I READ A NUMBER OF REVIEWS ABOUT THE MANDARIN BEFORE MY CHINESE- CANADIAN FAMILY AND I DROVE DOWN TO MINNEAPOLIS, MN., FROM THUNDER BAY, ONTARIO, CANADA TO TRY THE DIM SUM AT THE MANDARIN RESTAURANT ON SUNDAY, FEB. 19/12. WE ARRIVED AT ABOUT 11:20AM AND HAD TO WAIT ABOUT 25 MINUTES BUT IT WAS NOT A PROBLEM BECAUSE I HAD READ THE COMMENTS THAT WE SHOULD HAVE HAD ARRIVED BEFORE 11AM. THE DIM SUM WAS FANTASTIC. EVERY DISH THAT WE TRIED WAS WONDERFUL AND I HAVE EXPERIENCED DIM SUM IN THUNDER BAY, TORONTO, WINNIPEG, EDMONTON, CALGARY, VANCOUVER AND SEATTLE. THIS RESTAURANT IS A MUST TRY. YOU WILL NOT REGRET IT. MY FAMILY & I WILL DEFINITELY RETURN.
BEST DIM SUM - 2010
The parking lot tells the story at Mandarin Kitchen. On one recent Sunday morning, the asphalt surrounding this hidden Bloomington strip-mall gem was so stuffed with minivans that, much to the dismay of Buck's Unpainted Furniture, the cars spilled like burst pot-sticker innards into the spaces reserved for surrounding businesses. But Buck's pain is your gain, because this is how you spot good dim sum in this town. Southern China's beloved brunch tradition, dim sum is a family affair, and to find the best you go where the Chinese families go; in other words, a parking lot full of minivans is as good as three Michelin stars. Once you've lucked into a parking spot and shouldered your way inside, Mandarin Kitchen makes good on the promise of its lot. Dim sum is a circus of small plates meant to be shared by big, happy groups—its name translates to something like "heart's delight." Here that means delectable steamed dumplings (gao), stuffed crab balls, pork buns, seaweed salad, and various other delights ferried directly to your table. Our tip: Try a little bit of everything, even the "Phoenix talons," which, yeah, are really just fried chicken feet, but they're also dang tasty. And bring the kids: They're an important part of this weekend-only tradition, and they'll love the eel tank in the waiting area.