Wednesday, October 09, 2013

Peninsula - Restaurant review

I have invited DH to share his thoughts about restaurant Peninsula, on our recent visit; welcome Devesh...

Peninsula - the word conjures up different images for different people. Geography majors think of the definition, my 8 year old said - "Florida". But for two foodies making this culinary journey from dish to scrumptious dish, the word now has come to mean deliciousness.
(Located: 2608 Nicollet Ave  Minneapolis)

Photo credit: Peninsula restaurant
And for this, we have none other to thank, than our intransigent government, which has unceremoniously shut down on us. So, on a Friday, we decided to take care of some pending business with a certain office of the U.S. Government. So we made a 20 mile drive to said office and were told by a security guard - with what I imagined was a mixture of frustration and relief - that the particular service we sought had been deemed inessential during the shut down. I imagined him beaming with pride that at least HIS function was still essential.

But we're never ones to end a story on a note of frustrated anti-climax are we?
So, we found the shortest route to Peninsula - our local purveyor of Malaysian cuisine, and quickly stuck our noses in the menu.
Consensus was quickly arrived at - 'Roti Canai' for appetizer. Spicy basil chicken and Beef Rendang.

Roti Canai on the skillet
About Roti Canai I'm actually undecided - was it more fun to watch it being made or when we tucked into it with gusto.
Roti is a South Asian flat bread and can mean a host of things - depending on where you sit and order it - from delicate thin 'phulke' at home, to a rough and tumble 'Tandoori roti' that exudes superiority over you as it has braved a hot Tandoor, while you the wuss were sitting comfortably waiting for it.

Chef flattening the dough 

Paper thin dough stretched out
Roti Canai is made with a stretchy and leavened dough which is stretched thin by being flapped and flown in the air by the chef, before being toasted to perfection on a skillet. Watching the spectacle brought to mind Indian 'Rumali Roti' (handkerchief-thin flat-bread) - but that is something one generally doesn't find in Indian restaurants in the US. The finished product was served with a chicken and potato curry. Very delicious to say the very least.
Roti Canai served with chicken and potato curry
Soon afterwards, our main course was brought by. The one thing I noticed almost immediately was - the beef as well as the chicken were so tender. Had they been actually cooked? (yes! done to perfection) The tastes of both took you in the very vicinity of Indian cuisine, but then took unexpected and very interesting turns in different directions. Most of the spices that form the bases of curries are common, but the proportions, and timing of addition can make all the difference.

By now, our initial appetite sated, we started talking while chomping:
"Kids might also love this"
"Mmm Hmm!"
"You think Mom and Dad would like it too?"
"I think so!"

I would say nothing about the eggroll, as it came practically uninvited - as a last minute add on to the beef. Like most unwelcome guests it brought little to the table that was interesting - but politely enough - we suffered it quietly.

With a happy feeling spreading warmth inside, we strolled across the street to 'Glam Doll Donuts' and got a couple of chocolate covered donuts for the girls and a cup of coffee to stay awake on the drive back.

Donuts were delicious as we discovered later. But the coffee was described best by the lady as -
"Its flavor starts out rising up towards the palate, but then fizzles out and falls out of the sides."
I shook my head vigorously - whether in uncomprehending agreement or a post-lunch stupor - I don't know.

If you can't make head or tail out of this comment, go and try the coffee for yourself.


  1. Wooooo... yummy... love your story, Shalini :)

    1. Thank you Meihsia, I am glad you liked the narrative... the food sure was delicious :-)