8766 Lyndale Ave S, Minneapolis, MN | Directions 5542044.844738 -93.288611
Neighborhoods: East Bloomington
overall ridiculously terrible – The service is ridiculously terrible. Especially during dim sum time. I called to ask if they take reservations, and they said no. They lied. they take reservation for "few special people" I noticed that while I stand in line to wait for a table of 8. it took 55 minutes to get a table. The trolley carts don't go to all the tables. The employees who walk around with the food trays don't go to all the tables. The overall organization of the carts and food trays is horrible and not consistent. I feel that when my family and I go there, we are begging for their food. Mandarin Kitchen can overcharge you, because they don't specifically list the items and its prices on the receipt or bill. They simply give you the total amount only. I've been overcharged before.
Pricey, but good food – Maybe I'm clueless, but I've always had great food here, both pre-and-post remodeling. Yes, I'm often seated near the kitchen, but I'm fine with that. I'm white and have gone there with white friends and Chinese and Japanese-American friends and haven't experienced a variation in service. My foodie friends, friends that lived in NYC, and other picky eaters all prefer MC. It can be difficult to have dishes customized to meet one's needs (e.g., do not include baby corn), but I've experienced this at most Chinese restaurants during peak hours. I have friends who have ordered 'off menu'. Timing of appetizer and entree service is unpredictable, but again, not different from many other restaurants. Food is always piping hot. Will say that I never order any seafood, but the tables around me always seem to have 1 or more dishes. There are so many posts on the internet about inconsistent service and prices, so there must be something to it, but I had to add my 2 cents.
Terrible Service, overcharged. – My husband and I went to this restaurant with our Caucasian daughter and her Chinese finance from New York. We went on recommendations from two knowledgable Chinese friends who said this was the best Chinese restaurant in town capable of a big private party which we wanted to have for the kids when they are married next year. It was a great disappointment. First, we were seated near the kitchen door away from all the other diners. Second, when we tried to order "off the menu" in Chinese (maybe Mandarin, not Cantonese) as is frequently possible in Chinese restaurants, we were told there was no other menu and we had to order from the English menu. We ordered a number of dishes including steamed fish in bean sauce. When the bill came, we had been charged $75.00 for the fish alone. I have had much better Chinese food in the Twin Cities, and never such unpleasant service. Our daughter, who is Caucasion, felt strongly that we had been treated badly because of the mixed race nature of our table. The whole dinner had a very unpleasant feel to it and we won't go back.
HORRIBLE! Will never go back. – My grandmother has gotten take-out from this place for YEARS, but after our experience last Saturday afternoon, she will not be back. She, my parents and myself stopped for lunch and were told the wait would be about 10 minutes. Fifteen minutes passed, then 20.... and we noticed that bigger parties of Chinese patrons were coming in and were seated before us. My mom asked the hostess if our name was still on the list and was told it was. Forty minutes after we arrived, we were finally shown to a table and given menus. We sat at the the table for TWENTY minutes, without anyone stopping to take our order. We even flagged down a waitress who did not speak English and who shook her head and ran away from us. We were so frustrated with the complete lack of service and discriminatory behavior, we got up and left.
I will never go back, nor will anyone I know.
I love DIM SUM – I ate at the Mandarin Kitchen before their remodel and I loved it. Taro cakes are my favorite, also the pork stuffed taro dumplings, oh and those egg tarts for desert! I will not claim to be an expert on Dim Sum as this is only the fourth Dim Sum I have tried (the others being in Detroit and in Windsor, Canada) BUT I will say that I consider myself to have a refined palate. I know when things are fresh, and that is half the problem I find with dining out, too many times you are served food that has seen a microwave. Yuck! That being said this place had hot food and a GREAT variety. I thought the cost was reasonable and I don't mind that they put the gratuity on the check. It is not the way most places handle gratuity for a two top but it saves me money in the end because I am always over tipping (I used to be a server). I am worried about the current reviews based on the quality and atmosphere after the renovation. I will visit soon and make an assessment for myself and I will report back if I find the same issues the other diners had. Hopefully the problems they were having were only temporary!
I just went back to the Mandarin Kitchen today and I found the renovation to be nice. I especially liked the fish pond and seeing all the fresh seafood in the tanks. We had a wonderful meal and it was well worth the drive(we live about 45 minutes away). The main dining room was a little noisy, but no more so than any other open air dining room, and there are a few separate rooms that each seat about four tables. This is where we were sat and these rooms were nice and quiet. I can't wait to go back!
Mandarin's not #1..., – I don't know where the former 3 yr resident writer lived in China, who raved about Mandarin's, but they obviously must not have visited Honk Kong, Shenzhen or Guangzhou in "South China"! Mandarin's dim sum is "so so" and perhaps it's biggest downfall is "it's clientele" who are very pushy, rowdy and clickish and who like to be seen as experts by appearing to think that having eaten in an Ann Chin's qualifies them as dim sum connoisseurs to boot!
I too lived in China for 3 yrs, but with the "Cantonese" population of Guangdong Province, who are the authentic and genuine, original purveyors of dim sum. With that being said I'd have to put "Yummy's" as #1 dim sum king of the Twin Cities, followed by "Ma Village" on University as #2, follwed by Mandarin's as #3! Whatever your taste, "enjoy"!
Usually wonderful, but not great for my vegetarian friend. – I love going to Mandarin Kitchen for their soup special a few times a month. There other dishes are equally wonderful. The wait staff are usually attentive and polite and i leave feeling good. But last nite i brought a friend who is vegetarian (and also speaks Chinese by the way) and after the way the staff treated him, I'm feeling like i may not go back.
We arrived and my friend asked if "any of the soups was vegetarian?" The first waiter merely said "no" and then stood there and took everyone else's' order. My friend then explained to the waiter in Chinese AND English his desires. The first waiter made a halfhearted suggestion which my friend good naturedly accepted.
They then proceeded to bring him a dish that clearly had Prawns in it. We asked for clarification, and our server, AND another waiter agreed that the dish contained seafood. We explained again that my friend was a vegetarian. Again, they made no other suggestions, nor apologies. Their attitude was of the nature of "oh just go ahead and eat it". When he stated that "no" he was not going to "just eat it", they merely shrugged and then took it away. They then ignored him. He ended up eating some of my rice with soy sauce for dinner. That was it.
I know they have vegetarian fare on the menu, and it would be a good idea to work with a customer to find the right dish for them, rather than treat them like the "poor cousin" at the table.
I am so unhappy with this situation, i may not go back.
Best dim sum in Minnesota!!! – I recently moved back to MN after living in China for 3 years. My friends brought me to Mandarin Kitchen for dim sum and it was easily better than any dim sum I ate in China. We went on Sunday right when then opened and the line was already out the door. The selection was not only vast, but unique. Everything was freshly made. I have been to other dim sum places around the area and none could compare to the quality that Mandarin Kitchen offers. There is an automatic 15% gratuity charge, but that is very standard for dim sum anywhere in the area. I also noticed there were private rooms. Our server informed us that they could be rented out for $500. And that includes food, entertainment, and a server dedicated to serving the party in the room. This is not only the best place to get dim sum anywhere in MN, but also seems to be an ideal place to have a private party. Beware that if you do come for dim sum to get here early. Our server told us that it is not unusual to run out of things if you get there after 12pm. Patience is also a must because there are MANY people eager to get in as well. I highly recommend this to anyone looking for the ultimate Chinese experience!
Overpriced and limited choices – A friend of mine visited me in Boston I took her to one of many resturants that serve dim sum. We had a great well priced dining experiance. Boston has a huge Chinese community and many places that serve dim sum. We went to Mandarin Kitchen on a Sunday to have good dim sum but instead got very limited choices of dishes that were not up to par. To top it off the prices were in excess and a 15% tip was automatically added to the bill without consent. When I asked the cashier about the tip he responded "we add 15%". We were a party of 2. All in all I would not recommend this place for dim sum. Perhaps they have better meals and service during non dim sum hours
Ruined by the Remodel – Wow, this place feels like a cafeteria and sounds even louder. The food is not as good as it was before and their layout causes their to be traffic jams with carts and customers clogging the aisles. Maybe that's why everything was cold as ice by the time it got to our table.
It is one of the last dim sum restaurants in the Twin Cities and I guess I'll have to learn to do without. I just couldn't hear myself think in there.
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