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Black Bamboo: Not Really Ready

Black Bamboo

Hurts to say this, because we want to see small restaurants succeed. But Black Bamboo Palace, the Chinese restaurant that opened last week at 3rd & Bell, needs to rethink a lot of its menu and service.  A selection of house appetizers at $14.95 combined overcooked beef satay and undercooked pork ribs. The vaunted, pork-filled Shanghai buns were dangerously undercooked; eventually refired, they were harder than rocks. Head-on prawns were ordered; conventional frozen prawns were served. Garlic eggplant was the best item, piping hot in a sweet sauce, but with no underlying flavor. Rice? Sorry, no more white rice. The menu’s not online, and the Facebook page is blank.

Public note to all would-be restaurant owners: get your act together before you open.

Black Bamboo Palace, 2232 Third Avenue (at Bell). No phone.

6 Comments on "Black Bamboo: Not Really Ready"

  1. I dont think you can sum up a restaurant or pass final judgement as it just opens. This is not a big corporate chain with butt loads of money – its a family owned mom & pop kinda small business and from my experience I applaud Black Bamboo for the delicious lunch and dinner I have already experienced. The mongolian beef had a ton of flavor, and general Tso’s chicken was amazing! A friend of mine at Amazon has made it a daily pilgrimage, even. The food was very fresh and beats any chinese food in the local area including chinatown a.k.a international district. Thats not only my opinion but that of the couple I heard talking with the owner too the night I was there.

    I cant comment on your experience but in their first week Im sure they had glitches, as would anyone including finding what their par levels are for food. Anyone opened their own restaurant knows this. The owner told me they were slammed in that first week blowing their own projections and it did cause some food shortages but I can understand that, given, in my opinion, they are onto something that could be great, especially in Belltown.

    I would make note Robert to check your facts as your a professed foodie and writer. If you had then why take issue with their menu? Have you seen any other chinese restaurant menu? Uptown China in lower queen ann has a similar menu, like Jade Garden in chinatown but Black Bamboo’s food was delicious, fresh and without MSG, as noted on their menu! Appetizers range from $3.50 up to $14.95 and the appetizer platter feeds two or more people. Their address is also 2236 3rd Avenue and phone number is 206.443.9898 on the take-out menu I picked up and I was able to LIKE them and find them on facebook here:

    Id prefer to remain positive that over time this is going to be a local hot spot, its a great location, (very nice inside I might add), giving good customer service and really good chinese food. I appreciate that and hope they do well and look forward to eating there more.

  2. I have to agree with Kimchee83. To publish a review of a restaurant on their very first day of operation is just not terribly professional. I have been into Black Bamboo several times since they opened and have found it to be a great experience. The food has been delicious and the service is very friendly. Several of the people from my office – including a number of Chinese people – have all been there as well and pronouced the food excellent.

  3. Ronald Holden | August 29, 2013 at 11:54 am |

    Folks, it wasn’t their first day. Wasn’t even their first week. If you’re open for business and taking people’s money, ya better be ready.

  4. I am with Ron, I had it tonight and was not impressed at all. The General chicken was more like Szechwan chicken, SUPER greasy and only tasted like the chilies used to spice it up. The Singapore Noodles were bland and blah, the Veggie Egg Rolls (should have been called spring rolls because that is what they are) were ok but seemed not made in store. The only thing we did like was the Hot & Sour Soup. It was not enough however to keep me coming back. I will stick to my delivery spot in LQA.

    Oh also we got no rice with the General Tso chicken. I am not sure if they missed it or if its a Seattle thing but other places when you order General Tso you get a little box of white rice as well.

    I wrote a Yelp review if you want to read it along with some pics I put up.

  5. Ron, their first official day was the 12th and you posted your review on the 14th. How can you say it wasn’t even their first week?

    • Ronald Holden | August 30, 2013 at 5:47 pm |

      The first two weeks of your restaurant’s operation are NOT a shakedown cruise. That should be the first two weeks of “friends & family” service, when the entire staff learns the ropes. The minute you let in the public and start taking money, you are OPEN. If you can’t afford a “family & friends” week or two, you should reconsider your entire business venture, because most Seattle customers are tolerant of newbie mistakes, but many are unforgiving. For those who think I’m harsh: read the reviews of Black Bamboo on Yelp, far more critical than my remarks.

      And by the way, all you writers of phony 4-star reviews: it’s Belltown, not Bell Town. You’re giving yourselves away.

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