October 4, 2006

1 Percy Street, 020 7323 9130;

(Octber 4, 2006) One of our favorite cuisines is Vietnamese, and we are therefore always searching for newer, better and different restaurants when we visit major cities, not forgetting to stop in at old favorites of course. Bam-Bou is one we read about in Zagat and it sounded as if it were worth a shot.
The square dining room on the ground floor is small, maybe 35 seats, and there is an upstairs dining room as well. The décor is not trendy but not bad—wooden tables, white linen napkins and a few large pieces of Asian art on the walls. We are definitely not paying for design here. The other diners on the weekday lunch we wandered in were all business types, actually media types, probably from the area. There were no tourists.

We started with some steamed edamame (£2.95), and then dug into perfectly spiced short ribs (£5.95), Hanoi style, with chili, garlic and red vinegar. The Har Gau (££4.95) dumplings, stuffed with prawns, were soft and tasty. We then shared some plates from the next section of the menu, beginning with green curried chicken (£11.75) with winter shoots and Thai basil that was just as we like it, and we wrapped the red curried rock shrimp (£12.50) in fresh betel leaves and dipped them in a satay sauce with great pleasure. With these two dishes we had some Singapore style fried noodles (£4.50), with lots of vegetables and some meat.

We drank a 2004 Joostenberg blend of Merlot and Shiraz from South Africa (26), which we quite liked.

A note on the menu announced that soon some private rooms will be available where they will serve a tasting menu. That will be on our list for the next time.

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