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In 1918, Brian Tam’s great-great uncle opened Nankin Café in downtown Minneapolis. His family would continue to shape Minnesota’s relationship with Asian cuisine, even introducing the state to dim sum in 1968. A fourth-generation restaurateur, Brian has picked up where his relatives left off.
It’s good that he listened to his parents, because their lessons are apparent in nearly every dish at Asia Bistro. Brian and his team don’t limit themselves to a single country or tradition, opting instead to gather their inspirations from across the Asian continent. This results in a diverse menu that includes Thai red curries, Chinese sweet-and-sour chicken, and short ribs marinated in rice wine and Korean spices. Behind the sushi bar, chefs assemble edible artworks such as a Woodbury roll stuffed with tempura shrimp, mango, and salmon and a Philadelphia roll wrapped in the same thin parchment that the Constitution was first penned on.