It wasn’t that long ago that I was last at Bambubox, Madrid – it was just four months ago when we stayed with my auntie in August. I knew then that it certainly wouldn’t be our last visit. So when we were seeing a Strauss concert in the city one evening, there was only one place we would be going to afterwards for dinner. This time Robert was with us and like me, he’s a lover of Thai cuisine too. Our table was booked for 10:30pm and upon arrival, the restaurant was slightly busier than our last visit.
I love everything about Bambubox: the decor is so understated, the ambience is relaxed and you immediately feel welcomed and comfortable. There are only two waiting staff and then another one or two chefs in the kitchen, but the service isn’t slow. We sat on the same side of the restaurant, one side occupied by benches and other, normal seating. The large mirrors were a distraction yet again as I found myself turning round far too much to re-apply my lipstick!
We decided to share the Bambubox platter to start – and it was just as good as I remembered. The mango salad in the centre is definitely one of my favourite things; it’s just so refreshing and perfect for cleansing the palate after the deep fried appetisers and chilli dipping sauce. One thing I hadn’t noticed last time was the satay sauce for the chicken skewer contained hazelnuts and not peanuts – it was lush though.
We all decided on ordering a main course each, as these are all served with a bowl of sticky rice. Last time, the food arrived all at once; this time it was brought to the table as it was cooked. I don’t have a problem with this and I’m used to it from trips to Wagamama – although I did start 10 minutes before everyone else, got full too quickly and then watched everyone else eat. The waiter explained that because the restaurant had been closed the previous couple of days, everything was being cooked fresh to order. And as I enjoyed it so much last time, I ordered the Kapao Talay (mixed seafood with basil, pepper and chilli). It was a lot spicier this time round, with whole chillies rather than chopped, but it was still enjoyable – I even ate the mushrooms!
My uncle also ordered the same dish again: the Kaeng Ped Yang, red duck curry with vegetables. I didn’t try any of it this time, but I did enjoy it before. Compared to other Thai curries, it’s milder and almost sweet. My mum ordered chicken with cashew nuts, which was really lovely. The chicken had definitely been marinated in soy and honey, as it had sweet, sticky glaze and sauce. There was a lot of chicken, as well as peppers, onions and pineapple. My auntie was going to choose the same as me, but as we were deciding we’d have a little taste of everything, opted for the Kung Pad Pang Kari instead. This was a yellow curry, packed full of langoustines and was absolutely beautiful. It was another mild dish, fragranced with coconut – and I loved the sauce, which was quite thick but stuck to the rice nicely. Robert decided against a curry and instead chose the Pad Thai, with chicken, prawns and tofu. The noodles were soft and had been fried with bean sprouts and the other ingredients. The portion size was large and I thoroughly enjoyed the little taster I had. I think we should have shared a curry with rice and the noodle dish between us. I had never tried tofu before, often being put off by the texture, but it was actually quite nice. It had been stir-fried in a lovely marinade and could have been passed off as chicken!
We ordered a couple of bottles of red wine, which were reasonably priced at 14€ – and the chosen wine was from Haro, one of the places we visited when in the Rioja region in August. It actually went well with the food we ordered – even my seafood.
Once again, nothing could be faulted and while I used to have a favourite Pan-Asian restaurant (in Sansé), I think Bambubox has stolen that crown. It’s not too difficult to get in and out of the city from where my auntie and uncle live. I’m actually devo’d we weren’t there over New Year’s as there was a fabulous sounding set menu with live music, a welcome cocktail and glass of champagne (with 12 grapes) to bring in 2017.
Love, Lucy xx