eating out: bamboo basket

I had been looking forward to trying Bamboo Basket after some friends of ours raved that it had the best dumplings after Din Tai Fung. So last Friday night we headed over to see if the claim was true.

The Grey Street restaurant looks great and I particularly liked the glass-walled kitchen, which looks out onto the street. It reminded me of Mamak in Sydney, where you can watch the skilled chefs prepare their speciality. Here it’s the hand pulled noodles that look most impressive, though on this occasion I didn’t sample them.

There were no tables for two available so instead we were shown to one of the semi-private tables at the back of the restaurant. The staff were friendly and talked us through the menu items, and also explained each dish as they brought it to our table.

We chose a few varieties of dumplings including Xiao Long Bao – a delicious soup-filled dumpling best eaten by biting off the top, sucking out the soup and then biting into the meaty filling. They were very tasty but I must say my favourite was the pan fried dumpling topped with crispy rice paper. We also shared some steamed prawn and pork dumplings, which I’ll admit didn’t exactly bowl me over.

After the dumplings, we shared a very fatty but tasty pork belly in soy sauce with steamed flour buns. I’m very picky about my pork belly, comparing it to the very high benchmark set by a former housemate and I have to say Bamboo Basket produced one of the best restaurant attempts I’ve tasted.

Prices were fairly reasonable, with serves of four dumplings around the $8 mark and the pork belly and other meaty mains around $19. All up our meal came to $67 including a glass of wine for me and a beer for the boy.

The restaurant also participates in the $5 parking deal at Southbank so don’t forget to ask for your voucher to take advantage of the cheap rate.

I haven’t had better Shanghai food in Brisbane so I’d recommend giving it a go – but unfortunately it doesn’t quite measure up to Din Tai Fung.

Bamboo Basket on UrbanspoonWhere to find it: 189 Grey Street, South Brisbane

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