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True BLUE Oriental


BAMBOO SHOOTS is not "yet another" place offering the routine Chinese and Thai cuisine. This upscale restaurant bagged the H & FS Certificate of Excellence as the Best Restaurant of the Year for Oriental Cuisine in 2002.

The five-year-old eatery, which can seat 85 at a time, has its décor in shades of brown, with dark green motifs of bamboo shoots painted on the walls. Even the carpet carries the same, charming motif. The ambience is soothing with just enough lighting. Exotic Chinese lanterns adorn the ceiling.

We began our repast with cups of traditional Chinese tea, even as a melodious tune played in the background. Delicately flavoured with jasmine, the herbal tea is always served before the beginning of a meal and signifies a warm welcome. Chinese herbal tea is believed to have therapeutic value as well. The appetizers served, the Korean kimchi, which is cabbage leaves with a dash of tomato-chilli sauce, and gherkin, a Korean pickle of cucumber and carrots, were a refreshing change.

We began with a Thai starter — the grathong thong (golden basket) that is accompanied by four different sauces, including the innovative honey-chilli sauce. Made of corn, mushrooms, and bean curd served in baskets, it is mild and goes well with the spicy sauces. Light and crunchy, the crispy corn chilly pepper is worth a try. It is actually fried American corn with a dash of chilli. The kampoi sung, a starter made of spicy vegetables, served in baskets shaped like a tulip, is scrumptious.

Bamboo Shoots has an interesting array of soups. For the vegetarians, the tangy lemon soup, the spicy corn soup, and the eight treasures soup (a thick soup with eight different vegetables) are recommended. The restaurant is, however, famed for its spicy crab coriander soup.

In its dimsum section, the place offers kothe or the steamed-and-pan-fried, crescent-shaped dumplings. They also serve sui mai or steamed-open, wafer thin dumplings, the wotip or the steamed, closed dumplings, and fried-and-steamed wontons.

The restaurant prides itself in its repertoire of seafood dishes. The jumbo prawns in black pepper and butter chilli garlic lobsters have a loyal clientele.

As for noodle, there are soft and pan-fried noodles, Cantonese rice noodles, Singapore rice noodles and much more.

For the main course, the restaurant recommends bamboo rice, which is rice cooked with bamboo shoots. But we tried the corn-fried rice with a side dish made of Oriental vegetables, served in hot garlic sauce. Bamboo Shoots also offers burnt onion-fried rice and ginger capsicum fried rice. It also offers novel side dishes such as Buddha's delight and assorted vegetables in peanut sauce. The portions are large and one dish will easily suffice for two.

For dessert, we tried the innovative ice kechang, made of ice-cream, crushed ice, and rose syrup. The other choices include water chestnuts in chilled coconut milk and walnut toffee /date wontons with ice-cream. The place also has a well-stocked bar.

This restaurant is a place where you can bring your clients over for a discussion, or just come with your family to enjoy a relaxed evening. It is usually bustling with its corporate clientele, so do call in advance and reserve a table.

Bamboo Shoots can be contacted on 5594001.

Ambience: Soothing
Service: Good
Wallet factor: Dinner for two would approximately cost Rs. 600.
Specials: Seafood and bamboo rice. Check out Buddha's delight and assorted vegetables in peanut sauce.

H.S.

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