A welcome, new face in Manuka

I’M on a roll with Asian food. Love it. Love it. Love it!

A couple of weeks ago I indulged in a cheap and cheerful in Dickson — Pho Phu Quoc. This time it was the more upmarket, bright, modern, Bambusa in Manuka.

Positioned smack in the middle of Franklin Street (where Cons Seafood was), Bambusa is a must-visit for anyone whose heart pitter patters at the thought of dining on this incredibly diverse and flavoursome cuisine.

Bambusa’s aim is to take a fully modern approach to traditional Asian cooking, featuring new and classic dishes, which you can order for yourself or to share. And share we did.

The Peking-style duck pancakes were sensational ($12). The tender, oven-cooked duck was wrapped with julienne vegetables and hoisin sauce in fresh pancakes.

The crispy fried white bait also topped the chart, enhanced with a perfectly spiced sea salt ($10).

We were on a roll and stayed that way with steamed zucchini stuffed with pork mince and topped with XO sauce, considered the “emperor of all sauces”, with many chefs developing their own recipe and guarding it under lock and key.

Most mains were as delicious and innovative as the entrées, although I’ve had better hot rock salted prawns (the dish comes with dumplings, which the restaurant accidentally forgot – did not take long to correct the oversight though, with apologies all round).

Specials for the evening included a melt-in-the-mouth beef shank, Asian style, and a special twice-cooked duck breast served with prawn meat wrapped in bacon.
The duck was a bit tough and heavy, noted two diners, but there wasn’t much left on their plates.

Bambusa’s service is spot on – efficient, friendly, knowledgeable, and we will return to experience the degustation ($50 per person).

The restaurant is byo, but also has a considered, interesting wine list.

My bet is Bambusa will settle into Manuka nicely and is a welcome addition to a dining scene that has chopped and changed too much of late, including the recent closing of The Providore and Zeffirelli’s.

Bambusa, 36 Franklin Street, call 6295 1036. Open for lunch and dinner (times vary), Monday to Sunday.

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