Inchin’s Bamboo Garden: The New Kid on the Asian Block

It seems like there are always new restaurants opening in Philadelphia. It’s hard to keep track of all of them. Luckily, we’ve become friends with many in the industry, and we knew about one in particular opening in center city. Inchin Bamboo Garden is a chain,  with locations throughout the United States. This is there first foray in Pennsylvania.

Inchin just opened up in Philadelphia a week before we ate there. When you first walk in, the decor is wonderful. There is exposed brick, sleek lightning, and a warm feeling throughout. The menu design is unique and very creative.

We sat at their beautiful bar and started out with a couple of cocktails. Eric ordered the Bombay Misbehavior, which is made ginger liqueur, dark rum, apple, cardamom, prohibition aromatic bitters, and lemon. It was fantastic. The spices, fruit, and flavor had a wonderful balance. I ordered the Tokyo Twist, which was made with soda water, cucumber vodka, spicy ginger beer, cilantro, lime, jalapeño, and Baltimore bitters. It was light and refreshing, with a wonderful spicy kick. Which, thank you so much to Sherwin for the fantastic drinks! I will never have any critiques for you.

We couldn’t wait to start tasting the food, so we started with the vegetable Tom Yum soup. It was flavorful, hot and spicy. It tasted great and had a wonderful balance of flavors with every bite. Eric thought it was a bit salty, but I was happy with this dish.

We next ordered their lamb potstickers. If you aren’t aware, potstickers are homemade pan fried dumplings. The presentation was good, but the taste was flat. Lamb should always have some flavor or gamey taste to it. We didn’t taste any flavor to this. It actually had no taste to it.

We next ordered the lo mein with chicken. It tasted okay, but just okay. There was no “wow” factor. We could have ordered this at any Asian restaurant. There was nothing here to make it stand out. It tasted good, but we expected a bit more.

We next tried their Mongolian beef, which was beef with caramelized red onion, and crispy rice. The presentation was nice, but the cook on the beef was a bit dry and lacking in flavor. It was also very salty in taste. We were really disappointed because on the menu, it sounded delicious.

The last dish we tried was the chicken Manchurian. It was made with chicken, cilantro, red onion, green chili, and celery. Again, we found it a bit too salty. The chicken was a bit overcooked, and there was too much sauce in the dish.

Overall, it was a bit disappointing that most or all the dishes needed work. But, the bartender told us that since the restaurant opened only a week prior, they wanted a lot of feedback. Unfortunately, we had a lot of feedback to give.

We really want Inchin to succeed. The staff and service were top notch. The decor of the restaurant was very well done. I hope Inchin takes off and succeeds in Philadelphia. It’s been about a month or so since we’ve been there. We will be back and se how they did, and I’ll be sure to let you all know. I have a good feeling that they will do much better!

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