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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, August 30 2013 - Volume 41 Issue 35
A taste of the East out West - Belltown's Black Bamboo fills a delicious downtown niche
Arts & Entertainment
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A taste of the East out West - Belltown's Black Bamboo fills a delicious downtown niche

by Eric Andrews-Katz - SGN A&E Writer

BLACK BAMBOO RESTAURANT
2236 3rd Ave., Seattle
(206) 443-9898


The Black Bamboo opened at the beginning of August in Belltown, and it seems to be just what downtown needed. Open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m., Black Bamboo offers delicious meals with a good selection on the lunch menu for the working crowd. Lunch specials are offered Monday through Friday (11 a.m.-3 p.m.) and average $8.25 per plate including rice, an egg roll, two pot stickers, choice of soup, and of course a flavorful entrée.

Boasting a variety of Asian cuisine, the Black Bamboo offers authentic Szechuan, Mandarin, Hong Kong, and Malaysian recipes using only fresh ingredients. The appetizer menu starts at $3.50 with roti canai (a type of Malaysian flat bread) and goes up to $14.95 with the appetizer sampler, which includes crab wontons, satays, potstickers, BBQ pork ribs, chicken wings, and egg rolls (two of each item). If soup is your preference there are several choices, including congee (chicken, beef, pork, or seafood), hot-and-sour, wonton, and corn.

The dinner menu is more extensive but still affordable - most items are in the $11-$12 range. With choices of seafood, beef, chicken, pork, and vegetarian/tofu dishes, there is something here for everyone's taste. The Cashew Prawns and the Prawns with a Lobster or Black Bean Sauce are succulent choices with a generous serving of prawns. Honey Peach Prawns or Honey Walnut Prawns are available if sweetness is desired. Sweet & Sour Pork (or chicken) features large, tasty, perfectly fried pieces of meat covered with a delicious sauce that tastes of freshness - not the gelatinous substance that too often makes this dish unpalatable. The Almond (fried) Chicken is excellent with a cup of sauce on the side to allow the individual's choice of light or heavy on the flavor. Only white meat is used for the chicken dishes and it's cooked to perfection. For the more adventurous, try the Szechuan Spicy Duck - actually half a duck - or the Peking Duck (the most expensive item on the menu at $28.99). Due to its long preparation time, orders for Peking Duck should be placed 24 hours in advance.

Dessert is always the proverbial cherry on the cake. While the choices here are limited, there are several classics on the menu, including New York cheesecake, tiramisu, and ice cream (vanilla or green tea). For the perfect palate cleanser try the raspberry sorbet, an import from Bainbridge Island and not to be missed.

The restaurant boasts only the freshest ingredients utilizing local produce whenever possible, and no MSG is used. With local delivery to the Belltown area and catering services available, the Black Bamboo is definitely a worthwhile addition to downtown Seattle's culinary scene. Although the restaurant is already up and running, look for the official grand opening in late September/early October.

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