Another local source for Chinese food was the Paradise Inn at 225th Street in the 1970s.

Another local source for Chinese food was the Paradise Inn at 225th Street in the 1970s.

Looking Back: Eating at the Bamboo Inn

Home of the “best egg rolls ever,” the Bamboo Inn specialized in Chinese cuisine.

For busy parents, tired students, and hungry adults, there is nothing better than eating out: no cooking, no cleaning, and no effort required.

It is a fine way to spend time with loved ones, since attention is devoted to the people around the table rather than the tasks associated with dinner time.

Long-term residents of Maple Ridge will remember the Bamboo Inn.

Owned by Choy Hong, the Bamboo Inn was a great family restaurant originally located on Lougheed Highway near 5th Avenue (now 216th Street).

Sometime during the early 1970s, the restaurant moved closer to the centre of town.

Though the Bamboo Inn’s home was still on Lougheed Highway, it was now near 8th Avenue (now 224th Street), on the old Knight and Day restaurant site.

The original restaurant site, which had a long gravel driveway that led up to the building, looked almost like an old hotel on the outside, with wooden stairs leading up to the entrance.

Inside, “it looked like an old house,” Goldie Lynn Wiebe said on Facebook. “Like an old church with pews that were gone and had tables instead.”

Home of the “best egg rolls ever,” the Bamboo Inn specialized in Chinese cuisine – deep fried prawns, savory noodle dishes, egg foo yung, won ton soup. A visit to this Maple Ridge foodie heaven was a treat each time.

Moreover, the cook did not skimp when he was dishing out your meal.

According to Melanie Able, “you got oodles and oodles on your plate. You always took stuff home.”

The Bamboo Inn also had many other non-Chinese dishes to offer residents whose stomachs yearned for something different: boneless spare ribs, burgers and fries, and fish and chips served on toast, all of which are remembered as immeasurably delicious.

One of the more interactive goodies at the restaurant was the ‘turkey’s blood’ appetizer, which tasted much better than it sounded. Patrons would get a small bowl of soya sauce and a small bowl of sesame seeds, then use either a fork or their fingers to dip into the soya sauce. With the soya sauce dripping onto the table or back into the bowl, hungry customers would dip their fork or fingers into the sesame seeds and then crunch away happily.

“So good,” said Goldie.

The Bamboo Inn was the best place to go in the wee hours of the morning after a party or burning up the dance floor.

Since it stayed open and busy until two or three in the morning, in the earlier years the restaurant often did not open until four in the afternoon, sometimes even later, in order to give staff sufficient time to rest. Later on, the owners decided to open the Bamboo Inn for lunch as well.

Enjoying a meal from the Bamboo Inn was a real a treat.

Melanie cheerfully reminisced about the meals her brother would bring her after she was done babysitting for him and his wife.

“They had the best Chinese food,” she declared. “In all the years I’ve had Chinese food, I’ve never had anything so good.”

And Melanie is not alone; a great deal of individuals on the “We Call it Haney” Facebook page make the same assertion, sadly complaining that they can no longer indulge themselves like they once did at the old Bamboo Inn.

For all the popularity and fond memories of the Bamboo Inn, the community archives does not have one single picture of either location.  Please, if you have a picture, share it with the community by contacting the museum.

• mrmuseum@uniserve.com