Saturday, March 28, 2009

Eat Asian : Bam-Bou, Percy Street

This post has taken quite some time to go up. I've been busy at work and busy at home. But here's a belated write up of some half decent grub and a half decent film.

I've been wanting to watch Watchmen for quite some time and nearly a month after release, I finally got round to seeing it this week. A combination of trying to arrange a time which was suitable for my friends who actually wanted to go and see it, and the insistence of the few to go and try and see it at the iMax (which incidentally was almost fully booked for every conceivable showing) meant I had to wait until now.

Booked in for the 8pm showing, I thought I would try and find somewhere to use my newly acquired free one month membership to Tastelondon (after a giveaway to celebrate their 3rd birthday). Reviewing the list of restaurants, Bam-Bou was nearby and looked like a decent option.

Bam-Bou is a French-Vietnamese restaurant set in a town-house at the bottom end of Charlotte Street. It's very quaint and very dark but it's a really nice setting and quite unique in the fact that it really feels like you're going back in time.

I ate here with my good Brazilian mate Sergio and we were definitely getting some odd looks. Other than the couple of groups of suits, this appears to definitely be a couple's restaurant. I guess the dim candlelit rooms and extensive cocktail list are conducive for a romantic environment. Unperturbed, my mate and I grabbed our beers, made manly noises and proceeded to peruse the menu.

We started with the old favourite, deep fried chilli squid. These were nice and tender, although not deep in flavour as the one I normally order at Mandarin Kitchen in Bayswater (a family favourite). Tender and herby more than spicy and chilli hot but perfectly adequate.

For my main, I ordered the 3 flavour chicken with cashews and some rice and noodles on the side. The chicken was indeed quite a strange sensation. It was almost sweet and sour in taste, with a salty kick from the liberal fish sauce; I guess those were the 3 flavours. The cashews added a nice contrast in texture. This was very nice; I would definitely have it again.

The fried rice was disappointing. Fried rice needs to be cooked with cold rice otherwise it turns all mushy and you can't get the right texture. Unfortunately, that was what happened to this example, a mushy, if edible, mess. The noodles were nice, but you really shouldn't be able to screw up plain fried noodles.

The meal came to £15 a head with a drink and that was perfectly good value. However, without the Taste card, you would need to add another £20 to the total bill which would frankly be too expensive.

So was "Watchmen" any good? My verdict was that it remained faithful to the novel with an interesting take on the ending. It was a bit long however, it was nearly midnight on a school night by the time it finished. I was nodding off, not a good sign. So in two words, too long.

Bam-Bou on Urbanspoon

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