The upscaling of Eat Street continues apace with the opening of Peninsula, a stylish new Malaysian restaurant at 26th Street and Nicollet Avenue S. Track lighting, natural wood and an open kitchen create a casual, sophisticated setting, but prices stay comfortably in the Eat Street range. Except for the seafood dishes, most entrees are under $12, with many noodle soups and rice dishes priced at $7 or less.
A sprinkling of Thai dishes is offered, including Thai green curry and tom yum soup, as well as a few dishes representing Malaysia's Indian and Chinese ethnic minorities, such as Indian-style spicy chicken, and Cantonese beef chow fun. But most of the offerings are distinctively Malay, such as the ayam rendang (chicken with lemon grass, chili paste, coconut milk, ginger, cinnamon and cloves in red curry sauce), or sambal sotong, sautéed squid in spicy belacan shrimp paste.
A wine and beer license is expected soon. In the meantime a wide selection of southeast Asian beverages and smoothies is offered, including fresh coconut milk, served in the coconut.
Through this weekend, Peninsula is offering a special 11-course Chinese New Year menu that includes an appetizer platter, lobster, clams, Buddha yam pot (a crispy fried taro root nest filled with shrimp, chicken, mushrooms), spicy crispy golden fried squid and more. Cost is $228 for a table for 10; one day's notice is required.