We are blessed to live within walking distance of Eat Street. Last night was the 9th night of my ACTHAR odyssey. It’s working because I actually wanted to and did, take a walk for my health. It went down all according to plan: got husband-unit away from the computer, shook-loose the day’s kinks and explored new haunts in our neighborhood of Whittier, Minneapolis. Our constitutional began with a talk on and concern for the growing number of failed businesses along Nicollet Avenue and so, we urge everyone to support their local businesses! Think before you hop in a car to go to the mega-mart: does the corner store sell such & such? If you are not sure, stop there first before shopping outside of your zip-code. Stable communities are self-sustaining.
But I digress. We chose to eat at Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine because we hadn’t been there yet. We were greeted immediately and ushered to a small table in the the middle of a 3/4 full diner. All I wanted was a giant bowl of pho (soup) but no, husband-unit wanted to challenge his palate. Fine. They better have something good, ‘cuz I’m in a ‘roid sorta’ mood.
We started with some Tempura veggies and they were delightful: lightly battered yet still crisp over very fresh root vegetables. And the dipping sauce was tangy-sweet. This appetizer seemed to fuel our discussion about healthy eating options and how we longed to recreate these tastes at home. And when I say we, the i-Chad meant ME. Trying to chew faster than my love, I spy the last veggie and calculate how fast my hand can move to claim it. Noting my preoccupation, the i-Chad magnanimously shares his broccoli. And it is so good.
I’m worried about my entree. I saw the photo for it, but had no idea how the ingredients listed could meld together and be palatable. Nyonya Laska, a ‘popular Malacca’s spicy coconut soup served with yellow noodles, chicken, shrimp, squid, tofu puff, & bean sprout’ is so exotic sounding. It came in tureen almost overflowing with puffs, shrimp, etc. and is accompanied by 2 small bowls, spoons so we can each share the soup. I dole two bowls out, hunker down with my chopsticks, spoon, bowl and went to work.
Ambrosia. I was awash in a heavenly, liquid love. Creamy coconut broth kissed my throat with sizzling panache. Why was this serving bowl so small? Eying my beloved’s bowl I curse it and imagine a diversion that would allow my swiping the burnt-umber excellence back. I’d never had tofu puffs before and I loved the way they lightly transfixed the dish’s taste to my tongue.
I felt like a kid. I was so happy that I started dancing in my seat and gushed my sentiment to a very busy host, “I’m so happy, I love this food!” I reluctantly refilled i-Chad’s bowl. But only once. By my 3rd serving I declared an undying devotion to the soup and that I wanted to order more so that I could slather it over my face and skin. I wanted my skin to feel on the outside what the soup made me feel on the inside: golden.
I’d lost all form of decorum and etiquette by the end. I drank from the bowl. My chin dribbled red-orange rivulets of culinary Malaysian love all over my shirt. I tried sopping up broth from the table with rice, scooping it in my hand to jam it into my hungry maw. Giddy, kiddy, happy-clappy antics meant to collect it all. That’s when my husband intervened, asked for the bill and that our dishes be taken. Killjoy.
I’ve got about 2 spoonfuls left for today’s lunch. And I’ll relish that blissful rush of red-orange liquid love.