Restaurant to showcase Vietnamese cuisine
Golden Bamboo, an Asian fusion restaurant with a focus on Vietnamese cuisine, plans to open at 3103 Cranberry Highway in February.
The restaurant received its license to operate at the Jan. 19 Board of Selectmen’s meeting.
The menu, which will continue to expand, has a focus on healthier options: There are plenty of vegetarian and gluten-free dishes included.
“Everyone likes Vietnamese food,” said Hanh Nguyen, the co-owner of Golden Bamboo and manager of Krua Thai.
The restaurant will be co-owned by the owners of Krua Thai. While there will be some similarity in the menus, like lunch specials, the focus will be on different foods than those Krua Thai has become known for.
Nguyen said that she is particularly excited to be offering both traditional and vegan pho, which is a beloved Vietnamese noodle soup. Nguyen said that making a vegan pho that doesn’t feel like a generic vegetable soup has been one of the greatest challenges she’s faced so far.
The restaurant will also be offering a variety of beverages and snacks, including milk and bubble teas.
Bubble tea can be any flavor beverage served with black or white tapioca pearls called boba. Various smoothies to be served with boba are also on the menu. Milk tea, Thai iced tea, and Vietnamese iced coffee will also be on offer, along with Asian snacks like Choco Pies.
Nguyen said she hopes the restaurant will become a destination for people leaving the gym next door after a workout or kids looking for a snack after school.
“We wanted to make it a welcoming environment,” Nguyen said. The location, formerly home to the Rice Bowl restaurant, has plenty of room for in-person dining. The walls have been painted a cheerful blue and yellow, and visitors will be greeted by a miniature zen garden as they enter. Art by Nguyen’s mother has a place of pride on the walls.
Nguyen is in her mid-twenties, and said she never expected to be at the helm of a new restaurant.
“This is something that on my own I would never think of doing,” she said.
She graduated from nursing school last year, but was reluctant to enter the profession during the pandemic as she lives with her family, some of whom are particularly vulnerable to covid. So instead, she reached out to Champ Suksanit -- one of her best friends from high school whose family owns Krua Thai.
Nguyen started making delivery runs for the business and gradually took on more and more responsibility as Suksanit saw she was gaining skills. By last summer, Nguyen was co-managing Krua Thai.
When the landlord of the new location, a longtime Krua Thai fan, reached out to the family to see if they were interested in opening a new restaurant there, Nguyen was given the opportunity to take the lead -- and she took it.
For more about Golden Bamboo, go to www.goldenbambooco.com or search for the restaurant on Facebook.