The collapse of the I-35 Bridge affected more than just the commuters in and out of Minneapolis. Businesses in Dinkytown on the University of Minnesota campus found many of their customers from the south metro area stopped making the trip across the river. Now that the 10th Street Bridge has reopened, business is once again picking up as was evident on a recent Saturday when I stopped by Shuang Cheng, one of the area’s favorite Chinese restaurants. (It is usually among the top five Chinese restaurants in diner polls.) As usual, owner Daniel Lam was on hand overseeing the busy dining room filled with students and alumni attending the University homecoming festivities.
Over the past 17 years, Lam has garnered a following of students, faculty, and families with his consistently good food at reasonable prices. Some come for the daily specials that offer a complete lunch for $5.19 to $6.19 per person. Families come for the wide variety of traditional dishes that are served family style to the round tables filled with children and adults. Others come for the extensive number of seafood dishes Lam and his staff prepare everyday. (The restaurant serves more fresh lobster than most restaurants in town.) But, my favorite is pan-fried noodles topped with chicken and peppers in black bean sauce….absolutely delicious!
There is also something Shuang Cheng offers that is hard to find in the Twin Cities – perfectly done Peking Duck. Here it is served in three courses so that you can enjoy each aspect of this regal dish.. It is available everyday but Lam requests that you call ahead and give him an hour’s notice. What a great idea for a special celebration or treating out-of-town guests. Shuang Cheng is at 1320 4th Street SE in Minneapolis. If parking is not available on the street, park in the Dinkytown parking lot one block over on 5th. The restaurant comps the first hour, is open Monday through Saturday for lunch and dinner and Sundays from 4 – 10 p.m. For information or take-out orders call Shuang Cheng at 612-378-0208.
Phyllis Louise Harris is a cookbook author, food writer and cooking teacher specializing in Asian foods. She is founder of the Asian Culinary Arts Institutes Ltd. dedicated to the preservation, understanding and enjoyment of the culinary arts of the Asia Pacific Rim. For information about ACAI’s programs call 612-813-1757 or visit the website at www.asianculinaryarts.com.