Results 1-2of 2 Reviews
New York, New York
September 4, 2003
The decor isn’t much to speak of, although effort has clearly been made. The look, though dated, remains several steps above the ubiquitous pink-tablecloth/disposable-chopstick/zodiac-placemat style found in a sad majority of Chinese restaurants. The comfortable booths are upholstered in green vinyl, while the tables are bedecked with mauve tablecloths and vases of fake carnations. In the works are plans for extensive renovations—along with a menu overhaul—for the first time in many years. Doing away with the fluorescent lighting, acoustic ceiling tile, and hanging baskets of fake fuchsia flowers would be a major improvement.
It’s the food, however, that’s the primary draw. Despite years of living in Manhattan—where my cravings for vegetarian Chinese food and pork-free dim sum can be met by Zen Palate and VP2—I still find myself jonesing for Bamboo Garden’s chicken curry on a regular basis. Fortunately, the restaurant’s 10pm closing time makes it possible for me to swing by after landing at Sea-Tac (or else I sweet-talk my ride into picking up takeout on his or her way to the airport).
My personal recommendations include #86, the aforementioned curry chicken hot pot with potato and mixed vegetables ($7.95). The sizzling hot pot, filled with savory chunks of faux chicken, Napa cabbage, broccoli, carrot, and slightly mushy potato, is total comfort food. Another favorite is #60, vegetarian sausage and pork in black-bean sauce ($7.95), which can be a little disconcerting when you notice that the pale-pink sausage (or is it supposed to be the pork?) looks exactly like real hot dogs, down to the little puckered wrinkle on the end pieces . . . but then again, I suppose real hot dogs barely qualify as meat anyway.
On my most recent visit, the amiable owner, Victor (who seems to have committed every number on the 100-item menu to memory), recommended two new dishes. Ruby Princess, #53, consists of hot and spicy mock chicken sautéed with asparagus, red peppers, and enormous shiitake mushrooms ($9.85). Not yet on the menu is a hot pot of very tender, juicy bean-curd skin sautéed in a rich peanut sauce—a perfect complement to the heat of Ruby Princess.
Tip: Bamboo Garden offers a limited number of affordable parking spots for customers headed to Seattle Center after their meal. If you’re going to the Intiman Theatre, McCaw Hall (Seattle Opera’s stunning new home), KeyArena (home of the Seattle Storm and the Sonics), or another nearby venue, grab a bite at Bamboo Garden first, then leave your car in the restaurant’s lot and save some bucks on parking.
From journal Veg-Friendly Seattle
Buffalo Grove, Illinois
September 7, 2001
From journal Labor Day Weekend in Seattle