It seems that The River Mandarin Restaurant is no longer open either. I will keep the review in case they do actually reopen on Corydon. I drove down Corydon from Osborne to Stafford and didn't see any sign of them and their phone number is not assigned to them anymore. I will be keeping my fingers crossed that they have not closed their doors permanently.
I started my life, outside of my parent's home, on River Ave. One of the many restaurants that I frequented was The River Mandarin. It is still my all time favorite restaurant in Winnipeg. I know it doesn't look like much from the outside. Even the inside is dated and the food hasn't changed in years which is good because it is delicious. The menu is huge with a variety of Northern Chinese and Thai dishes and prices are average to slightly high for this type of cuisine. The main draw for me is that they will make nearly all the dishes with tofu instead of the meat and that is awesome. It is hard for me to not spend a fortune though. How can I limit myself to just a couple things when there is a menu of delicious options for me? A meat eater may not get that comment the way another fellow vegetarians will. Vegetarians are used to having a few options to choose from so when the menu opens up to hundreds of vegetarian choices it can be overwhelming and not in a bad way.
I always start with an appetizer and my choice depends on how many people are with me. Vegetarian Dumplings are great for a couple and you need a group to enjoy the Harvest In Snow. Harvest In Snow is a huge dish of diced veggies, crunchy rice noodles, nuts, & tofu (if you replace the chicken & pork) with a hoisin type sauce. For those who haven't had this dish it is an event. It is served with a head of fresh iceburg lettuce. You scoop and roll the mixture into the lettuce and top with the sauce and try not to make a mess. It is fantastic and it is large enough to be a meal in itself for two people which explains it's $23 price tag.
The entrees & soups I mix up with each visit are the Thai Coconut Soup, Thai Green Curry Bean Curd & Vegetables, their signature dish Wonder Chicken where I exchange the chicken out for tofu, and I always get the Dan-Dan Noodles. The Dan-Dan Noodles are fat noodles covered with a sweet peanut sauce, chopped nuts, and I believe chicken. I always trade it out for tofu so I am not sure what the original meat is. The Dan-Dan noodles are one of my favorite dishes in the world. I hate sharing them!!!
The appetizer prices range from $8-16, soups $3-11, entrees $8.75-14. The prices are on the higher side but it is worth the extra money. It may not be for the thrifty eater but the food is also higher end and worth the heftier prices. You get what you pay for. I have never been there when it is packed and I wonder how they stay in business most of the time. I have read in the Free Press that they are planning to shut down the River Ave location this year and move to a smaller location on the Corydon strip. I can understand the move because they never have even 1/4 of their 200 seats filled. I hope the prices do not go up with the jump to the pricey real estate on Corydon.
Here are some sites with news, recipes, and their menu:
The River Mandarin Restaurant
252 River Ave