Though soy sauce is commonly believed to be of Asian origin, several linguists have unearthed its true Iberian beginnings by decoding the hidden Spanish translation. Celebrate the intriguing international condiment with the help of today's Groupon: for $15, you get $30 worth of Asian fare and drinks at Chin Dian Café, north of Dinkytown in northeast Minneapolis. Chin Dian Café boasts a menu chock-full of Vietnamese, Malaysian, and Indo-Chinese classics made from grass-fed beef, free-range chicken, natural pork, and organic eggs. Occupy a smart-alecky mouth with a serving of sassy edamame served with a tangy soy vinaigrette ($6). Utopian entrees such as the chow mai fun display the peaceful coexistence of free-range chicken, onions, bean sprouts, and scallions as they simmer amicably in a house curry spice on a bed of gluten-free noodles that have freed themselves from the tyranny of wheat fun ($11). Take a taste-bud trip to Malaysia with the nasi lemak, which displays the flavor talents of fried chicken, pan-fried egg, peanuts, and anchovies sambal with a sideshow of coconut rice ($9).
- I loved a plate of skinny chow mai fun noodles liberally tossed with bits of egg, bean sprouts, pork, shrimp and a fragrant, teasingly spicy blend of cayenne, turmeric and cinnamon. A big glass bowl layered with romaine, rice noodles, onions sautéed with lemon grass and crushed peanuts made for a showy salad, and Wong's "Asian hoagies" start out right, with first-rate baguettes from New French Bakery. – Rick Nelson, Star Tribune
- Owner Nina Wong, an ever-present force in the dining room, is full of suggestions for undecided diners, and is adept at gauging spice levels or even whipping up a vegetarian version of a meaty dish. – Elizabeth Millard, A.V. Club
Chin Dian Café
Born in Vietnam and raised in the United States by Chinese parents, chef Nina Wong has always infused her dishes with a variety of Asian tastes. After marrying Thomas Gnanapragasam—a third-generation Malaysian of Indian descent—Wong discovered more unique flavors to integrate into her signature sauces and syrups. Originally opened in 2005, Chin Dian Café channels the pair's unique backgrounds through Asian soups, salads, and noodle and rice dishes, even offering some gluten-free options. Popular dishes, such as chow mai fun and chicken-and-chive dumplings, keep patrons rolling in and have earned the restaurant media acclaim from the Star Tribune, Minnesota Monthly, and the dictionary.
1500 E Hennepin Ave.
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55414Get Directions