I was alerted that this restaurant had a “secret menu” of authentic Chinese food, and this meant the possibility of not only having a great lunch but also being able to share the information with others. This is not a far-fetched concept, since I have found similar restaurants in places such as Portales, Roswell, and Ruidoso. In fact, even the now closed Golden Palace in Alamogordo had authentic food to go along with their American style favorites.
At first the staff at Bamboo Garden seemed to have no knowledge of what I had heard, and told me that they only had one menu. After asking to speak to the chef, though, I found out that he did indeed prepare traditional style Chinese food by request, but there was no menu for it. What he offered, though, was a choice of meats and a choice of whether you want Cantonese style food or something spicy. Based on this I ordered the item pictured below.
Some web sites state that Bamboo Garden serves both Chinese and Korean food. At first this made me worried that I was seeking authentic Chinese food at a restaurant run by Korean people, but it turned out that the husband is Chinese and the wife is Korean, and they offer both types of food. The Chinese food is Americanized by default but traditional style if you want it. I assume that the Korean food is authentic because this is the way I have seen it at other restaurants.
Special Chinese Dishes
The Chicken and Broccoli was a special dish (not on the menu) the chef prepared for me when I asked for authentic Chinese food. This was made with oyster sauce and black beans, and as far as I am concerned passed all the tests for being traditional style. It had a simple but very good flavor, and the ingredients were equally simple (chicken and broccoli). I normally consider this type of broccoli to be an American adaptation of Chinese food, but with the sauce the chef prepared this tasted as Chinese as it would have been with any Chinese vegetables. It is interesting that he also added some jalapenos (certainly not Cantonese, but this is New Mexico after all where everyone loves chiles). The jalapenos were in a small quantity and could easily be removed, but of course I thought it would be best to follow the chef’s suggestion and eat everything on the plate (and it was quite good with the chiles).
I know not everyone is a fanatic about ordering traditional style Chinese food like I am, but this dish was so high up on the deliciousness scale that I really have to tell people they don’t know what they are missing if they do not take advantage of this type of opportunity.
The restaurant serves a brewed jasmine tea which is excellent, and ensures that the drink is as good as the food.
Food here normally has MSG, but it can be omitted by request. There is no buffet but they have lunch specials (including Korean food). The restaurant is closed from 2:30 to 5:00 P.M.
If you want the authentic Chinese food, be patient. When I went the wait staff did not know about it but when I was able to talk to the chef I was able to get what I was seeking. The “authentic” food does not seem to have any different meat or vegetables, but the sauce he makes is quite satisfying and delicious.
Hours: Closed Sun.
Smoking: No smoking
Most Recent Visit: Jan. 5, 2018
Number of Visits: 1
Best Item: Chicken & Broccoli