Li­cence to add fun to menu Bam­boo­zle

The Press - Zest - - Reviews -

Putting aside the thou­sands who ob­vi­ously do the trip as a daily com­mute, it does feel like a jour­ney to the end of the earth on a wet night run out to Sum­ner with bro­ken roads, bar­ri­ers, con­tain­ers, and the wind­ing back­streets de­tour thanks to the closed causeway.

I say this be­cause it makes the warm glow from Bam­boo­zle all the more wel­com­ing when you fi­nally make it. Once through the vast wooden front door, it has a buzzy, wel­com­ing ca­sual feel. I like the way the din­ing area is up front and the bar area has been tucked be­hind a bizarre par­ti­tion­ing wall – it in­cludes bam­boo poles, a cul­vert, a faux log fire and a cy­cle rick­shaw.

Bam­boo­zle’s niche is Asian fu­sion and this is a li­cence to ex­per­i­ment and in­ject some fun into the din­ing out ex­pe­ri­ence. Owner and chef Philip Kraal, for­merly of The Crum­pet Club and Bon Bolli, takes this even fur­ther with an as­sertive take on what he is about and what you are go­ing to get.

So you get this gutsy comment in a panel on the menu: ‘‘If you have an al­lergy or di­etary needs, you must ask your­self – amI in the right place?’’ He goes on to say he uses lots of peanuts, chilli, fish sauce and gluti­nous soy. Fair enough, you can only com­pro­mise so far.

Bam­boo­zle’s style is shared dishes that ar­rive as they are cooked, rather than a stan­dard starter-main-dessert pro­gres­sion. But, as the waitress ex­plained, we could or­der in ‘‘waves’’ to al­low time to eat and en­joy ev­ery­thing.

The menu’s funky and eclec­tic and ranges far and wide across wider Asia, with nods to Europe mixed in. A good ex­am­ple was the Shagged Rock Pot Stick­ers – six dumplings with a salmon and cream cheese fill­ing, on a sweet­ish, bright yel­low lightly curry in­flu­enced sauce. They were dif­fer­ent but a bit gluggy for my lik­ing. I wished I’d picked from other dumpling choices such as duck and blue cheese, or ched­dar and leek.

But a shred­ded chicken salad was very good – the chicken served with plenty of roasted chopped peanuts, baby spinach, beansprouts, spring onions, crunchy fried shal­lots, pis­ta­chio nuts and, sur­pris­ingly, dried cran­ber­ries. The tangy sweet/ sour dress­ing had a hint of chilli. This dish was all about fresh flavours meld­ing beau­ti­fully.

The wine list is rea­son­able but with spicy food I like beer. When: Tues to Sat, 5pm to late Dis­ap­point­ingly, the menu made no men­tion of that op­tion and I had to ask what they had. I tried a Three Boys IPA fol­lowed by a Tiger from the taps. The lo­cal craft beer was so dra­mat­i­cally bet­ter that I be­grudged ev­ery sip of the Tiger lager.

Our sec­ond ‘‘wave’’ of food was three dishes: thin pork belly slices, a bami goreng and cala­mari.

The pork belly wasn’t sticky as promised, but it came with an in­trigu­ing brown sauce cre­ated from black beans and onions with a strong cit­rus flavour. I re­ally liked this sauce and how

All wines are pub­lished with the rec­om­mended re­tail price (RRP) by the win­ery or dis­trib­u­tor, but with so many good wines be­ing dis­counted, it is likely that they can be bought for less than the RRP. Check on­line wine sell­ers and/or the web­sites of wine stores and supermarkets.

Bam­boo­zle: The­warm glow is even more wel­com­ing on a rainy night. evoca­tive it was. It lured my fin­ger in for some se­cret dab­bing.

The au­then­tic bami goreng had great chilli heat and was full of peas, corn, egg and other bits. The squid – called Long Dongs – was bat­tered and deep fried. The sup­port­ing salad was ex­cel­lent, though heav­ily drenched in dress­ing. So it wasn’t the crisp salad the menu sug­gested.

Desserts were a high­light. We avoided the well-worn path to the old Bon Bolli creme brulee and went with a choco­late mousse and a panna cotta. The mousse came with an in­tense cof­fee ice­cream and both were high qual­ity.

A rich choco­late ge­lato ac­com­pa­nied the panna cotta – but the panna cotta was the star. It was durian-flavoured and it felt quite sur­real to sit in Sum­ner on a cold wet night eat­ing a dessert that smelt like sul­phurous ‘‘off egg’’ and yet tasted so good. It was an ex­cit­ing end to a fun evening’s din­ing.

There are plenty more dishes to dis­cover, and an­other trip there to cel­e­brate the causeway’s open­ing seems a good idea.

Where: 6 Wake­field St, Sum­ner Phone: 03 326 7878

------------------------Cost: Dishes range from $14 to $28. Desserts, $12.50 to $14.50

------------------------Up­side: ex­cit­ing flavour com­bi­na­tions

------------------------Down­side: The over­thumbed menus. Fresh ones needed.

------------------------Go again: Yes, much more needs try­ing

-------------------------

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.