Friday, May 22, 2015

Bambu Vietnamese Cuisine in Springfield, MO

When Bambu opened its doors several years ago, it was different than it is today. Back then the server had to painstakingly explain the dishes and the ingredients to our party and quite frankly it was too laborious to be enjoyable. Often an establishment will begin to spiral into a decline, but this tortoise slowly but surely climbs.

Recently, on a few occasions I revisited the restaurant. These days the menu is more sympathetic to the average patron which allows for a more pleasant beginning to the dining experience. 

The decor is charmingly gaudy. Sitting in the midst of the reoccurring bamboo theme I'm entertained by the overall appearance. The mood lighting is somewhat retro, all soft and shadowy which is okay with me, but for many it might be problematic.

Although it isn't by definition a standard use of the word, my son refers to a category of cooking as sub-Asian. For him, this includes: Vietnamese, Korean, Pan-Asian, Thai, and Indian cuisine. It separates the modern influx of distinctly different kitchens from the area's older more common Chinese meals.

Barbecue Pork with Steamed Rice
The menu is extensive with a lot of curries and soups that are visibly very popular. I love curry, but on three different occasions I ordered variations of beef steak. The beef is so delicious, it's hard to consider anything else. Reportedly, the barbecued pork is equally as succulent.  

Steak with Red Rice
Each of the meat
dishes come with a mixture of sweet marinated vegetables. The shredded radishes and carrots are particularly tasty as they absorb more of the sweetened rice vinegar. The cabbage, tomatoes, and cucumbers are larger with a lighter hint of the unique flavor. A generous portion of

steamed rice is molded and served on the same plate as the meat and vegetables. The bite sized pieces are perfect for the chopstick dining and the portions are more than ample. The signature garlic sauce is wonderful for dipping or even better poured over the rice. The red rice is flavorful and moist and well  worth asking for a substitution.  

Although I'm far from an expert on Vietnamese cuisine, it is likely the most authentic in the area. The staff has more than ample skill and the dishes they serve are the perfect testament for fine food at a reasonable price. 

Beef  Barbecue

Bambu offers a variety of unique drinks and several desserts. For more information, you can check out their menu on the web. 

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