Our Chinese street food adventures usually involve noodles and more noodles. The name Bamboo Village BBQ Fish gave a hint of a menu with of something beyond our usual beloved noodle soup.
The entrance is next door to Meet Fresh. As you go up the flight of stairs, the large photo of traditional houses makes you feel you are moving up into the hills of an old village. We'd love that photo in our loungeroom, it reminds us of travelling in China. The food style is from the area next to Sichuan, Guizhou, and shares a lot of the same flavours.
The main draw card here is a big meal of vegetables and a whole fish, cooked all together on a BBQ plate. You choose what fish you want and any additional vegetables, similar to Master Bowl.
You get a wee bowl of free peanuts when you sit down. These are scrummy - they are boiled and served with a little salt and some ginger. Addictive.
The dish that comes out is huge. There were four of us that attacked this and we didn't finish it. One of the traps for the unwary is the level of chilli and Szechuan pepper spice you order along with your selections. We went for a level three thinking it wouldn't be so bad, but it almost blew our lips off. The pepper was the greatest culprit, that fantastic 'crazy mouth' feeling as your lips, tongue and half of your face go numb. Except when you really can't taste anything but chilli and pepper, then it's not so fantastic.
Super salty breadrolls. For some reason these were really, really salty, not really an antidote to the spice. The big fish plate wasn't a big hit - way too many strong flavours and way too much salt. Perhaps the deal here is to order the fish BBQ at a lower heat level and don't feel like you have to add every vegetable on the menu into the order.
So we went back another time to see what else they offered.
Kung pao chicken - $13.80. Chicken with peanuts, capsicum, garlic and roasted chillis with the odd Szechuan peppercorn in a sweet oily sauce. Quite a large serve for the price. Very happy.
Stir fried egg plant and green beans - $12.80. Two of our favourite dishes rolled into one in a simple oily sauce.
The regular dishes were generous and far, far less spicy, a couple of them were more than enough for two (we saw a few couples with take home packs.)
Bamboo Village BBQ Fish is at Level 1, 13 Goulburn St Haymarket. Entrance is off Dixon Street. There's another branch in Hurstville.