Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Bamboo Asia

A while ago, I attended an event catered by Bamboo Asia.  The food was far better than I expected, so I decided to return to the physical store to give it another chance.  As I mentioned in my previous review, I've actually been before, but everything looked so unappealing that I left without trying anything.  But if Bamboo Asia can pull off decent catering, I decided perhaps looks were deceiving.

Bamboo Asia offers 3 cuisines: Vietnamese, Indian, and Japanese.   Each occupies its own distinct section of the store, in a layout that is a bit confusing at first, as they each has its own line to order and its own register.  I'm not sure what would happen if you wanted a Vietnamese spring roll and a Japanese mochi dessert ... would you have to go through both lines and pay separately?

At the catered event, I tried dishes from the Vietnamese and Indian parts of the menu, so this time, I went Japanese to start.  I still wasn't feeling brave enough to get the sushi, so I just went for sides and dessert ... because I'm willing to try dessert just about anywhere.

It turns out, I should have listened to my initial impressions and instincts.  The food wasn't good.  The staff was completely un-organized, rang people up for the wrong items, prepared orders for dine-in that were to-go, etc.  That said, the worker who prepared my little bowl of seaweed salad was very friendly, and even told me he gave me "a little extra".  Aww, thanks!  And, they accept PayPal mobile as payment, which is my new favorite way to pay on my phone these days.

But ... I don't think I'll be returning.
Seaweed Salad.  $2.95.
I was really craving seaweed salad.  When I ordered it, the guy fetched a big bag full out of the fridge, cut it open, and dished me up some.  Clearly, not something they make fresh in store, but I still had hope.

It wasn't good.  Yes, there were multiple types of seaweed.  There was light sauce.  There were sesame seeds.  But ... something just tasted quite off.  I can't put my finger on it, but it really just wasn't a good flavor.

$2.95 is a fine price for a small side salad, although places like Onigilly offer it for only $1.84, where it is actually good.
Red Bean Mochi.  $1.49.
I wanted to satisfy my sweet tooth too, so I grabbed a mochi at last minute, also from the Japanese area.  Some pieces were labelled with the flavor, some weren't.  I asked what kind this was, and the person behind the counter didn't know.  I hoped it was taro, based on the slightly purplish color, but alas, I think it was red bean.

It was unremarkable mochi.  Soft-ish, not much flavor.  I'm guessing they don't make their own mochi either.  Meh.
Anjou's Laddoo. $1.95.
I wanted another dessert, since I wasn't into the mochi.  This one came from the Indian section, the only other choice that day, labeled "Anjou's Laddo".

I'm not really sure who Anjou is.  And actually, I wasn't familiar with laddoo, but ... dessert!

Laddoo is apparently an Indian sweet, almost like a cookie.  I really wanted to like it.  The spicing was good, predominately cardamom.  But the item itself was basically just a dry ball of coconut.  Like a  macaroon, but not moist.  It offered nothing.  I wouldn't get again.
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