I used to come to Inchin’s Bamboo Garden all the time for lunch when I worked up Davis. Ever since they finished Davis, it’s been such a quick drive around this area. Bamboo Garden is located next to the Ace Hardware at the corner of Davis and Morrisville Carpenter Rd. The lunch specials here are really great, and because the service is always so fast it made for a nice place to stop in for lunch during the week. It also has a very nice outdoor seating area for those rare NC days when it’s not burning hot, freezing cold or raining.
Unfortunately on July 5th, they said it was a holiday so the lunch specials were off limits. So for the first time, we ordered items separately off the menu (at an increased price). My husband got the hot and sour soup. They offer many of their appetizers in several different varieties. He ordered it vegetarian (instead of chicken), clear (I don’t know what the alternative was), and spicy (as opposed to just normal). They serve all the soups with a little bowl of crunchy noodles which is nice for texture.
My husband also ordered some hot tea. It was served under temperature so it took a long time to steep, and when I tried it it was too cool for my taste. But they didn’t charge us for it, so it’s fine.
In Europe when I went to Chinese restaurants, most would serve a soup with sweet corn and chicken in a tomato base. When I saw sweet corn soup on the menu here, I thought it might be similar. I ordered the plain corn, instead of with other assorted veggies, and spicy instead of normal. It was pretty good, though I had to take several breaks for ice water. I’m always grateful when my water glass is kept full when I’m served spicy food. I’ve also had the egg drop soup here, which is decent.
We also ordered some “Veg” Fried Wontons as opposed to chicken, because I thought they’d be plain enough that my son might eat them. But in this case Veg meant it had veggies in it, not that it was lacking chicken, so my son wouldn’t try any. It was stuffed with mostly cabbage and came with a hot sauce and a salty sauce (some variation of soy I imagine). I didn’t like them as much as I would have hoped. I’ve had spring rolls with my lunch specials here, and the spring rolls are pretty good.
Normally for my lunch special I order the crispy chili honey chicken, which is really good. But today was a day for new things, so I tried the lemon chicken. There used to be this place in Marina Del Rey that served up a lemon chicken that was just like candy, it was so sweet and so lemony. I figure if you’re going to make a bastardized dish like lemon chicken, you should just go all the way and make it as much like a dessert as possible. Anyhow, the chicken was really nicely cooked, very crispy, and the red bell peppers were perfect in texture as well. But the sauce was disappointingly bland and savory. I think they also used canned pineapple. This dish doesn’t reheat well at all either, the sauce eventually causes all the fried breading to dissolve into mush.
My husband got the shredded crispy lamb Peking. I tasted some, it was really, really good. This one also heated up the next day a lot better than mine, so he had some decent leftovers. Both dishes were served with steamed white rice, more than enough for the both of us, and left us plenty of rice for leftovers.
Full as I was, I really wanted to get the date pancakes for dessert. It just sounded so awesome, and I rarely get to eat date food in restaurants.
These date pancakes were great! They were like hot little crispy deep-fried triangles of flaky date lovin’, topped with 2 huge scoops of vanilla ice cream. Neither my husband nor my son wanted to even try the date pancakes, so I had them all to myself. They ate most of the ice cream while I used the soupy melty ice cream to top my pancake bits. It was very good and I would definitely get the dish again.
I do like this restaurant a lot, despite that today’s dishes weren’t all fantastic. When the lunch specials are available, they are a fabulous deal and the crispy chili honey chicken is a fantastic lunch. This place also has a pleasant atmosphere with a lot of cool decor for a classy business lunch. If I worked around RTP again I would definitely be going to Bamboo Garden at least once a week.