You just lost all credibility for any Asian food review. This place is fusion food - how dare you say the dim sum here is the best?!
Best Dim Sum - 2011
Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen
We all have our favorite suburban dim sum spots, tucked into drab and far-flung strip malls, or housed in a freeway-side former Chili's. And while there's something to be said for an authentic ambiance, would it be too much to ask to pop back a few shrimp shumai in a restaurant that was a little more chic and convenient? Thom Pham's new Wondrous Azian Kitchen is as pretty as it is proximate, with a Fifth and Hennepin address that lends the urban ring of a big-city Chinatown. While the restaurant's weekend dim sum menu might not be as extensive as some—they don't serve chicken feet, but you weren't going to eat 'em anyway, were you?—it covers all the basics and offers a few innovations, such as the chiu chow dumplings stuffed with pork, scallions, and peanuts. The fried foods are the most favored: The wrinkled skin of bean curd is a chewy, salty pleasure; taro buns are a sweet, starchy mash. But be careful with the dessert-like sesame balls—hollow shells of chewy rice flour covered in crunchy seeds and filled with a nugget of creamy lotus bean paste. Eat too many and you'll have to roll yourself out of the place.
I want to emphasize that they have really good dim sum even if they are stingy about serving it. It seems homemade instead of premade. They actually served chicken feet and crawfish, but I passed on that.
They have delicious dim sum. They have an all you can enjoy for $20, but it really seems like they try to restrict how much dim sum you get. They bring out their dim sum very slowly. Their servers are very slow, and they try to avoid your table if some of the people have asked for the dim sum in the last round even if the dim sum is different from the last round.
This is ridiculous. Sometimes I wonder how qualified you citypages folks are, if you think the dim sum at Wondrous is good. The "chiu chow" dumplings are not innovative-- they are a staple at most dim sum places. Sounds like the only reason one would go to this place is because 'they don't serve chicken feet.'
No, the dim sum there is not good! It's not authentic! It's not even good fusion or twist on traditional! and wth, yes, I am going to eat the chicken feet.
This is ridiculous. Minnesota has such a great food scene, but we're beginning to be guilty of elevating restaurants because of the name of the chefowner; Tom Pham, Tim McKee, Josh Thoma. I do Azia...
They do not have the best dim sum. A group of us who went agreed that it isn't up to par. It's also a bit pricey, perhaps due to downtown location?
Cmon City Pages, really? I love you guys but I'm really questioning your taste because of this review. Have you tried Dim Sum at Mandarin Kitchen, Yangzte, or pretty much any other Dim Sum places in the Cities? Thom's catering to the urban crowd for this restaurant but as far as Dim Sum goes, I wouldn't recommend this to ANYONE let alone vote is as the best place for Dim Sum. Worst service and Dim Sum, ever...
I agree with the 4 previous comments. For Dim Sum, Mandarin Kitchen in Bloomington runs circles around Phams restaurant who's self promoting name I will not repeat. I'm thankful to anyone who serves Dim Sum because it is a laborious food and not every chinese restaurant serves it. There's just so much better.
Instead of listing all the things TP needs to do to bring up his Dim Sum game, I'm going to relive the many tasty treats at Mandarian.
Steamed broccoli leafy things with thick soy sauce. healthy and tasty. form and function rice and meat thingies wrapped in tea leaf. steamy and moist. doughy and crispy deep fried meat deals.
and many many more.
What. I haven't tried this place for its regular lunch and dinner menu, but I did go for dim sum, and it was hands down the worst dim sum experience I've ever had. My friends and I left underfed, but we did get the meal comped because we explained to the manager our dissatisfaction. First, the service: SLOW AS HELL. Absolutely no knowledge on the part of the servers about the food. And they just stood around most of the time instead of continually bringing the carts around. I swear, there was a stretch of twenty minutes where not a single cart circulated. (And there were about ten tables of people there.) Second, the food: just okay. Nothing great, nothing awful. One of our gripes was that we asked at the host's station about how extensive the vegetarian options were. He assured us that we could find enough for a filling meal. Turns out that is absolutely false, unless we wanted to eat just dumplings and chinese broccoli. Not even that many seafood options....
I wonder how much money Mr. Pham gave you guys because this may have been the worst dim sum place you could have chosen in the Twin Cities. The servers have no knowledge of the food they are serving, the pace is really slow (expect 15 minutes to get your food at the minimum), and it is extremely over priced. The only thing that resembled dim sum were the dumplings... that came out cold by the way.
Avoid this place at all possible. Go to Mandarin Kitchen or Yangtze if you want better dim sum.
WOW! That is all I can say about Ev. I love the fact that Mr. Pham has given downtown Minneapolis some Asian spice and not just another piece of meat, I mean how many steak houses can one small city handle? I love that he is trying to offer an alternative to basic brunch by offering Dim Sum. I love that he opens early and stay open late. I love that his restaurant provides a cool, adult atmosphere while providing great food and beverage. Sure, I suppose if I had the money and time to travel to Hong Kong or San Francisco I would find better Dim Sum but come on. Let's try to enjoy the city in which we live and honor those trying something a little different. I'd love to see you try....
Ugh. I love you, City Pages, but I could not disagree more. I'll give The Azian Kitchen credit where credit is due: they try to be bold and creative. They try to handcraft their offerings. But they fail...and fail huge. Too often, dumplings arrive dry and tepid. The Chinese sausage wrapped in steamed fleshy Chinese bread is a sucker-punch of crap: too dry and just all-around terrible. The sausage becomes jerky and the bread is pasty and disgusting. The rest of the menu is just plain forgettable. You want dim sum? If you can't take the time to travel to Hong Kong or San Fransisco, go to Mandarin Kitchen in Bloomington and look at the clientelle. Mr. Pham should take a cue from that place and learn what makes a great dim sum joint great. It's about the food and not about flashy decor. I suppose Mr. Pham tries hard, but he just misses the mark on tasty cuisine (I won't discuss the merits of authenticity). The Azian Kitchen is, sadly and ultimately, another flashy-but-crap Pan Asian restaurant.