Imagine walking through a deserted street lined with flickering street lights and abandoned warehouses in the dark, so barren that you could even hear a pin drop. Sounds relatively spooky, doesn’t it? Well fortunately for those spending a night out in Bushwick around Scott Avenue, this area was given a major facelift after restauranteurs noted the accessibility and potential of these larger warehouse spaces, and the fact that the Brooklyn Mirage, a large event venue, is located only 2 blocks away. One of the restaurants include Bunker Vietnamese, and we decided to try it out with the hopes that their menu could broaden our horizon of Vietnamese food aside from bahn mi sandwiches and pho dishes.
It is a treat entering inside Bunker as you’re immediately reminded of a very casual, yet urban and hipster, tropical themed restaurant. We were immediately delighted to note the variety of curries featured on the menu. We ordered the duck and shrimp spring rolls to start, and for our entrees we ordered the grilled beef Bahn mi and the pasteurized chicken curry. The duck and shrimp spring rolls came out and after taking one bite of it, we had a hard time finishing the rest. The duck was cold, with an enormous amount of duck fat remaining on each piece. What was meant to be a clean and fresh start to our meal ended up being fatty and unappetizing. Fortunately, the grilled beef Bahn mi was delivered immediately and so our dissatisfaction with the spring rolls were short lived. The Bahn mi was delicious. The grilled beef was cooked and marinated perfectly and the profile of flavors with the cucumbers, cilantro, and pickled carrots made for a delicious sandwich. That being said, the juxtaposition of the fatty spring rolls and the fresh Bahn mi made the sandwich taste even better than it actually was; in fact, it was just as delicious as many other Bahn mi sandwiches that we’ve had in the past, so it was nothing out of the ordinary in terms of taste.
What we were really excited about was the Vietnamese chicken curry. We’ve had delicious Vietnamese curries in Los Angeles and had a difficult time finding a quality Vietnamese place in NYC that could compare. After a few minutes of receiving our Bahn mi, a small dish of chicken curry came out and we were immediately disappointed by the size of the dish. Additionally, just by inspection we could tell that the base of the curry was made with much more oil instead of coconut milk. So much oil that we could only taste the oil droplets lining the fat of the chicken and not the chicken itself. Digging into the curry was no better. The meat was fatty, and, being that the dish was both oily and fatty, it was difficult to eat. So difficult that we actually had to send the dish back, which is something we usually never do.
Ultimately we were disappointed in Bunker Vietnamese because, although the menu was appealing, we believe that there wasn’t enough freshness and quality in the dishes we had to make it worth your while.
Overall Rating: 8.5/15
99 Scott Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11237