Bamboo is a Japanese restaurant at 15 Ren Ai Rd, Sec 4 which takes as its model the trendy sushi lounges of New York and L.A. It doesn’t quite measure up. If you can stomach the attitude of the wannabe-hip waitresses who make comments to each other about their western clients in Mandarin, you’ll find an attractive, trendy space that features passable food* and mediocre service.
The maguro sashimi is remarkably good. However, the trademark ‘red’ miso soup is watery, bland, and tastes too strongly of seaweed. The spicy tuna roll is the most authentic we have tasted in Taipei, but the California roll is more of a crab salad roll than what you may be used to. The dragon roll came out with the avocado replaced by unpalatable horsemint leaves, probably because the chef needed something green. (“We don’t have avocado tonight, so he didn’t put it on.” That’s it? No apology? No offer to exchange the dish or take it off our check when our disappointment is so evident? That would have been useful information when we placed our order–what’s a dragon roll without avocado?)
Ultimately, Bamboo is not worth the money, and it certainly doesn’t live up to its appearance. The place has potential, but as in so many Taipei dining establishments, the staff still need to learn a thing or two about service. In this regard, Wasabi at Taipei 101 is better for the price. And it’s closer than New York or L.A.
(*Disclaimer: We only ordered from the sushi menu.)