Bamboo--Close, but no cigar

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.)

I like bamboo. The sushi is incredible. Some of the best I’ve had anywhere in the world.

The sushi chef named Toku, the same one with the cooking show and travel show on TV, makes the sushi and he does magic!!!

Comparison to Wasabi at 101 is way wrong. Wasabi is large turnover bland food in neon lit shopping mall, Bamboo is small turn over quality in nice lounge setting with really cool people, good music, and art by a very talented Taiwanese artist.

As far as the wait staff commenting about western clients in Mandarin… THAT is everywhere HELLO…

Two thumbs up on Bamboo. Check it out!.

Check out Gigolo which is off linsheng N Rd.

I like Bamboo too. It is enjoyable to drop by for some nice sake or soju/shoju. Patrick is usually there and loves to show you his art displayed on the walls. You can meet a lot of interesting people there. Bet you didn’t think you would hear a Taiwanese person speaking Norwegian in Taipei did you?

The atmosphere is like a small lounge bar but most people mingle like a cocktail party. You are very likely to meet a few new people every time you go. There is usually quite an International mix of people.

The fusion food they serve is tasty. Before Johnson left, he would often pop into the kitchen and whip something up for you to try.

If you are new to Taipei or don