Cheng Heng

Twin Cities, Minnesota


rating star

Tonight, my fiance and I went for dinner after doing a little recon on what might be vegan on the menu. Turns out quite a bit can be made vegan (score.) We got the stir-fried bean sprouts with fried tofu on a recommendation. As with all the food, we wondered how they could possibly pack so much flavor in a single dish. I ordered the Machu Ankgor soup mostly because I love to try the unknown and it had lotus stems (which I've never had) and the strange (to me) flavor combination of pineapple, tomato and mint. I got it with clear broth instead of chicken and fresh tofu. Holy nom! I've been complaining a fair amount lately about the overly heavy, earthy flavor of indian dishes, lentils and really anything with cumin and coriander. This is the opposite with a sour, sweet but full flavor. Oh...and.... they served whole young coconuts full of cool coconut water and semi sweet luscious coconut flesh. Yum!

Cheng Heng's business is suffering under the brunt of the Central Corridor construction right now (like many of my favorite restaurants), but they have a parking lot with access off University Ave and amazing food you should try.

rating star

I just remembered how much I absolutely looooooove this place when I went there last night with friends. Aw man, if only it were in Minneapolis I think I'd try to go everyday. Cheng Heng is one of those places where you just can't decide whether to try something new that sounds delicious or just stick with your regular delicious favorites. I love the rice noodle dish Loth Cha (spelling?). The noodles are like wonderful, chewy little larva. (No, really, it's awesome.) One of my dining companions ordered a soup with "clear broth" rather than "chicken broth" which I didn't even know was possible. And who doesn't love drinking coconut milk right out of a young coconut. I love you Cheng Heng!

Now, when we were there last night (a Friday) it was super busy. Although we were seated right away it took a while for our food to come. And the last entree arrived like 15 minutes after the 1st. But really, I don't even care about this. The food is so good, it still gets a 10 in my book.

rating star

Update: I'm changing my rating from 5 to 3 - the last time we went the service was extremely slow and I tried several dishes but none of them were very good. There's a coconut juice drink with sugar water and tapioca pearls and agar strips that was fun for $2 dollars - it makes an unusual and fun desert.
This place gets an extremely average vote from me. Nothing about it seemed particularly wonderful or terrible, it was just an average place. The food was okay, they had enough vegan options, the prices were fine. I just don't have much to say about it one way or the other. The young coconut drink was too bitter for me, and you can consider that fair warning. They deep fry their tofu, and I just don't like my tofu crispy on the outside and runny on the inside, so be warned about that, too.

rating star

This is a very good restaurant. The atmosphere is really friendly and there are many vegetarian options. It also can be very, very cheap if you want it to be. My boyfriend and I spent less than $10 total and both received very satisfying meals in which we could not finish. I definitely recommend Cheng Heng.

Image for Dave Rolsky

rating star

You must try the Chha Kroeng (with tofu), which is stir-fry of tofu, onions, green bell peppers, in a strong gingery/garlicy/curry sauce with crushed peanuts. Yum!

For the (overly) picky, it's worth noting that if you order vegetarian spring rolls, they're probably taking pre-made spring rolls with shrimp, pulling the shrimp out, and serving it to you. This doesn't bother me much, except when a little piece of shrimp shell is left in. But if this is something that would freak you out, skip the spring rolls.

If you order a young coconut to drink, you get a coconut with one end hacked off, along with a straw to drink the juice, and a spoon to scrape out the soft insides. This is quite a treat if you've never had coconut juice before. It is not at all like the coconut flavors found in things like western-style cakes or candy bars, as it's much lighter and less sweet.

They also have some vegan desserts, including one made from sticky rice, coconut milk and dried fruit.

Write your review