Cheng Heng: Cambodian in St. Paul, MN

Minnesota has one of the larger Cambodian populations in the US, though it’s not very large per se: at about 7500 people, about a 10th of California’s population. And there aren’t that many Cambodian restaurants: Cheng Heng and another whose existence I learned of only after posting a review of Cheng Heng on my blog. Anyway, I know there’s almost no one else from MN on FTC but given some recent talk about Cambodian food on the LA forum I thought there might be some interest in this.

I know nothing about Cambodian food–this was my first-ever Cambodian meal–but I really liked it. It was almost exactly what I would have predicted by looking at a map: somewhere between Vietnamese and Thai food in terms of flavours and intensity. I’d be interested in checking out a Cambodian place in LA on our next trip to compare.

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Thanks for the heads up.

Do you know if there is a larger Cambodian presence or Somali presence in the Twin Cities (food-wise, that is).

My driver in Minneapolis is Somali and he’s introduced me to several great places in/around the Twin Cities.

A lot more Somalis and also way more Somali restaurants. But Cheng Heng is better than all of them combined. The Somali restaurants I’ve been to (I’ve reviewed Nawal and Tawakal) serve very basic food (only a fraction of what’s out there in the wider world of Somali food when you look it up). It’s tasty enough but nothing to get very excited about in gastronomic terms. The Ethiopian scene is far better here.

Of course, my evaluation above may speak to my bias towards the general profile of South East Asian cuisines.