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Stepping into the Buddha-graced entryway of Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen, it's clear that Pham has a better design sense than the space's previous occupants, most recently two sushi restaurants and an Olive Garden. The sprawling, multi-room restaurant and bar are decorated with several striking Asian murals and decorative antiques from Pham's collection, including a few 1930s-era pieces from the Nankin, Minneapolis's storied Chinese restaurant. That energy can sometimes feel a little sports bar-like if you're seated near an overhead television set, but the space is vast enough to host cozy twosomes in its lounge as well as large groups in its banquet areas. The menu at Wondrous draws on recipes from Pham's grandmother and old-school Chinese classics like the Nankin's original egg foo young. There's also an extensive sushi list, several favorites from Pham's most noteworthy restaurant, Azia, such as the walleye with jalapeños and the cranberry cream cheese wontons. Wondrous is a good spot for large groups to share Peking duck, whole fish, giant racks of ribs, and a fishbowl cocktail called the Wondrous Punch in the Face. But its best feature may be its dim sum brunch, which is all too hard to find in these parts. The shrimp shumai, fried bean curd skin, tarot buns and the chiu chow dumplings are all delicious.
Soon after we heard that restaurateur Thom Pham's Wonderous Azian Kitchen had closed, news is now out that he is facing felony charges for allegedly writing bad checks to A-Z Restaurant Equipment out ... More »
After shutting down its social media accounts and failing to answer phone calls, yesterday rumors started circulating that Thom Pham's troubled downtown restaurant, Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen,... More »
"CAN I HAVE the Bartender's Phone Number?" a diner at Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen asked her server. The request might have seemed a little gauche, since the woman was sitting right next to her spouse. "I'm sure you'll love it," the server... More »
Brazerac$8 Thom Pham's Wondrous Azian Kitchen 533 Hennepin Ave., Minneapolis 612.338.1479 It's not everyday that someone gets to live one of their dreams. But that's just what happened to bartender B... More »
i had a disastrous experience on my first visit to this restaurant. i will never go there again. I had a Groupon worth $80 that we walked in with, on July 31. it had expired on July 30, one day earlier. So we told our waitress right away that we had a Groupon and was that ok? she said it was fineand she would collect it at the end. I had a situation once with another restaurant where the Groupon had expired 3 days prior to our visit and they graciously accepted it. So when our waitress, Kristi, said that it was ok we thought nothing more of it. The 3 of us then spent $180 including tip on our meal. when it came time to pay, the manager came out and said he would not honor the $80 Groupon because it had expired one day earlier, that he would only credit us $40 which is what i paid for the Groupon. Shocked, we told him that we cleared it with our waitress before we ordered. Well it turns out the waitress didn't tell him she had promised to honor it. Nonetheless, he would not stand behind her mistake, and would not give us the $80 credit. I also asked him why they would put an expiration date one day before the end of the month... how dumb is that? it expired on July 30 instead of July 31... he said they have nothing to do with the expiration dates and that is totally up to Groupon. The whole ordeal was embarrassing in front of our dinner guest, so we just paid and left.
The next day my husband called and spoke to the same manager, Randy. He told Randy that the only issue is that the waitress said they would honor the Groupon; had she said otherwise, we wouldn't have spent so much on the food.
Randy said they have another Groupon out that hasn't yet expired, and the waitress may have thought our Groupon was the other one. He told Randy that the waitress then should have definitely looked at the Groupon or inquired further about it. He also informed Randy that Groupon told us they NEVER set expiration dates, the merchant decides that... so Randy had not been truthful about that the evening before. Randy then spoke at length to the owner and called back my husband, saying the owner was unwilling to honor the Groupon in full, even though Randy admitted the waitress messed up by saying they would honor it in full. This establishment is unethical and unscrupulous, and they won't even stand behind a promise by their employees. i would not recommend anyone going here. By the way, the food was ok but nothing to write home about; and the menu had nothing really exciting on it. there was even a large section on hamburgers, hot dogs, and french fries... why am i wanting those things at a fancy Asian restaurant?!
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... More »
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