I have to say, I’m loving the Boston Dining Cards. Thanks to the cards, I got to eat at another one of the restaurants in my to-go list: Bamboo, a small Thai restaurant close to my school.
As you can see, Bamboo is literally right next to Tasca. It’s quite convenient to get there for me, since all I have to do is get off a few stops from my school. Whenever I decide to go to either one of the two restaurants, I might change my mind at the last minute!
The interior is very colorful and cute with pink walls, yellow plates, and green napkins. Although the decoration colors and themes didn’t quite scream out “Thai” or “Asian,” we still liked the inside (for the most part, that is, except for the portraits that hung on the walls).
We sat at the table next to the window, where we could see the outside and get more lighting for the pictures. One thing was a huge turn-off, however. There were a few dead insects on the window sills! I really liked the window tables, so I didn’t want to move, but it was very disturbing and gross. Nobody wants to eat next to bug carcasses, right? In retrospect, I should have moved. What was I thinking, eating next to them?
After serving water in a cute, transparent bamboo glass, the waiter brought an amuse bouche of fried wontons and a cucumber, mango, and peanut salsa. The acidity of the salsa and the crunch of the wonton chips woke our palates. We enjoyed this light and refreshing start to our meal a lot. It helped bring my lost appetite from the insects back somewhat.
I always order Fresh Spring Rolls whenever I go to a new Thai (or Vietnamese) restaurant. The rolls were good, but P and I both thought that there were too many carrots that ended up overpowering the delicate taste of the shrimp.
The ones from Le’s and Bangkok Bistro are definitely better overall, but I really liked the rice paper Bamboo used; it was softer and smoother. Although I don’t think I will crave these particular rolls from Bamboo, they were satisfactory in general.
Because of me, P started to research restaurants a little more (well, when he knew where we were going to, but still, it’s a huge change). He read that the Crispy Tamarind Duck was a very popular and highly praised item in the menu, so he ordered that. P was, as usual, going to order a pad thai to size Bamboo, but gave into the good reviews.
The dish wasn’t bad. It resembled a Korean fried pork cutlet that comes with a sweet and sour sauce, except that it used duck. Unfortunately, the dish had this very strong duck smell and taste, but in an unpleasant way. The skin came with the duck, which we wouldn’t have minded – had it been properly cooked. We inferred that it was the skin was what made the duck slightly rubbery and cause that unpleasant odor when eaten.
Overall, the dish was pretty good; it did not, however, live up to the expectation and the hype. It also didn’t help that the sauce was very sweet (and P is not a huge fan of sweet things). I thought the sweetness level was alright, but the combination of the extreme ducky smell and the sweetness of the sauce just didn’t cut it for P.
Guess what I ordered?
Curry, of course.
I tried to order something different this time. I really did. However, when I started to look at the menu, the curry section seemed to be calling out to me saying “Pick me! Pick me!” I gave in easily and ordered the Duck Panang Curry.
I was very satisfied with my choice. I’m getting to the conclusion that you can’t go terribly wrong with choosing curry in a Thai restaurant. The curry I ordered from Bamboo might be my favorite, after the one from Brown Sugar Café (out of the Thai curries).
It was the first time I saw cauliflower and cabbages used in a curry dish, but they worked well, so I can’t complain. The curry was very good – smooth and almost velvety, although it was very thin. I emptied the plate, eating the duck and the vegetables with the curry and white rice happily.
Perhaps because of the curry, I didn’t smell or taste any of the unpleasant ducky taste I did in P’s dish. I felt bad for P, so I shared a little bit.
I love dessert, so I had to order something, although we were on our way to a friend’s birthday gathering. To keep it on the “lighter” side, I ordered Green Tea Ice Cream. It was the typical green tea ice creams they sell at any Asian supermarkets: solid, but nothing impressive. I’m still in search of that darker green tea-flavored ice cream that almost bitter but that much deeper.
Brown Sugar Café remains to be my favorite Thai restaurant, but Bamboo is still great. In fact, because it’s closer and a little bit cheaper, I might go to Bamboo when I crave Thai food and am feeling lazy to go all the way to Brown Sugar. In any case, I’m happy that I found yet another solid Thai restaurant – I’m definitely hooked on Thai food.
1616 Commonwealth Ave
Brighton, MA 02135