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Milwaukee's Daily Magazine for Saturday, Oct. 25, 2014

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Peony brings Dim Sum tradition back to Milwaukee


Peony Dim Sum and Seafood Restaurant
11120 W. Bluemound Rd.
(414) 443-6455
Open daily
Dim Sum served 10 a.m.-3 p.m. daily

Dim Sum, you lose some. The arrival of the Year of the Snake marks a perfect reason to slither on down to the Peony, Milwaukee's newest Chinese restaurant and enjoy the delicacies of dim sum.

Dim Sum is a Chinese ritual in which breakfast and lunch are combined with an assault of myriad appetizers and noodle dishes, pushed through the dining room on small carts awaiting the beck and call of the hungry guest.

Decor

Located in the former Mandarin near the Milwaukee County Zoo, Peony has a pleasant restaurant environment. Classy lacquered chairs, brush paintings and aquarium with tonight's dinner swimming inside provide enough company to set the stage for dinner.


Dim Sum is the queen of the prom here, and our hat is off to Peony for their attempt to bring this tradition back to Milwaukee. There are a number of options here and the mix or match menu allows you to control your own destiny when it comes to filling your table with a variety of flavors. There are a multitude of dumplings, buns and cakes steamed in wicker baskets and brought tableside. Shrimp, pork and a variety of meats provide the filling for these dainty little dumplings, and they are just waiting to splash in the soy sauce as they fall off the chopsticks on the way to your mouth.

Those with a spirit of adventure might want to explore the Chinese experience and sample such traditional dishes as sticky rice with chicken wrapped in a lotus leaf, duck-shred spring rolls, taro with pork pancakes and chicken feet with black beans. Desserts include egg custard tart, fried sesame ball and water chestnut cake. Our advice is to come with a group of friends and order like banshees. Working your way through the menu is a lot of fun.

Speaking of the menu, fresh seafood provides the best choice for dinner if you can live with the fact that your order brings the swift blade of the cleaver to one of the tanks' citizens. Lobster, crab and Tilapia are usually found in the tanks with apprehensive looks on their faces. All in all, the Peony is a welcome addition to the city's culinary landscape.


A pretty conservative Wauwatosa crowd so far is seen mingling with a group of local Chinese. All are here to explore some good Chinese food.


Inexpensive to moderate.


A full bar offers wine, beer and a number of drinks with little umbrellas.

Talkbacks

hladynn | May 1, 2013 at 9:52 p.m. (report)

OMG Delivered 6 pc chicken wings and order of combination rice. Not only looked weird, smelled and tasted horrible. Chicken crust was white, meat was dark brown. Rice had a lot going on with absolutely no flavor, even with soy sauce. I got nauseated trying to eat it. Called to tell them and the Manager yelled in the background in their language, then the girl got on the phone and said if I didn't eat any of it I can get my money back...and hung up on me. I fed it to my dogs.

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hallinz | April 23, 2009 at 2:49 p.m. (report)

While the food was moderately tasty, the service couldn't be any worse. My dining companion and I were taken aback when our waitress brought a water refill to our table. It was no in a pitcher, it was not a fresh glass, no, it was another glass of water that was DUMPED into the existing glass on the table. It was fairly obvious that this glass had come from another table. We ordered our food without issue until we were brought an incorrect dish. The waitress, Deb, informed my friend and I that we did in fact ask her for that dish. I politely assured that we did no such thing and still, she pulled out her ticket to show us where she wrote the number down. The number of the dish was in fact written twice on her pad, a mistake made entirely on her part. Again, she insisted the fault was ours, to the point of sending out the manager to take care of the situation. We had already created a bit of hooplah by sending back a dim sum dish that unbeknownst to my friend, contained seafood (which she could not eat due to an allergy). The manager informed us that not only do we need to be more careful when we order, but very snidely stated that when you order food in a restaurant, it is your responsibility to ask your server EXACTLY what the dish contains (their menu contained no explanations or descriptions of the dim sum and when my friend ordered "Stuffed Eggplant" she did not anticipate a scallop as the stuffing). Which was a very interesting statement, since our waitress told us this was her first week and she had never even worked in a Chinese restaurant before, so I'm not entirely sure what kind of description she would have given. We were not offered an apology from the manager nor the waitress, only treated with the utmost disrespect from start to finish. Needless to say, we will never make a trip to Peony again.

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Mexicoman | March 14, 2007 at 9:15 p.m. (report)

PEONY IS A NICE PLACE TO TAKE YOUR MEALS. IS NOT EXPENSIVE AND A GOOD ATMOPHERE. IF SOMEBODY NOWS ABOUT AN E-MAIL OR A WEB SITE OF PEONY RESTAURANT, CON YOU TELL ME IT TO psicamb@gmail.com THANK YOU

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