Bamboo Penny’s three-course lunch is worth every penny

Red Curry

Red Curry at Bamboo Penny’s. // Photo by Lauren Textor

When you’re visiting with a friend you haven’t seen in almost two years, where do you suggest for lunch? 

If you’re meeting during Kansas City Restaurant Week, you don’t need to put too much thought into it. At $20 for three courses, Bamboo Penny’s couldn’t have been more right. 

As our lunch plans were last minute, we did not make a reservation, but we were promptly seated at the bar by a smiling hostess. Our charming, knowledgeable, award-winning bartender, Jenn Tosatto, quickly served us our first round of drinks. 

My friend is more cultured than me, so she naturally ordered the Restaurant Week wine flight. She started off with the Lubanzi Rose to pair with her first course of Rangoon. Because I am a heathen, I ordered the Winter Warmer (hot chocolate with toasted marshmallows and my chosen peppermint schnapps) alongside the Tom Kha soup with chicken. 

I do not regret my decision. I love peppermint, and the candy cane was not overpowering alongside the schnapps. It was lovely warm, especially given that our seats at the bar gave us a view of the snow beginning to fall on the ice skating rink outside. 

Although she was disgusted with me, my friend’s appetite was not disturbed. The Rangoons at Penny’s are made with garlic and cream cheese instead of crab meat. This culinary decision pays off, especially for the extra-careful consumer who dares not to eat seafood in Kansas. 

The Tom Kha soup was my favorite part of our entire meal. The coconut milk, lime, and lemongrass create a delicately sweet, citrusy flavor. I loved soup-bobbing for the whole mushrooms and pieces of chicken, tomato, and onions.

Tom Yum Soup With Chicken 2

This hot and sour soup is made with lime and lemongrass broth with coconut milk over tomato, onion, mushroom, cilantro, and your choice of chicken, veggie, or tofu. // Photo by Lauren Textor

For our second course, my friend ordered red curry. She described it as “a nice spice level if you don’t like spice.” Coming from her, this is high praise, especially as she later amended her official comment to “it’s medium spice.” 

Along with the Pad Kee Mow, I ordered K’s Crossroads, one of Tosatto’s own creations. She told me the story of a guest who loved the housemade sweet and sour sauce so much she could drink it. Tosatto responded by whipping up the J. Rieger Vodka drink that is complemented by lemon and pineapple juice. I have to admit that this paired better with my noodles than the hot chocolate. 

I love soy sauce, but I am not a discerning consumer. Still, I could tell that the drunken noodles were intoxicated with quality sauce. 

We finished off our five-star lunch with a slice of cheesecake and Chocolate Rangoon, as the prep-heavy Khanom Chan was unavailable. While the cheesecake was perfectly creamy, I was a little disappointed that I couldn’t end with a classic Thai dessert. 

Regardless, I was able to reconnect with an old friend (or as old of a friend as you can have at 22 when you haven’t yet completed undergrad) over a delicious meal that didn’t break my budget. 

Although KC Restaurant Week just ended, Bamboo Penny’s will be offering the three-course menu for another week due to its popularity. Don’t miss your chance to try Chef Penny Mufuka’s featured dishes—and if your party is small enough, make the smart decision and sit at the bar. 

Categories: Food & Drink