If you’ve been to a food festival in Arizona over the past decade, chances are you’ve seen and fell in love with the offerings from Hot Bamboo. With their adorable character bao (steamed buns), dumplings, rice bowls and fruity drinks – Hot Bamboo food booths tend to have a steady line 30-45 minutes long at any food festival. Now, after much anticipation, Hot Bamboo is opening up a storefront in Chandler, AZ in early 2020.
Hot Bamboo owner, Anna Heinbach, has a creative past as colorful as her character bao. Born and raised in Jakarta, Indonesia, Heinbach came to the US to attend college where she began her studies in interior design and eventually graduated from Kent State University in Ohio with a degree in Art and Architecture. She went on to have a fascinating career working for the US Army in Heidelberg, Germany and then returning back to the states to pursue her art career. After her son, Preston, was born, Heinbach was fully entrenched in the world of art, fulfilling commissions across the country and eventually relocating to Arizona in 2009 where she was an art teacher at the Tohono O’odham Indian Reservation.
Heinbach’s venture into the world of culinary arts came about as a means to an end when the economy of 2008 no longer supported the luxury industry. She began creating pastries and selling them at farmers markets. Once she decided to try her hand at the Asian street foods from her childhood, Heinbach found that they were a big hit with fans in Arizona. Offering comfort foods to the Asian community and earning a new fan base with American customers. Along the way, her son, Preston, began working with her to grow the business into what it is today – Hot Bamboo. They have traveled across the state and the country selling their bao, dumplings and rice bowls to eager fans who always have just one question – “when will you open a restaurant?”.
While the Heinbach family has no intention of slowing down on their festival participation (for those that were worried) the storefront will bring a great opportunity for loyal fans to fulfill their cravings and for more community members to experience Hot Bamboo cuisine. The opening is slated for early January 2020.
The highlight of the menu at Hot Bamboo is the character bao and guest will be able to order them in a variety of options including: pork, teriyaki, chorizo and vegan. Or, enjoy one of the rice bowls include pineapple teriyaki chicken red curry pork, coconut curry and more. Dumplings are a popular item at festivals and they will serve chicken, pork and shrimp variations at the restaurant. Other specialty snacks include lemper – sticky rice filled with meat and wrapped in banana leaves then grilled, risolles – a pancake filled with chicken, carrots and peas and musubi – spam topped rice wrapped in seaweed. Hot Bamboo will serve Thai iced tea, smoothies and other beverages.
Hot Bamboo will be located at 980 E Pecos Rd Ste 4, Chandler, AZ 85226 and will be open Tuesday – Sunday, 11 a.m. – 8 p.m. For more information, visit online at www.hotbamboo.com.