The Wife is now in charge of cooking dinners during the week. I am very grateful for her work in this area and she has been doing an excellent job picking new and interesting dishes we haven’t tried before while rolling in our tried and true favorites. By the time we walk in the door after she comes to get me from work, most everything is ready. Unfortunately on Monday when she was getting ready to prepare the Chicken Enchilada Casserole she found the chicken was not defrosted and there wasn’t enough time to get it done before cooking. I suggested she take the night off and we go out to eat. I offered up a few different options to her including some new places, one of which she ended up choosing…
Nha Sang in Burnsville is a pan-Asian restaurant located in the strip mall which houses Taqueria Hidalgo and sits across from the Burnsville Performing Arts Center. While I have passed Nha Sang numerous times, I was never particularly interested in the place, passing it off as another typical Chinese restaurant with a cheap lunch buffet. It wasn’t until a few months ago when I read a long forgotten article about Nha Sang which spoke of its Tibetan cuisine that my interest was again piqued. I added it to the “Must Do” list and begged MSPD a few times to join me–he never could clear his oh so busy schedule–figuring The Wife would never be up for the food. Well, after she looked over the menu and saw some traditional Americanized Chinese dishes she declared Nha Sang the winner and off we went.
When we arrived at around 7:15 on Monday we were the only people in the restaurant. It’s a cute little space painted a dark red with a good number of tables and some booths available as well. The lunch buffet equipment dominates the middle of the restaurant but it was tucked out of the way as best it could be for the evening. We were seated at a booth along the windows and the sole person in the front of the house provided us with menus and some time to look them over while he went to fetch our drinks.
The menu (it is a little outdated on their site as there were a few new items listed in the print version) is fairly small for an Asian restaurant of this type and offers dishes ranging from Thai to Vietnamese to Tibetan. The Wife wasn’t looking for anything adventurous that evening and stuck to the Americanized Chinese options while I decided to go with a Tibetan dish. With these ideas in mind we placed our orders for Cheese Wontons (6) for $3.37, Steamed Pork Potstickers (6) for $4.27, an order of Sesame Chicken with rice ($8.97), and an order of Tibetan style Shapta ($9.97).
The wontons and potstickers were out fairly quickly and were presented nicely. The wontons were light and crispy but had plenty of flavorful cream cheese oozing from the inside. While cream cheese wontons do little to excite me, especially when they’re served with the typical syrupy, mass-produced sweet and sour we were provided on Monday, I have to admit that for the price these were some of the best I’ve had in the area. The Rooster and The Wife were both big fans and they were polished off quickly.
The Steamed (also available fried) Pork Potstickers were served with a light and refreshing ginger vinegar soy sauce which rounded out the fairly flavorless appetizer. While I didn’t find anything terribly wrong with these particular potstickers, none of us were clamoring for more and there were definitely no fights over anything except to try more of the dipping sauce. The Wife noted that she’d be inclined to try them fried next time even if it meant having two fried appetizers at the table at the same time.
The Wife’s Sesame Chicken was a surprisingly large portion for the price. While I found the flavor to be lacking overall, The Wife was quite impressed and said she would definitely order it again in the future. She boxed up half and brought it home with her and while the leftovers held up very well, it still didn’t tickle my fancy. However, The Wife noted that while she’s tried Americanized Chinese options at both Classic Saigon in Eagan and at Saigon Palace nearby in Burnsville, neither of those places came close to this offering.
The Tibetan Style Shapta is described as, “sliced beef with onion, green scallions, jalapeño with a Tibetan style bread.” While I didn’t order it with rice, the server said he was going to bring me some as soon as he put it down on the table. While it comes rated as 3 of 4 peppers on their menu, I asked for it to come as hot as they could make it. The meal came out loaded with chiles and beef. The meat was tender and flavorful and the heat was enough to get my nose going. Honestly I went into the meal thinking it was going to be yet another mediocre Asian restaurant but I walked away pleasantly surprised with the quality of the food I was served and certainly the heat. This will definitely become a more regular stop for us based on my meal alone. Yum.
Overall I was really impressed with my meal at Nha Sang. My dish was flavorful and spicy and while the rest of the meal wasn’t as incredible, this single dish really showed promise and made me look forward to trying some of the other less common items on the menu. In addition to the food the service was phenomenal and the restaurant itself was beautiful and clean. This is definitely a place I will recommend to anyone and everyone and I hope you all give it a chance and soon.
Have you ever eaten at Nha Sang in Burnsville? If so, what did you think? What did you order and have you tried their lunch buffet ($6.50)? Would you stick to the more mundane options or would you try some of the others such as the Tibetan options? Whatever you have to say about Nha Sang go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear your thoughts.
12621 Nicollet Ave
Burnsville MN 55337-2862
See all the pictures from Nha Sang in Burnsville on Flickr here.