Inchin's Bamboo Garden
16564 Cleveland Street
Redmond WA 98052
Lackluster effort with Indian styled Chinese food
By: Steve G
When I sat down to start writing Inchin's Bamboo Garden review after eating here, I took a moment to glance at their website. As I clicked on their "About us" link I couldn't help but notice the old fashioned rickshaw that I found a bit bothersome. Then I started to read the stories and it really sealed the deal for me. If only for the comedic value, everyone should have a glance, especially at the commercials. It had three over the top scenarios that sounded horribly campy and made me shake my head fervently in disappointment. That's the best way to describe Inchin's: a little over the top and campy with food that isn't a complete bomb but fails to hit all of the right things.
Inchin's Bamboo Garden is a franchise that has several locations throughout six different cities throughout the U.S. Their menu has a hodge podge of dishes that are more "Chinese-inspired" than actual Chinese food. Items like the crispy chicken in chili honey and crispy lamb peking are less likely to be found in a Chinese restaurant than a fortune cookie with a real fortune.
The ambiance inside was quite pleasant, though a little clichd. The walls were painted dark red with an abstract painting on the back wall. This probably to keep in line with the feng shui books they've read before building the place.
We ordered the Crispy Chicken in Chili Honey, Vegetables Coins, Burnt Garlic Fried Rice and the Crispy Lamb Peking.
The crispy chicken in chili honey consisted of sliced chicken mixed with a sweet red chili sauce. Crispy is really an accurate description of the dish. Even though the chicken was drenched in the honey chili sauce, it was surprisingly crispy. The honey flavor was there, but the chili was pretty much non-existent, much like Hayden Christensen's acting ability. If you're a fan of really sweet dishes then the crispy chicken in chili honey is the dish for you.
The burnt garlic fried rice was the overwhelming flop of the bunch with its bland taste. Although the menu stated that it was made with lamb, chicken, and shrimp, they really were non-existent in the dish. In fact, the flavor was missing entirely making us wonder whether they put garlic in the rice altogether. It wasn't on our high list of things to recommend and you're better off looking for another rice dish.
Cut into small strips and lightly fried, the crispy lamb peking looked more like calamari than meat. Served on top of the bed of assorted thinly sliced veggies, it was a good dish that is best ordered as a side dish to other entres. Crunchy, yet chewy it was an interesting texture that had a hint of gamey flavor.
The vegetable coins looked anything but vegetable. Each piece was much like a vegetarian meatball. These small dumplings were fried and soaked in a choice of three different sauces: hot garlic, sweet and sour, and Szechwan. The Szechwan sauce gave it a more soy-sauce type taste and the texture was quite chewy. Paired with a bowl of steam rice it can be a great dish on its own and is highly recommended for veggie lovers.
Overall, there isn't much necessarily wrong with Inchin's Bamboo Garden, but while they did some things right such as the vegetable coins and the crispy lamb peking, there's also other things that didn't work too well as such as the burnt garlic fried rice and the crispy chicken in chili honey. If you don't mind the somewhat campy interior, it has some good options, though I wouldn't necessarily call it authentic Chinese.