By OnMilwaukee Staff Writers   Published Jan 26, 2001 at 6:25 AM

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.


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.