New Taste on Bonaire – Bambu Restaurant

Last night we opted to dine out and try a newly opened restaurant here on Bonaire – it goes by the name Bambu and is owned and operated by Joyce, the proprietor of La Guernica, a one year old restaurant about a half mile north of this one.

With a name like Bambu we expected Asian or Asian Fusion fare, but instead found an eclectic blend of original continental fare and some variations on old favorites.

After being greeted with a bit of proscuitto wrapped melon as a welcome treat, my wife opted for the day’s menu, which consisted of a salad featuring warm apples and bacon wrapped goat cheese. The main course was rack of lamb in a yummy roasted garlic sauce with a haricort vert (thin green bean) bunch wrapped with bacon (and sauteed) and cheesy potatoes au gratin. Dessert was a chocolate brownie accompanies by a coffee and a home made chocolate bonbon (filled with a marzipan/coconut filling). Total price was NAF 57,50 (approximately US$32) for this menu. Everything on the menu was excellent (I was given samples of it all), even for someone like myself who does not particularly care for lamb or goat cheese.

My son opted to move straight over to dessert and had the lemon sorbet – two portions of it actually – one for his entree and another for dessert. He enjoyed it, and the small taste I stole was very good.

My daughter and I shared an appetizer of a duo of puff pastry – one filled with shrimp and the other with goat cheese. It was tasty – the goat cheese was mild, but the filo dough crisp. The shrimp filling was okay – more saucy than I expected.

For our entrees, my daughter had seafood fajitas as the bolletin of chicken and orange was sadly not available, while I had marinated tuna with salad from the appetizer part of the menu as my main course. The seafood fajitas were tasty and of decent size (and they made great leftovers too!), and the accompanying guacamole was excellent. Lacking was some sort of tomato salsa or pico de gallo, but in speaking with Joyce she promised to look into adding this to the presentation in the future.

My marinated tuna was marinated in olive oil, rosemary, dill, and perhaps a few other herbs I could not discern by taste. By itself the marinade was just there – but when eaten in conjunction with the so-called accompanying Caribbean salad, it was an excellent combination.

We ended the meal with desserts for all – the aforementioned chocolate brownie for my wife, the second helping of lemon sorbet for my sun, an orange creme brulee for me, and my daughter ended up with a berry laden coupe with vanilla ice cream. Again, all very delicious.

Portion size were just right in all cases – leaving us sated but not gorged. The presentation of all the dishes was artful and inspired – not something you usually see on Bonaire. And outside of the very minor nits I mentioned above, the flavor and taste of each dish was wonderful.

Total cost of the dinner, including several frozen fruit shakes for the kids, and a couple of Barcardi Lemon and Cokes for my wife and I, worked out to a bit over US$100 without tip, which is quite reasonable.

I give Bambu an 8.5 out of 10.0 on The Richter Scale. Well worth a visit if you have the time when next visiting Bonaire.

Bambu is located at Kaya C.E.B. Hellmund 17, in the location of where the Mai-Mai restaurant used to be, just south of downtown Kralendijk along the oceanfront promenade towards the Divi Flamingo Resort. Phone +599-7 17-4167.