel Valley, the Bay area and NYC. There are some serious issues in China today, namely corruption, pollution and food safety concerns.

                                    1. re: Rowdy
                                      u
                                      Ummm Jan 4, 2012 05:11 PM

                                      I grew up eating Cantonese dishes, so I know what to expect though I am not an expert. But I wouldn't have a clue about Szechuan dishes, apart from maybe dumplings and such (e.g. skin shouldn't be too thick, fillings should be flavorful etc).

                                      1. re: Ummm
                                        scoopG Jan 4, 2012 05:40 PM

                                        Do you have a favorite go-to Cantonese spot in the Twin Cities Ummm? Peking Garden menu has some interest but there are also enough American-Chinese dishes to scare me away! I realize restaurants have to offer what sells but the fewer American-Chinese dishes on the menu, the better for me.

                                        1. re: scoopG
                                          u
                                          Ummm Jan 5, 2012 05:05 PM

                                          I don't live in the TC and don't go there often... hence don't get to try as many as I'd like! I'd only eaten at the ex-Jun Bo (dim sum, blah), United Noodles for Udon, and Evergreen. I want to try Keefers. Well I guess the restaurants having SOME authentic dishes on the menu is better than none. My mother-in-law would probably starve if we go to one without Americanized dishes lol. I wonder what the Cantonese population is in the TC, they probably don't have that info as all are prob lump as Chinese or Asian.

                                          1. re: Ummm
                                            scoopG Jan 6, 2012 02:49 PM

                                            Thanks. I feel Keefers is a good choice for lunch - or a casual dinner. Not sure what the Cantonese population in the metro area is.

                                  2. re: Maggie19
                                    scoopG Jan 4, 2012 03:00 PM

                                    Maggie19, it should be on my list. It does look to have a fair number of American-Chinese dishes as soupkitten points out and some of the traditional (Twice Cooked Pork, Kung Pao Chicken) dishes on their menu seem to be loaded up with non traditional ingredients. They seem to be trying for more upscale fare: menu prices are rounded up and they serve fancy cocktails.

                                    1. re: scoopG
                                      m
                                      Maggie19 Jan 10, 2012 01:08 PM

                                      Yes - it seems that I missed the word authentic.... I still like the place for a few dishes, and the bartneders know what their doing. Little Szechuan would be my choice for authentic. Rainbow needs a refresher course in Asian peppers and heat in general.

                              2. s
                                semanticantics Dec 29, 2011 06:13 PM

                                I don't know how to gauge "authentic", but I went to The Tea House on Christmas and had a great lunch.

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: semanticantics
                                  scoopG Dec 29, 2011 07:28 PM

                                  Which Tea House semanticantics - there are several, no?

                                  1. re: scoopG
                                    s
                                    semanticantics Dec 29, 2011 07:39 PM

                                    The one out by 94 / White Bear. A large table of 10 (what I assume to be Chinese based on the language spoken) sure seemed to like it.

                                    Sea cucumber is on the menu. That certainly isn't any Leann Chin!

                                    1. re: semanticantics
                                      scoopG Dec 29, 2011 08:16 PM

                                      Thanks - I've been to the Plymouth location a couple of years back. I think the White Bear location is the only TH doing dim sum. Sea cucumber? Count me in!

                                  2. re: semanticantics
                                    k
                                    kriminalrat Dec 30, 2011 06:03 AM

                                    Good to hear Tea House is still good. I was introduced to this place many years ago by a Chinese friend. It was an unknown gem at the time. Chef Liu used to make us an incredibly spicy hot pot...I had to ask him for a towel to wipe off the sweat! Unfortunately Chef Liu left to start Little Szechuan which I used to visit once and awhile but he left and according to most of my friends who know good szechuan said the quality dropped. To be honest, the dish I order most often, Sole in szechuan spicy sauce, I discovered to be better at Tian Jin. My guilty pleasure I have kept is pig ears in szechuan sauce and since Tian Jin took it off the menu I find myself heading to Grand Szechuan in Bloomington to get my fix.

                                    1. re: kriminalrat
                                      d
                                      DukeFan Jan 1, 2012 02:57 PM

                                      surprised noone here has mentioned Ming Wok in Excelsior (i think). Family-run, incredible service and a staff who is very willing to customize any dish for your spice pallet. If you can't find what you like, you can always order off the menu.

                                      Also a big fan of Little Szchuan. Seeing lots of negative stuff here but has anyone on this board eaten there in the past 3 months?

                                      1. re: DukeFan
                                        g
                                        gildeddawn Jan 4, 2012 02:22 PM

                                        Even though I've already said it, I'll come back and second Little Szechuan. My husband and I eat there frequently and have always had consistently great food. The service is usually at least fine, if not amazing.

                                  3. s
                                    stepawayfromthetable Jan 1, 2012 05:51 PM

                                    I've eaten at the Tea House in St. Paul especially for the soup dumplings but they had thick skins; sadly, I don't think anywhere in the Twin Cities has the dim sum comparable to the West Coast or NY. I've eaten at Evergreen and Little Szechuan; both are good. But, I hate to say...(and I always say that), my favorite Chinese is the closest to me, in a strip mall next to a Rainbow.
                                    http://pekinggardenmn.com/

                                    3 Replies
                                    1. re: stepawayfromthetable
                                      u
                                      Ummm Jan 1, 2012 07:41 PM

                                      Peking Garden's menu looks quite authentic (offering dishes other typical Chinese restaurant don't offer). Does it taste authentic though (funny how they called it Peking Garden when they seem to serve a lot of Cantonese dishes :) Been to Evergreen once, it wasn't bad but didn't quite live up to my expectation but at least it tastes more authentic than some other Chinese restaurants.

                                      1. re: Ummm
                                        s
                                        stepawayfromthetable Jan 3, 2012 08:00 PM

                                        I really like their flavor. They do a buffet and I check if they have fresh bok choy or beans and I'll grab some pork or chicken. They are not the best I've had, but I like their Pan fried noodles, their fish dishes, their veggies and tofu. Everything is fresh and flavorful. I just ate recently at United Noodle and it was fantastic. I got savorysweet bbq pork and sausage rice to go and a bowl of noodles to eat there that I barely looked up from once.

                                        -----
                                        United Noodles Asian Supermarket
                                        2015 E 24th St, Minneapolis, MN 55404

                                        1. re: stepawayfromthetable
                                          u
                                          Ummm Jan 4, 2012 05:13 PM

                                          I was at United Noodles a couple of months ago and had their Udon and was pleasantly surprised. Didn't get to try anything else though.

                                    2. u
                                      Ummm Jan 9, 2012 10:45 PM

                                      Are there any Shanghai food in the Twin Cities? Shanghai thick noodles, Shanghai steamed/fried buns?

                                      23 Replies
                                      1. re: Ummm
                                        The Dairy Queen Jan 9, 2012 11:43 PM

                                        Shanghai on Grand Ave in St. Paul supposedly makes their own thick noodles. I've only ever gotten them for delivery and for delivery (I've never been to the restaurant!), they are pretty good (better than pizza, which is pretty much the only other delivery option...)

                                        ~TDQ

                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          scoopG Jan 10, 2012 08:01 AM

                                          Is there a full blown review on this place? They have some Shanghai dishes like Wined Chicken, Smoked Fish, Jellyfish, Chicken and Corn Soup and Tofu Skin with Chinese Greens. Plenty of American-Chinese food too. Like some metro Chinese places, there may be some talented chefs in the kitchen who's true talents are being reined in.
                                          http://www.grandshanghairestaurant.co...

                                          1. re: scoopG
                                            The Dairy Queen Jan 10, 2012 12:40 PM

                                            I've not seen a full-blown review, not lately (in the past several years) anyway. I think Jim Grinsfelder has posted about it in the past...

                                            ~TDQ

                                            1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                              u
                                              Ummm Jan 11, 2012 09:18 PM

                                              I am surprised they don't have the Shanghai style steamed/fried buns (no fillings, 銀絲卷 - I think it's a Shanghai dish?) I wish their menu would also be written in Chinese.

                                              Came across Wok Cuisine on another thread here, and ha, on their menu they indicate which dishes are authentic Chinese - I wonder if it's true!

                                              http://wokcuisine.us/appetizers.html

                                              1. re: Ummm
                                                s
                                                stepawayfromthetable Jan 12, 2012 03:13 PM

                                                WOW! Hand made noodles? I will try Grand Shanghai very soon. I did get take out from them 2 years ago and was not impressed. The veggies weren't especially fresh and it fell into that syrupy overcooked oil Chinese. I look forward to checking out the noodles and will report!

                                                1. re: stepawayfromthetable
                                                  k
                                                  kuan Jan 12, 2012 03:37 PM

                                                  Handmade noodles where?

                                                  1. re: kuan
                                                    The Dairy Queen Jan 12, 2012 04:38 PM

                                                    http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8237...

                                                    ~TDQ

                                                    1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                      f
                                                      Fudist Jan 12, 2012 07:01 PM

                                                      The Peking Garden menu is straight up Food Porn. I never knew a place this seafood forward was right under my nose. Cannot wait to try this place.

                                                    2. re: kuan
                                                      s
                                                      soupkitten Jan 13, 2012 04:35 PM

                                                      gorkha palace has tibetan hand-pulled noodles

                                                      1. re: soupkitten
                                                        scoopG Jan 13, 2012 05:45 PM

                                                        Did not see any on their menu. Am I missing it?
                                                        http://www.gorkhapalace.com/Entres.aspx

                                                        Any CH reviews of this place?

                                                        1. re: scoopG
                                                          r
                                                          Rowdy Jan 13, 2012 08:17 PM

                                                          Vegetable Thentuk, in the vegetarian entrees. Gorkha Palace has been mentioned favorably any number of times. It's a great little place!

                                                          1. re: scoopG
                                                            ibew292 Jan 13, 2012 08:20 PM

                                                            Chicken Thenthuk, has noodles, never had it but it is new on the menu. My review is that I have had most of the things on their menu and have not had anything I didn't think was better than I could elsewhere in Minneapolis. It is one of the places that I find that I go to at least once a week. ScoopG do a search and you will find many comments on Gorkha.
                                                            http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/748152

                                                            -----
                                                            Gorkha Palace
                                                            23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                            1. re: ibew292
                                                              scoopG Jan 14, 2012 06:49 AM

                                                              Chalk it up to the new and improved CH search engine. No threads turn up when I type in Gorkha Palace above right at the top of screen. Also, you never followed up on your planned meal there in that thread that you linked. I wouldn't say there are that many comments on GP on the thread either: six from three people! And if they are truly hand-making noodles why would they only be featured in one or two dishes?

                                                              1. re: scoopG
                                                                s
                                                                soupkitten Jan 14, 2012 07:42 PM

                                                                i know there have been longer threads i've commented on, weird. gp is well thought of and i've seen it mentioned in general msp threads. it is a indian/tibetan/nepali place and tends to perhaps be thought of more as an indian or (hate that i am going to use this problematc phrase) "curry house." so not really chinese per se. they do have a new menu, the website has not been updated.

                                                                1. re: soupkitten
                                                                  ibew292 Jan 15, 2012 06:04 AM

                                                                  The website has been updated. The new menu is posted.
                                                                  http://www.gorkhapalace.com/Entres.aspx

                                                                  -----
                                                                  Gorkha Palace
                                                                  23 4th St NE, Minneapolis, MN 55414

                                                                2. re: scoopG
                                                                  f
                                                                  foreverhungry Jan 15, 2012 02:41 PM

                                                                  I'm not sure why more Gorkha Palace threads aren't pulling up, I know I've posted about it a few times.

                                                                  1. re: foreverhungry
                                                                    scoopG Jan 15, 2012 02:47 PM

                                                                    Chalk it up to CH/CBS & Microsoft "improvements" !

                                                                    I've found most now, if not all CH threads on Gorkha via Google!

                                                                    Just by typing in: Gorkha+Minneapolis+Chowhound!

                                                                  2. re: scoopG
                                                                    ibew292 Mar 21, 2013 07:32 AM

                                                                    Why not????

                                                        2. re: Ummm
                                                          The Dairy Queen Jan 13, 2012 05:18 PM

                                                          This, ummmmmmmm?

                                                          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8255...

                                                          ~TDQ

                                                      2. re: scoopG
                                                        j
                                                        JimGrinsfelder Mar 20, 2013 09:12 AM

                                                        Grand Shanghai is a strange mix of authentic and cream-cheese wontons. If you go in expecting full-on authentic, you'll be disappointed. Don't get me wrong, I like the food at Grand Shanghai.

                                                        The most interesting Chinese food in Minnesota in my experience is Sichuan. And it's at Tea House at the U of MN or Little Szechuan on University.

                                                        Peking Garden is good too. The owners are from Hainan province? And their dishes from their home region are the standouts.

                                                        E-Noodle on Larpenteur for Taiwanese noodles.

                                                        Village Wok for Wor Mein, Iron Hot Beef, Singapore Rice Noodles, and whole fried fish.

                                                        I went to Tian Jin a few years ago and wasn't impressed enough to make the journey a second time. Maybe it's better now.

                                                        Peninsula on Eat Street for Malay-style chinese is worth a visit or two.

                                                        Last time I ate there, Rainbow on Eat Street was good for fancy yuppified Chinese.

                                                        1. re: JimGrinsfelder
                                                          scoopG Mar 20, 2013 06:30 PM

                                                          Szechuan Spice on Lake and Lyndale is well worth the trip for a Sichuan fix.

                                                          1. re: scoopG
                                                            k
                                                            kriminalrat Mar 21, 2013 06:04 AM

                                                            Michael, Is Szechuan Spice your current favorite? Better then Little Szechuan?

                                                            1. re: kriminalrat
                                                              scoopG Mar 21, 2013 07:13 PM

                                                              I'd have to say yes, but I have not been back in awhile.

                                                  2. k
                                                    kriminalrat Jan 14, 2012 07:22 AM

                                                    I totally forgot to add a great Cantonese restaurant in Eden Prairie....Red Moon. We have few great restaurants in the western suburbs, so places like this and Tian Jin need more press. Also....Please, before some know it all tries to discredit my suggestion saying Red Moon serves a buffett, or red Moon uses bell peppers in such and such dish, or blah, blah, blah....read some reviews.

                                                    http://www.mspmag.com/dining/globaleats/1011_redmoon.asp

                                                    http://heavytable.com/red-moon-chinese-cafe-in-eden-prairie/

                                                    Also, on the subject of authenticity which is a term overused...I am guilty of this too. Read the below blog by the son of the owner which I find interesting.

                                                    http://thesweetthesour.com/2009/11/11...

                                                    Yes....This is a destination Chinese restaurant. Just as Tian Jin in Chanhassen is. Or at least a destination for people who can appreciate good food done with care.

                                                    13 Replies
                                                    1. re: kriminalrat
                                                      scoopG Jan 14, 2012 07:51 AM

                                                      Any Chowhound reviews? How about a Red Moon review from you!

                                                      I still have to post up my review of Tianjin - and while as I've said it has improved there are better options if you are in St. Paul or Minneapolis. Maybe a topic for a separate thread but how long are folks willing to spend in traffic in the metro area getting to a destination spot?

                                                      1. re: scoopG
                                                        k
                                                        kriminalrat Jan 14, 2012 08:24 AM

                                                        To be honest...Cantonese is a cuisine I know little about and I would rather eat Sichuan or other regional Chinese. It seems every town in Minnesota has a strip mall or two..or three with a crappy Cantonese restaurant. You know...Egg Foo Yung that tastes like rubber, egg rolls dripping with rancid grease, Chow Mein that is a slop of mushy celery and has bits of pork that resemble cardboard and rubber .

                                                        Not Red Moon. Chow Mein done the way it should be...with soft, lightly pan fried cantonese noodles and a stir fry of meat and vegetables that isn't a mess like most chow mein. The seafood is fresh and vibrant. Mouthfeel was light...not heavy and greasy like most. I crave the sesame chicken with a perfect glaze and ginger infusion. Fried wings done right...not greasy and infused with flavor.

                                                        My review above was done from memory as I haven't been there in a long time as I prefer Sichuan and more adventerous Chinese done with offal and other more non mainstream ingredients. If I lived closer to Red Moon though, I'm guessing I would be more of a regular.

                                                      2. re: kriminalrat
                                                        scoopG Jan 14, 2012 08:03 AM

                                                        kriminalrat, can you explain why Red Moon is "a great Cantonese restaurant?" What standout Cantonese dishes make this a destination Chinese restaurant?

                                                        In looking at their menu it is all about American-Chinese classics and the "something for everyone buffet". Great Cantonese fare is all about the delicate preparation of fresh seafood, is light on the sugar and sweet and sour dishes are rare. Lots of seafood is simply steamed with a variety of dipping sauces on hand like chili or vinegar.

                                                        1. re: scoopG
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                                                          discus Feb 25, 2012 05:54 PM

                                                          After reading all this, I took the missus for dinner at Red Moon. I would agree with scoopG that authentic would not be a suitable adjective for Red Moon. Its Chinese American food that native Chinese who have not traveled would not necessarily recognize. All the seafood is battered and deep fried, which is something that is simply not done in China or overseas Chinese communities. The chicken dishes are made with breast meat. The 'dry' chow fun with beef, a Cantonese staple, was wet. Giant, stuffed, deep fried egg rolls were the coup de grace.

                                                          What constitutes Cantonese food? Not Cantonese myself (but married to one), it's the Chinese version of northern Italian cooking. Everything is fresh, fresh, fresh, lightly cooked (never spicy). In contrast, roughly 1/3 of the dishes on the Red Moon menu were spicy. Seafood is mostly steamed and occasionally stir fried in Cantonese cuisine, but never battered and fried.

                                                          I don't want to trash the restaurant, since they're not claiming to be authentic Chinese. The food on the small buffet table was pretty good, with better quality meats than I've seen elsewhere. At $9.95 for Friday, Saturday meals, it's probably the best deal in town.

                                                          -----
                                                          Red Moon Chinese Cafe
                                                          582 Prairie Center Dr, Eden Prairie, MN 55344

                                                          1. re: discus
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                                                            Ummm Feb 26, 2012 07:58 AM

                                                            Thanks for the report discus. Would love to know if you find any authentic Cantonese restaurants (still haven't been up to the TC to try any yet!) Though Keefer is right up there on the list.

                                                            Funny you mentioned egg rolls - the closest to Cantonese egg rolls I have found here is in a pub! Not exactly the same filling, but at least it is small, and crispy.

                                                            1. re: Ummm
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                                                              discus Feb 26, 2012 09:24 AM

                                                              Most authentic egg rolls are served during dim sum hours at Mandarin Kitchen. They are small, lots of vegetables in the filling and extremely crispy. People don't like MK because they are packed (with Asian families). Show up at 10 am Saturdays and Sundays unless you don't mind waiting on line.

                                                              My favorite Cantonese restaurant in TC used to be Seafood Palace, but they closed in the Fall (I'm still in mourning). MK is authentically Cantonese, with live seafood in the tanks up front. Lightly steam fish taken right out of the tank is pricy (~$30), but always an experience.

                                                              -----
                                                              Mandarin Kitchen
                                                              8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN 55420

                                                              1. re: discus
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                                                                stepawayfromthetable Feb 26, 2012 06:28 PM

                                                                I still have not been to Grand Shanghai. But, I recently did show up at 10am for the Mandarin Kitchen experience and was not disappointed. So good. I now believe there is great Dim Sum here!

                                                                1. re: discus
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                                                                  Ummm Feb 26, 2012 08:04 PM

                                                                  Glad to hear about MK! Thanks!

                                                              2. re: discus
                                                                scoopG Feb 27, 2012 03:07 PM

                                                                Thanks for the update discus. Your spouse is right! Since one is never more than 200 miles from the sea while in Canton (or Guangdong) province – fresh and saltwater fish is very important. Of course pork and fowl are used as well as duck, squab, beef, frogs and more. The essence of Cantonese cuisine is lightness – no heavy use of chili peppers. Garlic, ginger, black beans, rice wine and soy are common flavorings. Cantonese more or less invented oyster sauce and shrimp paste. Very little sugar is used.

                                                                Cantonese believe that flavorings are used to enhance the principal ingredients of the dish, to create a wide array of interesting textures. Most dishes are very quickly stir-fried. They also prefer blanching, steaming, quick deep-frying and roasting.

                                                                1. re: scoopG
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                                                                  kriminalrat Mar 11, 2013 02:18 PM

                                                                  I've always been obsessed with "authentic". The most authentic Mexican, the most authentic vietnamese, etc...The more I get into fusion food, the less important "authentic" becomes. I love going to the Vellee deli food truck and getting the Korean BBQ burrito...a great Mexican/korean fusion. Also hearing about places like Mission Chinese in NYC/SF which isnt authentic but supposedly gets high praise makes me wonder how important being authentic is.

                                                                  That being said my favorite spot lately regardless of authenticity is Szechuan Spice in Uptown....I can't believe the place is quiet every time I go there.

                                                                  1. re: kriminalrat
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                                                                    ChancesR Mar 12, 2013 06:35 AM

                                                                    I'm also loving Szechuan Spice these days. My go-to dish is usually Fish Filets with Chile Pickle or Chile Vegetable. What are some of your faves?

                                                                    1. re: ChancesR
                                                                      mitch cumstein Mar 12, 2013 07:20 AM

                                                                      I like the Ma Po tofu there, with pork. Also the specials sheet has always treated me right, and it is a pay-off for actually dining in the restaurant. I have converted very plain jane american chinese devotees to the chung king dishes, the 2 chili chicken and the szechuan spice stir fry.

                                                                      1. re: mitch cumstein
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                                                                        discus Mar 19, 2013 08:36 AM

                                                                        By far and away, Szechuan Spice is the most authentic Chinese restaurant in the Twin Cities. Unfortunately most people order the standard take out Cantonese dishes, egg rolls, sweet and sour chicken, etc.

                                                                        For an authentic dining experience, start with their 3 item sampler. Choose the Ma La Tendon, Shredded Pork Stomach and Bon Bon Chicken to achieve deep insight into Szechuan cuisine. Their Dan Dan Noodles are the best in the Twin Cities. And that's before you get to their excellent entrees...

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