MSP Peninsula - Singaporean Not Singapore Noodles
We had dins last weekend at Peninsula. We had just returned from several days in Singapore, and chowspouse was craving more Singaporean/Malaysian food. While not as good as a hawker center, still Peninsula does a very credible job of Malay and Singapore cuisine. These are Singaporean noodles, very different from Singapore Noodles that actually hail from Hong Kong. Traditional noodle dishes include bee hoon, char kway teow, mee goreng, and laksa. If you ever doubted how important noodles are to Asian cuisine, a stroll through a hawker center in Singapore will make it very clear. About the only rice dishes are Hainanese chicken rice, Malay curries, and Tamil curries from Sri Lanka.
So about the dinner. We opted for the ginger scallion duck and the Peninsula char kway teow. Our friends had the seafood tofu hot pot and the Thai green curry. The hot pot was good, with lots of plump fresh seafood, but most amazingly the fried tofu. It's rare to get tofu this fresh and silky, and to get it fried to perfection where it's papery outside and silky inside. Too often its leathery outside and dry inside. The Thai green curry was, well, just that. Good, but nothing so great as to be better than anywhere else in town.
The duck. The sauce was wonderfully rich and gingery, the duck just the right doneness and texture. The down side was that they could have used slightly better bits of duck. I love bone in, but I like more than just the bone, and a few of the pieces were almost just that.
The char kway teow was very much like what you would find at a hawker center, with fresh noodles just al dente (can I use an Italian term to describe it?), fresh seafood and veggies, and the sauce flavorful.
And of course I had Tiger Beer in the big bottle. It was not served on the rocks, though, no doubt out of deference to the weather.
I've been to Peninsula before, but having just returned from Singapore gives me a new appreciation of how good it is.
A good time was had by all.
Jordan, thanks for the wonderful report.
I would love to find more places in the Twin Cities for house-made tofu--so far, Peninsula is the only place I've found. Fresh tofu is really glorious--I just love the texture. I would love to know od any other places that serve house-made tofu or local producers/grocers that have it available for sale for the home cook.
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My favorite favorite favorite dish there is the buddhist yam pot. Odd name, since usually the buddhist versions of things are vegetarian, and this is clearly marked as having chicken and shrimp with cashews. The best part, however, is the yam pot-- mashed yam deep fried into a nest. It is velvety in texture, and is one of the most unusual dishes I've ever had. Mouth is watering just thinking about it.
I'll chime in to say that the spicy and salted golden tofu is a guilty favorite and that curry tofu hot pot is quite good as well. I also like the curry vegetable hot pot.
Other favorites include char kway teow and achat.
I had less success with their seafood chow fun. It may have been an off night, but it was slimy. I'd be willing to try it again if there weren't so many other winners on the menu.
Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine
2608 Nicollet Ave, Minneapolis, MN 55408