Tasty discovery: Goi (Vietnamese cole slaw) with shrimp
Destination: Le Bamboo Bistro. 1215-X George Washington Memorial Highway, York County. 757-806-6505. lebamboobistro.wix.com/vietnamesefusion.
Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Friday-Saturday.
If someone had asked me to predict food trends for the Peninsula, I would never have suggested that a wave of Vietnamese restaurants would wash up on our shores.
In the past year, we've seen a couple of new restaurants offering this cuisine join the fine ones we already have, and each one is a little different. One of the latest is Le Bamboo Bistro now open in the space formerly occupied by Spring Garden in York County.
The interior has to be one of the prettiest spaces on the Peninsula. Warm yellow walls, tan leather banquettes and beautiful art work combine to offer relaxed, elegant surroundings.
The menu offers many of Vietnam's classic dishes. Appetizers such as Spring Rolls and Spicy Lemongrass Wings are listed under the heading, "Saigon Street Food." Other categories include the traditional Vietnamese soup called Pho, sandwiches, wraps, rice and noodle dishes. The list of beverages features fruit shakes in several flavors.
A menu listing called Goi, which was described as Vietnamese cole slaw, intrigued me. There were several toppings, including chicken, pork and beef, and I chose shrimp.
The dish consisted of shredded cabbage mixed with lime and basil and topped with fried shallots. About a dozen small shrimp were piled on top. Small bowls of chopped peanuts and a Vietnamese dipping sauce were served alongside, The sauce I learned was a diluted fish sauce with red pepper flakes that made it slightly sweet and hot.
As a lunch item it was filling, flavorful and slightly exotic. The cabbage was tender and the shrimp made a great complement.
My co-worker, Taiyanah Scott, joined me and these are her thoughts about her chicken pho: "My first experience at a Vietnamese restaurant was very intriguing. From the time I walked into Le Bamboo Bistro, the aroma made me want to dine in. Not only was the food delicious, but it was an excellent price for the amount of food they gave me." — David Nicholson. See Food Find videos at dailypress.com/food.