Fried Dough Stick Cheung Fun at Peninsula

Regular readers will know that I am prone to developing food obsessions – be it ingredients, whole cuisines, sushi (always), a restaurant, a wine, a whatever. This time round – its dim sum. I decided that I absolutely must learn more about dim sum, pronto. So, on Sunday morning a group of us (including Lizzie and Helen – my teaching volunteers), trekked down to Greenwich for a belly busting feast for five. I even skipped breakfast to make sure I was properly ready and hungry for my education and I hardly ever, ever miss a meal so you know I meant business.

It seemed that every aspect of our visit happened on a grand scale. The journey to North Greenwich was convoluted, the place itself is basically a massive open space dominated by crazy skyscraper structures, the Peninsula restaurant is also huge, accommodating a potential 400 covers and the dim sum, well – what was lacking in portion size was gained back tenfold in quantity. I’m just going to highlight the dishes I really enjoyed – because to blog the lot would leave us all rather fatigued I’m sure.

The first dish to reach our table was the jellyfish – exciting for me as I’d never tried it before. Definitely a ‘texture thing’, it has no real flavour of it’s own but comes doused in a mild yet delicious chilli sauce. The texture was kind of like eating rubber bands (I imagine), but in a nice way (honestly) and strangely addictive. It had me craving it today, the same way that I crave the octopus.

Yam Croquettes at Peninsula.

Next to arrive were these yam croquettes – again exciting because I’m really not sure I’ve eaten much yam before – of any kind. Strange considering you can barely walk to my local station without tripping over piles of them. The exterior was light and crunchy and the filling sweet and moreish.

For me, the highlight of the entire meal was the ‘fried dough stick cheung fun’ ( top photo). This was honestly the most delicious dim sum I have ever eaten;  soft and silky rice noodle roll with the sweet, fried dough stick within.

Turnip Cake at Peninsula.

I ticked another one off the ‘must-eat’ list with the turnip cake. I’ve been intrigued by this since I saw it on a few different blogs around Chinese new year and the fried slices had the exact pleasing stodgy texture inside that I had hoped for and a mild savoury taste with little surprise nuggets of bacon, shrimp and mushrooms. The cake, although delicious did highlight my insecurities about chopstick etiquette as it needed cutting into pieces for sharing and I only realised after the meal that there was a separate pair of chopsticks specifically for this purpose. I just hope I didn’t dive right in and greedily snatch anything.

Custard Tarts at Peninsula.

And finally, the custard tarts that I almost didn’t order – even thinking about that possibility now makes me breathe a sigh of relief. Quite different from the British version, that pastry was so very thin and flaky, like shortcrust but layered (the primary ingredient is lard, which explains why it tastes so good). This is filled with a wibbly wobbly bright yellow egg custard – I was forced to eat two. I have no idea whatsoever if these tarts were a good example of their kind but they tasted damn fine to me and I will certainly be ‘testing’ as many as possible, as soon as possible.

 So there’s my small selection of the many plates which just kept on coming – steamed tripe with ginger and spring onions, spare ribs in black bean sauce, coconut mousse, squid in satay sauce, beef balls with greens – I could go on. We hoovered up the whole lot rather excitedly if the mess on the table at the end was anything to go by. Come to think of it, the mess was mostly on my side but, like I say, my chopstick technique needs a little work. If I run with my newly acquired dim sum obsession though, I reckon I could be an expert by the end of the month.

Peninsula Restaurant
Holiday Inn Express
85 Bugsby’s Way
SE10 0GD
0208 269 1638

Peninsula on Urbanspoon

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

21 thoughts on “Peninsula

  1. Great write-up – and only a couple of stops from home for me! I hit Chinatown with some friends a while back and had dim sum at a restaurant there (was it Golden Dragon? Or maybe I’m dreaming?) where I had the yam croquettes and turnip cakes for the first time – OMG I am in love with them both!! I think we need to do a London food blogger dim sum outing to Chinatown… Thanks – you have ME craving dim sum now!!

    Jeannes last blog post..Nectarine & ginger tarte tatin

  2. Graphic Foodie – Yup, it’s just a chain place. Like the McDonald’s of dim sum indeed. Not very good but alright if you are desperate every now and again!

  3. yum! reading this post made me nostalgic for my years in Taiwan. How I remember those turnip cakes! And yams, I love yams. I’ve definitely got to get myself down there. Thanks for bringing this place to light!

  4. Its hard not to be obsessed with dim sum. I’ve had the jelly fish before and was stumped at how to describe it but toothsome seems to be the right word along with chewing rubber bands. Once you dug it it was very tasty – my version had a chilli hot sauce on top and yours looks to have some chilli flakes thrown on for good measure. The fried dough sticks look wonderful and I think that might be one dim sum dish I have not tried, note to self. Thanks for sharing – wonderful write up.

    OysterCultures last blog post..The Best of Both Worlds (Citrus Part II)

  5. Glad you liked it! My family often refer to jellyfish as ‘rubber bands’. I love the texture of it. Definitely up for a trip to Dragon Castle, I’ve heard lots of good things about it. Saaaf London must be the place for dim sum!

    Lizzies last blog post..Le Café Anglais

  6. Thanks for the write up Helen, I must try this one given we are not too far away. I would really urge you and any other South-East Londoners to try Hong Kong City, 43 New Cross Road, SE14 5DS. It is my personal London hidden gem, but up there with Royal China Bayswater in terms of quality but at a far better price. It also meets my criterion of being full of Chinese families on a Sunday lunchtime, normally a great yardstick for the quality of the food.

    I have to say I was hugely disappointed by Dragon City after going with high hopes. The food was average, the room lacked atmosphere, but on the plus side there were some interesting ‘specials’ which made a change from the usual repertoire of dim sum dishes I normally choose (most of which you cover in your post.)

    Petes last blog post..Evaluating the project

  7. that sounds like a regal feast! i would never have ventured into a holiday in for a chinese meal… but there you go, the real gems are hidden! i love my dim sum, too, but have so far only tried the west end haunts: yauatcha being my favourite so far, but i do pop into ping pong for a lunchtime snack occasionally. i’ve never seen turnip cakes or yam croquettes there, but i didn’t expect them to be fully authentic, rather cater for ignorant westerners like me ;-))

  8. How interesting, especially that fried dough with the noodles around it. I’ve never seen it served that way before. Just goes to show, you can go to hundreds of these places and still stumble across a new item of yum cha. All the more reason to make it a mission to visit all of them! 😉

    Ys last blog post..Recently, lamingtonrons

  9. Great write up. The jellyfish dish still brings back shudders for me. But mainly because we were fooled into thinking they were onions!

    The ‘fried dough stick cheung fun’ looks brilliant. It’s one of my favourites as well.

    Can’t wait for the next dim sum trip. Anyone fancy going to Dragon Castle?

    Jonathans last blog post..Battered Creme Egg in Bruton


  • 17 November 2015

    Making Hortopita with Fresh Filo in Rovies, Greece

  • 18 October 2015

    The Wye Valley: Mucking About In Hedgerows

  • 15 September 2015

    On Fear, Flying and Inflight Food

  • 02 September 2015

    The Super Maltini

  • 12 August 2015

    Panzanella Meets Caesar

  • 03 August 2015

    Iced Tea-Brined Fried Chicken with Jalapeño Slaw

  • View All