Nobody on this board lamented the loss of Chan's Seafood at 25th and Nicollet in Minneapolis more than I did. It was my favorite Chinese restaurant in town. It was my favorite seafood restaurant in town. It was the best place to get a meal after 11 p.m. in town. It was where I gathered with friends for Saturday dim sum with friends once a month.
So I was pretty nervous last night when I tried Yummy, which opened in the same location. I have been disappointed with recent restaurant openings when my hopes have gotten too high -- like Solera. nd the name "Yummy" seemed a little too cutesy.
I am glad to say that Yummy did not disappoint. I am not ready yet to say it is fully replacing Chan's in my heart and stomach, but it may soon.
I was a little thrown off at first by the nouveau northen Minnesota log cabin look of the place. They put some money into the interior design, and let's just say I might not have picked out the same designer. However, the packed parking lot at 5:30 (very early, but our friends have a two year old) was a good sign. I also liked the fact that we were the only all-Caucasian table in the restaurant.
We tried three dishes and were pleased with all three. We got an eggplant and garlic hot pot that was a little sweet and a little spicy. It came out sizzling, and it was very tasty. The eggplant itself was fresh and sweet. Our second dish was pea greens with garlic -- a dish I like to get at all Chinese restaurants as a test of the kitchen. The greens were cooked perfectly and the only complaint by some at the table (not me) was that it was a little salty. For our third dish we got a whole steamed tilapia with ginger and scallions. The flavor of the sauce was right on. Tilapia is not my favorite fish, but it was cooked well and it was very fresh (still swimming when we ordered it). We chose tilapia because it was $11.95 for a whole fish while the other fish (grouper, soyfish, and rockfish) were $22/Lb for a two pound fish. The huge price gap (4x) seemed a little odd and may have been due to a misunderstanding on my part because of a little bit of a language barrier.
For dessert we shared a couple bubble teas from their four-page bubble tea menu. I am kind of a traditionalist with bubble tea so the funky flavors like peach and mango and blue curaco do not appeal to me, but they are there for those who want them. We got one plain black milk tea and one black seasme milk tea. Both were very good.
I am excited to go back and explore more of the menu. While they specialize in Hong Kong style cuisine, unfortunately they do not have dim sum. But for those who like roast meats, you will be happy to know that they have whole roast duck hanging in a case in the back -- similar to the front window of most NYC Chinatown restaurants. Overall, a positive first visit.