Authentic Surprise: Bamboo Asian restaurant in Alexandria

Ahram Online, Monday 30 Apr 2012

Alexandria is not known as the land of choices when it comes to food, but on a tiny street in the centre is a small rest stop for the soul: good (authentic) food, good price and good company at Bamboo Asian restaurant

It cannot get more authentic than a Malaysian woman cooking the food herself.

Tucked away off of a small street off of Mahatet Raml, Alexandria, is a small, bright little window of a place. The frame of the exterior windows and doors are sea green, and the walls yellow. A couple of chairs and tables outside of the locale are tempting and the patch beneath the tree fits exactly two more medium-sized tables to enjoy the Alexandria weather. Welcome to Bamboo.

So long as they place is open, you'll most likely meet Susie: owner, cook and a very interesting woman to have a nice chat with. Malaysian born-and-raised, she came here with her Egyptian husband 28 years ago and dreamed of one day owning her own restaurant. She’s been part of the Rotary club, was an artist/dress-designer, and she says “I loooooove street food!”

About her restaurant, Susie says: “I can’t believe my dream came true! If my mom was alive she would be so happy and proud!” she said sincerely, waiving her hands in one big swoop.

Bamboo's menu is varied, mostly Indonesian, Malaysian and Thai. She likes the food from the entire area, and does what she can with what she can find here and the tastes of most of her clients: Indonesian and Malaysian students. Bamboo is also a favourite spot for foreigners who live in Alexandria. A cheerful ambiance, the owner makes you feel at home, and interesting yet cheap food, it’s a great spot for a home-cooked meal.

As it’s home-cooked you cannot go to Bamboo expecting fast food efficiencies. Real food takes time, but Susie and her crew do a quick job, considering.

On the menu? Everything from your typical sweet and sour fill-in-the-blank, to gingery tom yum soup, to the more unusual risoles (similar to the idea of sambousek), gulai (a curry-like soup) and bryani (rice).

My recommendations are the tom yum soup, and ask to replace the chicken with shrimp. If you're hungry have some risoles along with the soup. And for a main mean: definitely the chicken satay in peanut sauce.

Susie says although tom yum soup normally doesn’t have tomato, she adds it because her clients seem to like it. Also her Thai salad she uses ginger and lemon. Which lead me to ask what the general ingredients are for each country. She replies that Indonesians tend to use sweet soya, many spices and coconut milk. Thais also tend to use coconut milk. In the Philippines they lean towards pork, soy sauce and vinegar and some of their dishes reveal the Spanish history in the Southeast Asian area. The Japanese use a lot of sea weed, ginger, mayo and tofu.

A meal out in Bamboo is very affordable, especially considering they cook with a few difficult to find imported goods.

Fried rice: LE19, seafood rice or noodles: LE22, sweet and sour chicken LE13, risoles: chicken satay LE13.


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13 Mohamed Rafat St.
off of Abu Qir, the main street heading towards Mahatet Raml, across the street from Egypt Air


Mahatet Raml, Alexandria


Check their Facebook Page under Bamboo Resto because occasionally they close for vacations
Tuesday – Sunday
1:30pm - 11.30pm
closed Mondays




Free wifi


Smoking is prohibited

Price range

LE60-80 for two people


Short link: