Don’t judge a book by its cover they say. Well in the instance of Bamboo this couldn’t be more true, whilst it looks from the outside to be a strip club (or super night club as we would say in Lebanon) it actually serves up some of the best Lebanese food I have had since moving to the Far East and I was glad I had given it a try. There are two entrances, one with seedy, flashing lights outside and another one a bit further down the road where I could see inside, past the charcoal BBQ to confirm that everything looked ok inside.
The menu is a mix of Russian (I think my waitress was Russian too) Arabic and Thai, I started with a manouche as they had “Jebne and zataar” – cheese with a wild thyme herb mix which is one of my favourite things to eat. Imagine a thin, slightly chewy pizza base (manouche) topped with a thin layer of melted cheese and earthy herbs and you have a pretty good idea – granted this was not the best version I have eaten but it was more than a passable attempt.
No meal in Lebanon is complete without Fattoush or Tabbouleh and everyone will have their preference but in spite of their simplicity, both seem to be hard to get right elsewhere. The tabbouleh here was excellent*, crunchy green parsley with the faintest sprinkling of bulghur, tiny chopped pieces of onion, tomato and a citrusy dressing with just a splash of olive oil.
I decided on the strength of this to try one last dish and went for the falafel as this is as good a test as any. These were similarly good, crisp on the outside, herby and green on the inside, perfectly cooked and seasoned and they even came with tahini to dip them into as opposed to mayonnaise (yuck) or aioli (just no.)
I have since heard further recommendations from other people about other items on the menu and as they are both open 24hours a day and do delivery, it is safe to say I will be sampling some more of their menu soon enough. I washed this down with a couple of bottles of singha and even managed to enjoy a shisha as well – yes, somewhere that serves alcohol, shisha and great food – my holy trinity so to speak!
The crowd seemed to be mostly Arabic (and by default, mostly male) although it was a nice, relaxed atmosphere and one I felt comfortable in. If you like good Lebanese food then I would definitely recommend checking Bamboo out – I will definitely be making a return visit sooner rather than later!
*Looking at my pictures I apparently neglected to photograph the tabbouleh but trust me when I say it was great!