Bamboo Terrace: Dumplings versus game play

Written by Staff Writer at CNN

Dumplings are a traditional Chinese delicacy, but they’re also just one of many that’s on the menu at Bamboo Terrace in Hong Kong’s Connaught Gardens.

Named among the 50 foods you must try before you die (as judged by the Food-Tasting Tribune , a writers’ survey ), the restaurant’s offerings also include coffee baba (a blend of coffee and milk), lima beans, guava and kale.

The menu has made Bamboo Terrace a favorite among food enthusiasts. Though not quite as talked about as sea bream or more traditional Chinese foods, it could soon become a new Chinese pastime: playing with dumplings.

A modern take on pastrami

Five Japanese brothers opened Bamboo Terrace in 2014. Courtesy Bamboo Terrace

What’s making diners take notice is the theme restaurant’s little-used pastrami on rye (the name actually belongs to the brothers behind Bamboo Terrace, Marchetti Brothers) — a savory, tomato jam-topped sandwich that is selling so well it outstrips sales of the restaurant’s menu’s other main attraction, roast duck.

The brothers, Tetsuya, Nobuyuki, Takayoshi, Asai and Yukio, previously operated Nagoya-based chain A&B Diner . The menu at the Hong Kong location of the restaurant is distinctly Japanese, but in September 2015 they opened a separate restaurant called Bamboo Terrace Hong Kong.

The scene

Once you’re seated at the restaurant, the question is whether you want to eat dumplings or play with them.

A bartender displays a variety of dumplings and tableware at Bamboo Terrace. Courtesy Bamboo Terrace

The restaurant has a large, curved room where diners may order snacks such as lychee powder on ice, green tea martinis or a cup of herbal tea. It also has a bar area — full of tapas and, of course, brass and wood — in which sipping on sake is encouraged.

My guest and I opted for dinner and a buffet.

What we did not expect was a children’s event (for visitors with younger children) during the buffet, where little toys like the popcorn dumpling slide were handed out as our waiter ladled sesame balls, nuggets and strawberries into platters for us to pick from.

Luckily, the kids activities were a great addition — especially given a slide similar to the one used at Universal Studios in Florida made its first appearance in Hong Kong.

The sesame balls, nuggets and strawberries at Bamboo Terrace. Courtesy Bamboo Terrace

The menu is full of unusual Japanese-inspired dishes like the “Bamboo Madam Bao Dung” (a short steamed bun with pork belly and pepper and vinegar sauces).

I ate a sesame balls, nuggets and strawberries kata (from the “Bamboo Madam Bao Dung”) during the lunch buffet.

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