Reviewed by Perry Crabill on
On Thursday, August 4, 2016, I had dinner at the Bamboo Garden Chinese Restaurant in the Gateway Plaza Shopping Center near Winchester, Virginia, on Berryville Pike, Route 7 east of I-81 Exit 315. Itâs located at 419 Gateway Drive, Suite 105, and occupies a single module in this building.
Hours are Monday-Thursday, 11:00 AM-10:00 PM; Friday & Saturday, 11:00 AM-11:00 PM; Sunday, 11:30 AM-10:00 PM. It has dine-in and carry-out service, and delivery is available with a $10.00 minimum. The phone number is (540) 722-0770.
The entrance has no vestibule, and opens into a single small room. The floor tiles are a light color and about a foot square. The ceiling is acoustic and also a light color and there are windows in the front. Decorations are limited to clusters of hot peppers hanging on the walls in several places around the room.
There are no booths, and seating is at a few tables for four along the front window and the left side wall. I heard no music and there are no TV screens. An L-shaped counter to the right toward the back fronts the kitchen, which can be seen behind it. Illuminated displays above the counter show food pictures and an abbreviated menu listing Special Combinations orders.
A waitress was sitting in the back and a man was behind the counter, but no one greeted me or offered me a menu after I sat down at a front table. I finally went to the counter, picked up a menu, and went back to look it over.
Categories were Appetizers, Soup, Rice & Noodle, House Specialties, Chicken, Beef, Seafood, Pork, Vegetable, Egg Foo Young, Chow Mein or Chop Suey, Diet Menu, and Special Combination Platters. Each individual item had a number, and most are available as small or large orders.
I returned to the counter and ordered a small No. 112 from the Chicken Menu, with chopsticks. This is chicken with cashew nuts, served with white rice. I asked for hot tea, but was told that they didnât have it. For clarification, I said, âThis is a Chinese restaurant, but you donât serve hot tea?â, and was told that was correct. I then asked for water.
The waitress brought my order in a few minutes. I received a cardboard plate, a round plastic to-go bowl of the chicken mixture sitting on its plastic cover, white rice in a closed cardboard box with a wire handle, a refrigerated water bottle, and chopsticks, along with two plastic packets of soy sauce. It was actually a carry-out order served at a table!
I didnât bother asking for a spoon to move food onto the plate, but ate it directly from the bowl and didnât touch the rice at all. I used my pocket knife to open the soy sauce packets, a messy procedure. The food was good, and served hot, with the usual mixture of vegetables and an ample amount of cashews.
Even the small order was too much for me to eat at one sitting, and I took two-thirds of it and all of the rice home after asking for a plastic bag.
There were no other patrons when I arrived. A young man sitting at a side table was the driver for delivery orders and left several times during my visit. An elderly couple used one of the side tables before I left.
I wanted to know what the Bamboo Garden was like, and now that I know, I wonât be back. I did leave a tip because one of my daughters was once a waitress, and I always tip, but I didnât really get much in the way of service.
The place was clean, but I will never eat a second time at an Oriental restaurant that serves soy sauce in plastic packets and doesnât have hot tea. I can accept a plastic cup of hot water and a tea bag, but prefer it to be served in a teapot. I also did not like having to buy bottled water. The air conditioning was minimal, but below the level of discomfort.