Bambusa Asian Bistro

Written by on December 8, 2010 in I Eat Seattle, I Eat...Out with 0 Comments

(No website found at time of publishing) – Downtown
How I heard of this place: Enjoying season tickets to several downtown theaters encourages one to investigate new and neighboring dining establishments throughout the years, which is how we stumbled upon Bambusa, formerly Bambuza.
Type of cuisine: Initially serving Vietnamese fare, the restaurant now offers Asian cuisine, including Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai-inspired cuisine.
Ambiance: The restaurant is open, two sides covered in windows, making for a beautiful spot to sit and take in the hustle and bustle of downtown life on a cold, wet, holiday-season evening. Upon entry, one enters a calm and easy space space, with minimal furnishings, decorations and the like. A small host table and screen separates the entryway from the restaurant, where chairs and tables as well as booth seating is available to diners. The bar area at the back leads to the kitchen, where food is slowly prepared for patrons. Quiet music plays in the background of the orange and yellow walls, and faux wood furnishings in the space.
What I ordered: At our table, four of the seven in our party arrived early enough to enjoy happy hour appetizers and cocktails. When the last three of us arrived, dinner was ordered. At our table we had one order of salad rolls ($4.90), fresh rolls wrapped in rice paper with shrimp, vermicelli noodles, shredded carrots, lettuce, and basil served with peanut dipping sauce and two Thai iced teas ($2.95 each) to start. For the main entree, we had the honey glazed chicken ($7.90), grilled chicken fillets marinated with savory honey and soy and the crispy spring rolls ($7.50), rolls filled with ground shrimp, pork, taro root, and carrots and the lemongrass beef ($7.90) grilled beef infused with lemongrass ginger marinade, each served over jasmine rice and mixed greens with shallots and roasted peanuts. Another of our dining companions ordered the drunken crispy chicken ($10.50), marinated overnight in rich chardonnay and finished with tangy caramelized soy glaze served with steamed jasmine rice and broccoli. To his left, we had an order of Phad Thai, and finally a ginger chicken claypot ($9.50), chicken simmered in a claypot with fresh ginger and caramelized shallot soy served with jasmine rice. For dessert two orders, and seven spoons, were placed for the fried bananas ($6 each), wrapped in dough and fried, then doused in cinnamon and sugar and delicately placed atop a plate with toasted coconut and two scoops of vanilla ice cream.
What I loved: Of the three items sampled (the honey glazed chicken, crispy spring rolls and the ginger chicken), I most enjoyed the tender and delicate flavor of the honey glazed chicken. The pungent ginger and sweet lemongrass in the claypot offered an abundance of overpowering taste. Most of all, I enjoyed the sweet, toasted coconut, shredded and aplenty as a base for the vanilla ice cream.
Why I loved it: Although the service was slow, water glasses lacking replenishing, the food was tasty and the portions large enough to serve two meals, or feed a very hungry person in one go!
Cost: Low to average ($6-$12 per dinner entree)

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