Located at the Abu Dhabi marina club right beside Abu Dhabi Mall, it hides in a square of quite a few restaurants. Initially it was Casa Goa that I noticed, and right beside it was a corridor which let to an array of seats and a pool.
Honestly speaking, I couldn’t find the restaurant! I went the wrong way, till someone directed me, and then I came across two glass doors, and above it said – Porto Fino (if I’m not mistaken), so much for BamBu I thought.
Entering, I had a pungent smell hit me, like stale water on carpet, and I’m sorry to say that is not a good first impression. As I entered there was bridge of sorts with some water flowing underneath, a good try I suppose. The only colour on the wall was a pale green with shades of dark green, not very appetizing, I could actually feel myself get less hungry. As you enter there is a huge glass wall, that people think is a door and try to open. You go around, hitting a bar and then the rest of the restaurant.
FYI The price includes alcohol with the dinner and also serves pork.
As I went inside, I found it very full for a Wednesday night, and it felt very crowded. I could hear conversations everywhere and it was a bit loud too. This is not a good place to go on a date, that’s for sure. For a group setting, it is pretty good. You can see the kitchen, which is open at one end. Inside you can actually see Tupperware and rags and stuff.
Anyways… I took a seat with my group who had already ordered appetizers. This was the best part, an All-you-can-eat joint always turns my taste buds on. The hunger was back!
The menu was a bit old and sticky, and the lighting was low. I ordered some hot and sour soup and some spring rolls. While that came I took my chopsticks – which were not made of bamboo; no pun intended – and started on some sesame shrimp toast. I noticed they were fried shrimp and sesame seeds on bread. Not very original if you ask me. Next I tried the wontons, a little heavy on the oil, but not too bad. We also had chicken dumplings, hammour and shrimp tempuras, again not too bad to taste. But there wasn’t anything that really struck me enough to say – mmmmm tantalizing tastebuds!
Flying in came my soup and spring roll in a minute and it was super, I enjoyed the soup quite a bit, and the spring roll was OK, nothing great. I tried the chicken wings, and they were a bit too sweet, but good regardless, and the fried shrimp was not bad either.
As soon as the appetizer frenzy was over, we ordered the main courses. There was a lot to choose from, and I chose the ‘Garlic and Chili Hammour’, from the sound of it I was expecting a large plate of hammour.
To my disappointment little plates of food came for everything that was ordered, so we double the order immediately. We had fried and plain rice as fillers and a lot of dishes to taste. The fried rice was pretty bland; they could have done better on that. We got some noodles too, which I didn’t bother trying.
The lemon chicken was the first to come in and it was good, the tofu followed with no comments, and the chilli chicken with broccoli was finally nice and spicy. But the best definitely went to the crispy chilli beef, though a little dry, it still made the cut.
The hammour I ordered was questionable, I’m not sure if it was hammour at all. The sizzling shrimp was not bad, but I compared it to the chilli shrimp we had also ordered, the only difference was the sizzle! I was losing interest very quickly…
We had also ordered a Red Curry chicken, that didn’t come till we ordered the desert.
By this time, I started to get a bit full, but I still wasn’t very satisfied, I went outside for some air, and on the way ordered some deep fried banana and deep fried ice cream.
I’m a BIG fan of deep fried ice cream, but this was an utter disappointment! They basically took ice cream and wrapped it around with some wet white bread and dumped it in the fryer. The ‘batter’ was not hot at all, and the ice cream was not cold! That is NOT how you many deep fried ice cream… very disappointing. The deep friend banana wasn’t so bad, definitely better than the deep friend ice cream. But honestly, if you are paying 170 Dhs. per head, you would definitely want some real good ice cream to go with your desert, and this was not the case.
Verdict: Honestly, I didn’t thoroughly enjoy any specific dish, because there were too many of them, and too little of each. But if you are looking for variety, this is the place! Also, this place doesn’t have a washroom, so that’s another negative. Food came pretty quick, didn’t have to wait long. Service was good too, no issues with the servers, apart from the forgotten dish, but that’s OK for an All-you-can-eat joint. But for the quality of food, the price is very steep; this is definitely one of the biggest reasons why I’ll probably refrain from going to BamBu anytime soon.
Food Quality: B
Verdict: C (was tempted to D it, but my company of friends made it bearable!)
If you have a 170 Dhs. to spend and like dark All-you-can-eats, this is the place for you. For everything else, there are much better tasting restaurants out there!!!
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