Posted by: Sean Carter | June 14, 2012

#70: Bambu Asian Cuisine

Exterior

Tonight was the food truck roundup at Whole Foods in the Fountains, I hope you had a chance to go check it out.  I considered going down there and doing a post about it.  I think it would have been too similar to the Downtown Mobile Food Event about a month ago so I opted to visit Bambu Asian Cuisine instead.  Roseville subreddit regular Ridicusauce requested this one last week (do feel free to send me suggestions anytime, they help me figure out where to go when I have no idea what I want to eat).

Menu

Dining Room

I met up with some family at around 5:30.  There were about half a dozen tables occupied when we arrived.  It’s nicely decorated.  My brother had been seated for a few minutes when my mother and I walked in.  Due to this we may have missed the waiter’s introduction.  After looking through the menu for a few minutes he came by and asked if we were ready to order yet.  Not even close.  It’s a pretty large menu with lots of tasty sounding dishes and a page with Vietnamese options as well (we considered this briefly but decided to stick with Chinese).  My mom pointed out the Singapore Noodles (thin rice noodles, marinated tender chicken, shrimp and fresh vegetables in curry sauce).  At first I thought about countering with chow fun but figured ‘why not’ and agreed on it (spoiler: this was a great decision).  Lots of pointing and “that sounds good” later and we had picked out way more food than we really needed, but knowing it would probably be good for lunch the next day we went ahead and ordered.

Thai Iced Tea UnMixed

Thai Iced Tea UnMixed

My brother and I each ordered Thai iced teas.  I mentioned in the Khun Suda Thai Cuisine post that I’ve never felt able to commit to a whole glass of this rich beverage before, so this was kind of a first (I had one handed to me for free once while waiting for a to go order at a Thai restaurant, but that’s a bit different than choosing it to go with your meal).  They arrived first, and they were not pre-mixed, which I’ve never seen before.  I made a quick little video of me mixing it up because I was feeling squirly tonight.  Enjoy:

Thai Iced Tea

Thai Iced Tea

Of all the Thai iced teas I’ve had, this one was more on the rich side.  It was very, very good.  Spread out over the entire meal, it worked out rather well.  I was really happy I decided to order it instead of a soda.

First up we had a order of Buddha Rolls (Vermicelli noodle, lettuce, shredded tofu, bean sprouts and basil leaves, wrapped in rice wraps, served with peanut sauce).  These were a fantastic, super lite way to start out.  The peanut sauce was awesome, some of the best I’ve had.  I would absolutely order these again.  They reminded me of the rolls at Bo Bo Cafe, which were also very good.

Buddha Rolls

Buddha Roll

After we were well into the rolls our main dishes started coming out, starting with the Singapore noodles and then the rest in rapid succession.  The table very quickly filled up.  As I took took my photo of the noodles, both my mom and brother commented on how good they smelled, and after I took a moment to check that out I agreed.  The curry sauce is very fragrant and mouthwatering.  The noodles were fairly light and had a tiny bit of heat to them.  They were insanely good!  If I hadn’t known how much food we still had coming I might have eaten half of the plate then and there, but I held off knowing that I would be enjoying it again tomorrow.

Singapore Noodles

Singapore Noodles

Next to arrive was Orange Chicken (crispy chicken, wok tossed in orange flavored sauce and spices).  I had originally considered ordering the General’s Chicken since you can’t really go wrong with that anywhere but we switched to the orange because General’s chicken was described as spicy, which my mom isn’t into, and I figured the orange would probably be just as good anyway.  It was definitely good.  It had a light, crispy batter and the chicken was tender and juicy.  The dark orange sauce was fairly heavy on the orange flavor, more so than other places I’ve had it, and it was excellent.  It had just a hint of spice at the end which I suspect could build nicely over consecutive bites.

Orange Chicken

Orange Chicken

My brother ordered the Szechuan Tofu (silken tofu, peas, carrots and green onion in spicy Szechuan sauce).  I have no idea what Szechuan sauce is, but the one bite I grabbed from this plate was fairly tasty.  I don’t dislike tofu but it’s not exactly at the top of my list when I think about food.  That said, if someone put this in front of me I wouldn’t have any problem eating all of it.  I’m pretty sure I’ve tried a similar dish at some point because the flavors were somewhat familiar.  The tofu was very lightly battered and had a tiny crisp to the outside.

Szechuan Tofu

Szechuan Tofu

Sweet & Sour Pork (marinated pork, stir-fried with pineapple, carrots, bell peppers and onions in a sweet and sour sauce) was next up.  It seemed like a no brainer when we ordered it and it was pretty good, I really have no complaints about it.  The pork was fried nice and crispy (yeah, we realized after the food arrived how much deep fried dishes we ordered, it was a bit much) and it was tasty overall.  My mom mentioned, and I realized that I was on the same page, that sweet & sour dishes are kind of boring when you put them next to several really good dishes.  We decided that Sweet & Sour pork/chicken/etc is a Chinese gateway food, it’s something everyone orders early on (I remember having it as a kid and loving it), but you eventually figure out that there are a lot more interesting things on the menu to enjoy.

Sweet & Sour Pork

Sweet & Sour Pork

Crispy Honey Walnut Shrimp (lightly battered shrimp, fried and tossed with sauce and honey glazed walnuts) was our final dish.  Wow.  I not a fan of using superfluous statements unless you have a really solid memory or data to back it up, but I’m going to go ahead and say it, this was the best honey walnut shrimp that I’ve ever had.  I’m pretty certain of that.  Crispy, creamy sauce, light honey flavor, enough said.  Order this.

Crispy Honey Walnut Shrimp

Crispy Honey Walnut Shrimp

To top all this off, even the fortune cookies were ridiculously great!  They were dipped in what I think may have been white chocolate, or maybe some sort of yogurt dip.  Either way it was an awesome change up from the usual boring cookie you get everywhere else.

Fortune Cookie

Bambu was absolutely fantastic from start to finish.  I’m looking forward to my leftovers tomorrow.  The Singapore noodles and crispy honey walnut shrimp were huge winners here with the orange chicken and Buddha rolls coming in close behind.  I’m not sure if I would say that Bambu has beat out Rose Garden as my favorite Chinese spot in Roseville so far, but it’s definitely up there in a tie until I can get back to Rose and re-evaluate them.  I couldn’t have been much happier with this visit.

See this and more food I find at Foodspotting.com

(I prefer to link to my own scanned menus or the restaurant’s official site when possible, but this site looks pretty accurate)

Menu: http://www.allmenus.com/ca/roseville/284787-bambu-asian-cuisine/menu/dinner/

Bambu Asian Cuisine on Urbanspoon

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Responses

  1. This place sounds great. The fortune cookie revolution is perfect. Other fortune cookie giving restaurants take note. I wonder what other boring mainstays of Chinese food or any other well-established cuisine could be jazzed up in a similar way.

  2. I love that you nominated sweet and sour as a “gateway food”. Although I can’t stand sweet and sour, I know most everyone else enjoys it. That said, this place sounds amazing and the food looks great. Yet another place for me to go when I’m in town next.


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