Bamboo Bistro

 

Last week we visited our first Asian restaurant, the Bamboo Bistro. Find out what we loved about this place and what was a bit of a let down.


Atmosphere

To start let’s talk a bit about the atmosphere. The weather on that was absolutely amazing and we were looking to sit outside for our meal. Kristen found something online that said this place had a patio, so you can imagine our disappointment when we got there and there wasn’t one. But we won’t deduct any points for this, as it isn’t their fault someone else put on some website that they had a patio (or at least I hope it isn’t their fault). We were there on a Friday night, right around dinner time and there couldn’t have been more than 5 tables seated so if you’re into privacy this is probably a safe bet. It was clean and neatly decorated, which was nice. One major downfall was the girls’ bathroom; it was very poorly lit and Kristen nearly twisted her ankle coming out of the stall…so ladies bring a flash light. Given that safety issue and the emptiness of the place, keeping in mind the neat decor, we give the place a 3 in atmosphere.

Service

For the sake of being blunt I’ll say this: the service was awesome. Our waiter was quick, attentive and willing to help. He offered to give us suggestions when we struggled with our menu and gave some tourists in a table close to ours advice on what to do around town, so kudos for that. We didn’t have to wait long for our plates to be cleared and a check to be brought. Kristen and I are in agreement that the service gets a 5.

Food

For our appetizer we picked a chicken satay. Satay is a popular Southeast Asian dish that consists of a skewered meat, in our case chicken, and a dipping sauce. Our satay was served with peanut sauce, a common feature in Thai Cuisine. The chicken was cooked well, and the peanut sauce was also pretty good if you enjoy flavors you generally don’t get in Western cuisines. The presentation was simple but nevertheless made it look appetizing. Overall a very solid appetizer.

Skewered Chicken with peanut sauce

Our appetizer at the Bamboo Bistro in downtown St. Louis

Kristen had the garlic beef stir fry with brown rice. Only mildly spicy, she thought it was just the right amount of kick without taking away from the other flavors. The veggies were all pretty tasty, but the celery that they threw in there didn’t quite fit with the rest of the dish. The major drawback for her was that the rice was under-cooked. Uncooked rice at an Asian restaurant, not many things in life are more disappointing than that.

Kristen’s Beef Garlic Stir Fry

I had the curry chicken also with brown rice. Although my rice wasn’t as uncooked as Kristen’s, I came across a hard piece of rice here and there. I went with the red curry, because I like spicy food. And this curry certainly didn’t disappoint. Spicy enough to make my nose run a little, but not spicy enough to ruin the dish. A lot of the same vegetables were on both of our dishes, so there wasn’t a great deal of difference in the two dishes. But overall it wasn’t bad.

My chicken with red spicy curry

Taking everything into consideration our meal wasn’t all that memorable, except for the fact that some of the rice was uncooked. The presentation of the food was pretty decent, and if you don’t like anything too exotic there are things like crab rangoon on the menu. For the food we give the Bamboo Bistro a 4 out of 5.

Price

If Gordon Ramsay saw this menu he’d likely flip s&*t. The menu is huge, with at least 100 items on the it. Granted if you ask the server for a suggestion he’d give you one, it’s all a bit overwhelming. Also to be honest a lot of the menu items aren’t all that different. It was also a bit confusing, because you have to pay extra for rice although by the wording you can easily get the impression that just fried rice was extra. Having said that the prices weren’t outrageous or anything, about fair considering it’s just blocks from the arch. Expect to pay up to $15 for a main course and about $7-$8 for an appetizer. But since we’re just judging this category on pricing we give them a 4 out of 5.

Overall: Adding everything up they get a total of 16, divide that by the total number of categories and we get a 4. However we can’t overlook the enormously confusing menu and taking that into account we’re bumping their score down to a 3.5 out of 5. Just as a quick recap we really liked the service, the food was ok and the bathrooms were terrible.

Any other suggestions on Asian places downtown?
Bamboo Bistro on Urbanspoon

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