By ISABELLA OH
Located in the Quail Hill shopping center, Thai Bamboo Bistro serves authentic Thai food like you’ve never experienced before. They offer a wide selection of dishes from soups, salads, noodles, curries, and more, which are garnished to perfection. Thai Bamboo Bistro is perfect for any occasion, casual or formal.
I went with my family at around 12 o’clock when the restaurant had just opened up for the day. There were no other customers that dined in during the time we were there, which made us feel comfortable and not as rushed. When we sat down at our table, we were served complimentary soups, exclusively served during lunchtime. The soup tasted and looked like chicken porridge, however, with a Thai twist. It was served with garlic chips, contributing a pungent smell and strong flavor. We ordered five main dishes: Yum Woon Sen Salad, Lemongrass Beef, Yellow Chicken Curry, Pad See Ewe, and Thai Spicy Fried Rice. As we were given the option to decide the spiciness of the food (ranging from 1, least spicy, to 10, most spicy) and lunch or dinner portions, we requested all the dishes to have a spice level of 7 and dinner portions.
The first dish was the Yum Woon Sen Salad, a cold glass noodle salad on a layer of lettuce, topped off with minced chicken, onion, pepper, mint, cilantro, basil, carrot, and shrimp. The onion and carrot gave the noodle salad a crunch to balance out the soft elements of the dish such as the chicken, noodles, and shrimp. The tangy salad dressing was complimented by the basil, mint, and cilantro, contributing to the freshness of the salad.
The Lemongrass Beef was a dish consisting of sauteed beef, minced lemongrass, caramelized onions, and chile peppers. Just as the spiciness of the beef created a slight tingle in my throat, the lemongrass and the onions leveled off the spice. Without that tingle the dish would have been just sweet and salty, so really the spice contributed to my taste. The Yellow Chicken Curry, a Thai traditional favorite, stood out to me the most because it contained coconut milk. I loved the silky texture and hint of sweetness that it gave the curry. If I were to get only one dish, I would get the Yellow Chicken Curry because with it comes rice, veggies, and meat, all for just $13. The next dish was the Pad See Ewe. When the noodle dish came out, I expected it to be a bit bland, due to the mostly mono-color scheme of the noodles, but to my surprise upon the first bite, I was pleasantly surprised by how much flavor it actually had.
Last but not least, was the Thai Spicy Fried Rice, which was not a typically bland fried rice. Uncommon to many Asian dishes, the basil in it was what made the dish especially different. The variety of food we ordered was, in my opinion, successful because each dish served a distinct purpose in our meal. Had we not gotten the salad, we would not have had a balance of the creamy, strong flavors of the curry or the beef.
For dessert, we ordered the Mango Sticky Rice, a plate consisting of cold sweet mangoes with the texture of Manila Mangoes. It also featured hot sticky rice that was drizzled with the delicious creamy coconut milk. This was a perfect way to finish up the lunch course, although the food would have been lighter on our stomachs if we had gone for dinner, or ordered smaller portions. Overall, I was glad I tried something new, and would recommend Thai Bamboo Bistro to anyone in search of a colorful, aromatic, spicy and different taste experience.