As you know, I love all things bamboo, so a visit to Southbank's Bamboo Basket Restaurant, goes without saying. How can anyone resist a tower of those cute little bamboo steamers full of edible delights?
Bamboo Basket is a modern Australian Chinese Restaurant specializing in Xiao Long Bao (which literally translates as "Little Dragon Dumplings") and Hand Pulled Lanzhou-style Noodles. As you walk in off Grey Street, you can see right into the kitchen through huge display windows as the team of chefs chop, steam and fry with frowns of concentration.
The interior design is a curious mix of old and new China, with carved lotuses and glimmery bling lighting which works in a fun and festive kind of way. Bamboo Basket have done away with the traditional yum cha trolleys and offer easy to decipher bi-lingual a-la-carte menus. I appreciate their innovation - your meal arrives as expected without any confusion or need for explanation.
Having kids in tow, we ordered a host of dim sum/yum cha - traditional spring rolls, steamed pork buns, pan fried wantons, deep fried dumplings - every basket proved delicious and was well received by all family members.
The real taste test for me was the acclaimed Xiao Long Bao. As I lifted the lid, the smell was enough to make anyone salivate. Yum. One little bite and all the soup filling came slushing out. Eating Xiao Long Bao is a whole other dumpling dining experience - just make sure you lean over. Those are treasures sent straight from Shanghai's magical "YuYuan" Garden.
Xie xie Bamboo Basket - I hope to return and try the banquet sometime soon.