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May 24, 2006 05:45 PM

Peninsula Minneapolis Mixed Bag

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Paz and I have been to Peninsula 4 times in the past month, and I have a query:
The first time we fell in love: the noodle dishes were wonderful, the tofu satay was great, Paz liked his volcano pork or whatever it was called. Since then, we have been trying to branch out and having no luck. I always get the Mee Siam noodles because I love them so (although every time they bring them to me they say "pad thai" which is also on the menu, so I wonder if there is a difference), but beyond that, not so great. The mango shrimp was basically sweet and sour shrimp with pieces of mango, and not at all spicy as billed. The Buddhist Yam Pot was bland, the tofu with pork dish was dull. Am I ordering wrong? Are they only good at noodles?
By the way, for any interested and in the dark, it is on 26th and Nicollet in Minneapolis.

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  1. I went once, got several appetizers to go. I liked
    my chicken satay and something with pieces of bone-in
    chicken and a big thin dough wrap(sorry the name escapes me). I didn't like the recommended achat salad, found it too intense. I'm not really motivated
    enough to go back though.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Faith Lubitz

      we went 2 weeks ago with 7 other people. Our order was very large - at least 5 appetizers and another 5 main dishes. It's true that not all dishes were to write home about - a few seemed bland (the Buddhist Hot Pot), but we assumed that's how these dishes are meant to be (Buddhist is on the name!).
      The varieties were great and we had a very friendly and attentive waiter who recomended many different flavors and taste experineces, from spicy and intense to more subtle (or bland) dishes. I liked everything we had, but depending on what you order one flavor may tottaly overshadow something else. My 2 cents: ask them what to order and what goes well together!

      1. re: MariQ

        I agree with you in principle about the approach, but I was really very disappointed with the mango shrimp: it was, as I said, sweet and sour shrimp and was something I would have expected in a third rate Chinese restaurant. The point is, it concerns me that Penisula would serve it, and I wonder how many of their dishes are so bad.

        1. re: Alice

          We were lucky with the items we ordered. All 7 dishes were very good. One of the 4 of us is familiar with Maylasian and Indonesian food, so that helped. But nothing that was stated as spicy was remotely so. We would have liked more heat. The service was good after a couple of early glitches, not getting the first appetizer we ordered for instance. We'd go back the next time we're in town.

          1. re: zataar

            so don't leave me hanging, what did you order?

            1. re: Alice

              We were there in April, I had to check my journal!
              We had roti canai, the flatbread thing with a chicken and potato curry dipping sauce. We all loved that. Tofu Satay was very good, you liked that one as well. We all loved the achat pickled vegetable salad, which is admittedly intense. The Seafood Soup with Pickled Vegetables was very light, but also intensely flavored. It was full of lots of vegetables and seafood, none of which was the fake kind. Mee Siam was the noodle dish we got, it was enjoyable, but not spicy. The Kari Sayur was tasty, but not in the clay pot that it was supposed to be in. We could identify most of the spices in it, cinnamon, bay, star anise, black cardamom (we could see those) cumin. It tasted very Indian. We all thought it was very good. Pandan Chicken was interesting. Pandan has a somewhat vanilla taste. Lots of Thai Basil was stir fried in. Once again, it wasn't spicy, but the menu said it was. We were there the first weekend in April, about 5 weeks or so after they opened. Lots of servers seemed to be still in training. We had interesting drinks. Two of us had Malaysian iced tea, one had a lychee drink which was very good and one of us had Lemon Iced Tea, which was wonderful. Everything we had tasted very fresh, but we would have liked the designated spicy things to have been so. But we always run into that in the TC! The servings were large, lots of leftovers. I'd like to go back when up your way and try a whole fish, walleye or snapper.

              1. re: zataar

                Salty & Spicy Golden Tofu is our favorite at Peninsula.

    2. Late to the game -- I'm going tonight and am excited to check out your hits and avoid your misses. But I had a flash of linguistic insight (or maybe a delusion): "Pad Thai" translates into "noodles in the Thai style" (or more literally, I think, "noodles made by a Thai person" because when I was making it, I was told that I was technically making "Pad Farang" because I am caucasian).

      "Mee Siam" might be "Noodles in the Thai style" but with a different word for "noodles" (="mee") and the other word for "Thailand" (="Siam").

      1 Reply
      1. re: cmk000

        but they also have pad thai on the menu, and the descriptions are different.
        I love the salty and spicy tolden tofu!