After spending a month in Buenos Aires, my taste buds started demanding diversity in flavors. I needed to move beyond the Argentine staple of steak and potatoes and rediscover my Asian roots. While I love the local food here, it does not boast of the flavors Asian cuisine offers. I needed change. I needed a plate (or rather, multiple plates) full of Asian food.
Enter Green Bamboo.
Having heard so much about the place, it was about time for me to check it out. The bustling Palermo Hollywood joint is quite literally heaven for Asian food lovers. Keeping in style with a large majority of Southeast Asian restaurants, as soon as you enter Green Bamboo you don’t know where to look: every nook and cranny is filled with knick knacks. Think Laughing Buddha. Think ornamental fans. Think Teletubbies, yes Teletubbies! While the bar (run by one of the city’s best mixologists) is flooded with way too many ornaments rendering it obsolete, the rest of the restaurant feels quite spacious.
The moment I sat down, I was overcome by Asian food euphoria. It finally struck me how much I missed it. I missed it so much that I wanted to order everything off the menu. Since that was not possible, I needed to order wisely, wiser than any ordering I have ever done. I started the night with a really great sake cocktail which had passion fruit and mango in it. It was wonderful. I can’t remember it’s name, but it is one of their signature drinks, and deserves to be ordered at least once. Or twice. Or how many ever times because it’s amazing.
For starters, we ordered the Banh Tom Chien, which were crunchy prawn nests wrapped in lettuce and other magical herbs, served with a spicy sauce. Since Argentine food isn’t very big on prawns, or any kind of seafood, it was a much-needed change, especially because it was SO GOOD!
For our mains, we ordered the Suon Heo Dua (barbecue pork ribs), the Mon Ca Ri (a sautéed fish and seafood curry), and the Bo Lu Lac (tenderloin cubes marinated in lemongrass, pepper, honey, sweet chili and sesame oil). All were excellent. The pork ribs were definitely the highlight of the night. They oozed with ample flavor, and were juicy and succulent down to the bone.
Overall, the food did a great job of incorporating the five essential elements of sweet, salty, spicy, sour and bitter tastes, and kept the flavor profile at a very sophisticated level. However, even though we asked for our food to be made extra spicy, it lacked heat and we needed a bowl of Sriracha on the table.
To sum up, Green Bamboo is an excellent place for drinks and Southeast Asian food, albeit a bit watered down to fit the Argentine palate. Try the restaurant for different flavors while dining under a portrait of a smiling Ho Chi Minh.
Rating: 4.5 Forks
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Costa Rica 5802, Palermo Hollywood
Open only for dinner from 8:30–closing
Average price: 300 pesos