The Bamboo Bistro gives Pan-Asian cuisine a quaint location in St. Pete Beach. Opened in October 2011, this restaurant has a vast menu offering up specialties from different Asian countries, from sushi to fried rice. While the exterior may not seem too impressive, the interior begs to differ. With deep red walls, dark wood floors, and high polished tables, you are transported into a fine dining scene. Now, at times, an Asian restaurant may be a mystery in terms of food quality. Is the sushi fresh? Has my beef been sitting under a heating lamp all day? Is this even beef? The Bamboo Bistro takes their food seriously and everything is made to order. Each dish is fresh, hot, and absolutely delicious. The only question you should be asking yourself is, what should I order?
Food: If sushi is up your alley, the Spicy Tuna Roll ($9.95) was fresh, delicious, and assembled beautifully. With ten pieces, ginger, and wasabi, nothing was lacking in this sushi dish. Next, the Thai Chopped Chicken Salad ($7.95) certainly was not the run of the mill salad. Described as “chopped chicken, mixed with onion, scallion, Thai basil, and Thai spicy dressing,” this salad was more like lettuce wraps. The chicken was minced together with the other ingredients, to be placed into the lettuce leaves. The flavors were out of this world, with no single ingredient standing out. Again, this dish was great as a starter before the entrée, and was easily shared. The Orange Chicken ($9.95) was served in a chili bean sauce, rice on the side, and garnished with orange slices. While the dish may have looked like the typical Orange Chicken, the flavors spoke otherwise. It was obvious this was fresh and carefully put together, with each ingredient thought out. The chicken was both tangy and sweet, and the rice was cooked to perfection. The Mongolian Beef ($10.95) was the star of the meal. Tender strips of beef and mushrooms in a sweet soy sauce, a side of rice, and a garnish of crispy rice “stix,” this dish had the ultimate umami flavor. Both entrees had generous enough portions for leftovers, and were equally delicious the next day. Finally, for dessert, the Fried Ice Cream ($5.00) was a must. A large scoop of vanilla ice cream, wrapped in a crunchy batter-fried shell and covered in hot fudge was the best way to end the meal. The exterior was light and the ice cream was rich. Aside from these dishes, The Bamboo Bistro also offers a Kid’s Menu ($5.95), vegan options, soups, and other signature dishes including Bamboo Pepper Steak ($10.95,) Sweet and Sour Pork ($9.95,) and Shanghai Shrimp with Garlic Sauce ($14.95.) As far as beverages go, sodas ($1.50) were served in cans with a glass of ice on the side. The Bamboo Bistro also has domestic beers ($2.95,) import beers ($3.95,) hot and cold sake ($4.25-$12.00) and tea.
Décor: Entry is from the rear of the building, which can get a little confusing as to where the entrance actually is. The patio is to the left with several tables overlooking the parking lot, and an automatic sliding door is to the right. You then walk down a hallway to the dining area. The interior of the restaurant made for a romantic evening. Deep red walls and dark wood floors made for an intimate and chic atmosphere. High polished wood tables are strategically placed making the dining area very space efficient. The sushi bar is situated at one corner of the room where patrons can eat while watching sushi being assembled.
Bathroom: The bathrooms were impeccably clean. Located near the entrance of the restaurant are the men and women’s restroom which consist of one bathroom each. The efficiencies are nicely decorated and stocked with toiletries.
Insider tips: Be sure to focus when finding the restaurant as it approaches quickly on 75th Avenue. Parking is in the rear, and be sure to park in a designated area or face the risk of getting towed. Don’t be daunted by the strip club across the street or the “triple X” store next door; you won’t even remember they were there once you’re inside!
The Damage: For sushi, salad, two entrees, two sodas, and dessert, our bill totaled at about sixty dollars. For the amount of delicious food, attentive service, and lots of leftovers, this was a reasonable price.
Bottom Line: The Bamboo Bistro is great for date night or just catching up with friends. The ambiance is intimate, the food is spectacular, and the prices are very reasonable. They also have lunch specials Monday through Friday, and also offer take out or delivery.
The Bamboo Bistro
432 75th Ave, St. Pete Beach, Florida (727) 363-4000 Hours: Monday - Sunday 11:00 AM - 10:30 PM