Friday, May 28, 2010

Red Bamboo

Creole Soul Chicken

Lobster Salad

Black Bean Ginger Stirfry with Beef

Pistachio Ice Cream

1. Creole Soul Chicken
From the menu: "Crispy soul chicken panko breaded with cajun seasoning and rosemary, served with a hickory smoke vidalia dressing"
The panko breading was perfect: substantial without being over bearing, hot but not greasy, salty and flecked with parsley, very well seasoned. The seitan "chicken" inside was another story: bland to the point of flavorlessness and incredibly chewy yet stringy, almost as If the gluten hadn't been given sufficient time to set up properly. The dipping sauce was delicious, thick and smoky with a subtle, carribbean BBQ flavor; if only that flavor could have been incorporated into the nuggets themselves.

2. Lobster Salad
From the menu: "A refreshing salad with spring mix, diced red onions, red, yellow and green peppers, cilantro and soy lobster tossed with our lemon citrus dressing"
The soy lobster was not at all what I was expecting: incredibly solid and firm, rather than pliable and melting, and largely tasteless, not at all the sweet savoriness of the real thing. It approached the texture of over cooked extra firm tofu or a really firm cheese, like ricotta salata, which isn't intrinsically bad just not at all lobsteresque. Frankly aside from the light pink color striping on the exterior and shape I would have had no idea this was meant to imitate lobster much less seafood. The rest of the salad--mixed greens, diced bell peppers, lemon olive oil vinaigrette were fresh and seasonally appropriate. The pseudo lobster was an unfortunate disappointment to the rest.

3. Black Bean Ginger Stirfry with Beef
From the Menu: "Fresh garden vegetables sauteed in a Cantonese black bean sauce and chili ginger glaze with a side of brown or white rice… 9.95 Add soy shrimp, chicken or beef… 2.00"
Heaping portion of seitan, vegetables, and rice. My dining companiom and i had ample food splittig this course, after two appetizers. The seitan was much better in this dish than inside the nuggets. Firm but moist, chewy yet toothsome, with nice grill marks. Sauce was sweet and savory large whole black beans. Dizzying array of veg: yellow squash, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, ... 2 cups of white rice.

4. Pistachio ice cream
Delicious. Not as icy as other ice cream analogs. Whole pistachios. Nuclear reactor green. Server: not made in house and soy and coconut based.

Pairing: Pinot Noir

Possible Repeat. For the restaurant billed as having some of the best met analogs in the city, I left less than impressed with the appetizer and salad options. Yet the entree was more promising and I am intrigued by the fish cake and fish stick options that I saw other diners eating and wish I'd had the stomach space to try a dessert or smoothie.

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