ChinDian Cafe

Twin Cities, Minnesota


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The samosas were amazing!!
Plenty of vegan options - the edamame and samosas are vegan. Most of the meat dishes can be substituted for tofu or mock duck. The gobi manchurian is vegan too. Stay away from the Malaysian dishes, fish sauce is used in all of them (acc. to the server).

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The menu isn't that easy for vegans to navigate, but the staff are friendly and helpful with that part. I recommend the spicy peanut noodle appetizer.

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I am going with a rating of "3" to be nice. They are a good place. The food was okay. The service was okay. It was cute when the chef came out with her daughter in tow.

However, the food wasn't very good. It was expensive. They don't offer condiments, which I found to be odd. (I've never been to a Chinese restaurant that doesn't have soy sauce, or an Indian restaurant without yogurt???)

We went there with a Blue Sky Guide coupon, and I would probably go back, to see if things have improved after a couple of months. (sometimes restaurants just get off to a rough start, after all....)

Image for conde.kedar

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Chindian sounds like it would be cool, bringing together Chinese and Indian foods into a fusion whole. Sadly, this place is not cool. It's basically a glorified Chinese take-out joint with little to no Indian influence, but lots of influence from Chinese restaurants that serve chow mein and fried rice.

I had a fried tofu with shiitake mushroom stir-fry ($8.25) that was basically just tofu, carrots, onions, scallions and some shiitake in a garlic-brown sauce. It was really simple and not particularly interesting, especially not with flavorless, unhealthy white rice.

Vegans beware to ask questions about ingredients, as some of the dishes contain fish/oyster sauce or egg. The only dishes that the waitress could recommend for vegans were the mock duck with broccoli, the fried tofu with shiitake, and a chown fun with vegetables.

There were two Malaysian dishes that sounded unusual and interesting, but they could not be modified.

Why not offer some Indo-Chinese dishes such as veg. manchurian? Granted, Indo-Chinese food was wholly developed in India, so it's not a true "fusion," but it tastes good and is hard to come by in Minnesota. I can get chow fun and garlic stir-frys anywhere. Chindian, live up to your concept and offer something that would make the drive to Northeast worthwhile.

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