Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bamboo Basket

A sunday family lunch out at Bamboo Basket turned out really well. Now that there is temporary undercover parking at $8 for the first 3 hrs, made it less of a hassle to dine at Southbank. We passed the peak lunch hour and scored the biggest 10-seater round table with a lazy susan...perfect for a feast of dishes, which was exactly what we had-a banquet for 6 adults! 

Bamboo Basket has a decent wine & beer list for an Asian restaurant. Do try the Tsingtao or the Lucky China beers on offer! Okay I shall cut to the chase, onto the food first before commenting on everything else. First up, we had a cold dish of....

Cold chicken w mung bean noodles
Miss food hunter was quite sure she ordered this cold chicken 'fen pi' ( bean noodles) with sesame sauce as stated on the menu, but what turned out was a sauce that was nothing like it. It was more of a light sweet soy-based sauce. This is unlike the original Szechuan/Shanghainese version which comes with a more viscous tahini like dressing but still it was refreshing together with the slivers of sweet onions and corriander. Actually, this dish reminded me of a Korean cold mung bean jelly side dish with also a sweet dark liquidy sauce. Very summery indeed!
Pork loin in bean sauce

Wrappers for pork loin dish

Spring roll in the making....
The Chef's Specials section in the menu comes with suggestions on an accompaniment to go with the respective main dish.  For the inexperienced, I highly recommend to give the specials a go! This pork loin with bean sauce is not the traditional creation found in most other chinese restaurants, tending to be more sweet than beany.  However it was a real winner when wrapped in the thin crepes and balanced out perfectly with some of that shredded lettuce.
Shanghai prawn wantons
The Prawn wantons were like gold ingots, sitting prettily with a sweet chilli sauce. They were very crispy with generous chunks of prawns in a spring onion/ chive mix.

Crispy Peking chicken
The Peking Chicken was deep-fried beautifully with a crispy, crunchy crumb that has no resemblance to a tempura or beer batter, nor to a bread crumb. After some internet searching, it may have been just a really thick dredging in plain flour that gave it its crunchy bite. The chicken thighs were moist and the accompanying peanutty hoisin sauce helped lift the dish in terms of its flavour.

Mapo tofu
The Mapo Tofu was good but lacked a spice punch! There was no heat detected and would benefit real well from some chillis! The cubes of silken tofu were intact and the red spicy-looking gravy had that distinct feremented bean paste taste. 

Braised Mushrooms
The Shitake Mushrooms were braised nicely in a thick savoury oyster based sauce. They were certainly meaty mushrooms atop perfectly steamed 'lively' buk choy.
Crispy skin duck
Everybody loves a good Roast Duck and this one was no exception. The skin was thick and crispy with tender juicy duck meat hidden underneath.  YUM!!  
Chef's Special- Soy braised pork belly
This dish was a real favourite with everyone at the table and this is why... Big meaty chunks of belly pork that has been braised to melting tenderness.  I know most places have a soy braised pork but what sets this apart is the gravy.  It has the usual sweet soy and subtle star anise flavours but there is other ingredient/s, we can't make out that makes this sauce different and so much better.  Highly recommended! 
Steamed flower buns
Soft pillows of steamed 'mantous' great for mopping up all those delicious gravy! 

Pan-fried Shandong pork dumpling
After being wowed by pan-fried 'guo-ties' (pork dumplings) on a trip in singapore, I've been searching for something as good in brissie.  This particular version matches my expectations with regards to the filling and flour wrap but wasn't fried enough for my liking.  The minced pork was juicy with just the right amount of chives to balance it.

Fresh in-house dumplings
We actually made it a 10-course banquet this afternoon and the last dish which (Oooops!) we had forgtten to take a picture of, was the infamous Shanghai Xiao Long Bao i.e. the pork dumplings with 'soup' inside. We were all pleasantly surprised with the standards of the dishes that were churned out pretty quickly from the kitchen. For the quality, it comes close to the restaurants in Asia. Almost all plates were wiped clean and it was not too much of a struggle we might add, simply because the dishes were delectable without being overly heavy nor greasy.

Bamboo Basket 'snack' menu
Service wise, it was abit lacklustre tough. They were no doubt a bunch of diligent waitstaff but, they were more concerned with cleaning and laying the tables for next service than attending to customers. We don't expect great service here but surely they can make it easier for us to reach them??

There is also a special lunch menu, great for those ordering a'la carte and with our experience, we would think it is good value for money! Miss food hunter likes the use of red textures in the interior decor, especially the modern red pendant lightings which really sets it apart from a typical chinese restaurant. Nice! Would we return? A definite YES, there are many more items to be had!

PS. Thanks to Mr food hunter's brother & sister-in-law and their little one for this wonderful meal!!

Bamboo Basket
Shop 1003-1004 189 Grey street
Opens daily lunch & dinner
Bamboo Basket on Urbanspoon

1 comment:

  1. Nice post! Your dish very super!!! Your decoration is very fantastic.....

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