The name says it all. The Bamboo restaurant is a complete bamboo structure, standing tall on Kartika Plaza in central Tuban, just in front of Waterbom Park, completely different to the monotonous mass of concrete and glass that fills this area, and many other parts of southern Bali.
The building is facing the street at a three quarter angle, looking back along the street towards Kuta, standing out from all around it. Multi tiered, the lower surrounds have tables, chairs and banquettes on a white sand base, the mid tier is slightly more refined the upper tier houses the comfortable bar [in bamboo of course]. At night the place really buzzes!
It is a tourist restaurant that gives them what they want. Even the wine list is carefully constructed of interesting wines that are reasonably priced. The food is basically simple, but full of taste. That man from Perth, long time restaurateur Warren Mead, who has his own restaurant out on Tandjung Benoa, has been involved in the set up of Bamboo and the cooking style is totally his with attention to detail to the fore.
An even mix of seafood and meats are evident in both the entrees and mains. Oysters can be Natural [chilled with fresh lemon wedge] or that Australian favourite style, Kilpatrick [with bacon shreds and worcestershire sauce]. The Squid Rings are amazing, cut from baby squids they are dipped in cajun spices before deep frying, that leaves a pleasant tingling after taste. The King Prawns are also Australian style, split open and called cutlets, cooked with a touch of garlic.
Soups are a thick rich Seafood Chowder with herb topped crostini and a traditional Oxtail Soup [actually with oxtail meat unlike some of the local versions that contain nothing more than just bone]. The salad is simple but refreshing, consisting of sashimi tuna, avocado and freshly chopped chives. Asparagus stalks are wrapped in smoked salmon and served with a honey mustard dressing drizzled all over.
The Burgers are beef steak chopped in the kitchen, the beef is Australian Tenderloin with that Black Tom mashed potatoes [garlicky] and sautéed mushrooms. The Grilled Chicken on baguette with salad and fries can be called a large entrée or a small main whilst the king size Baby Pork Back Ribs are definitely for the hungry brigade, the sweet sticky sauce with a tang makes a mess of your fingers but then you get to lick them dry, the only way to eat ribs!
For the problem child there are Jumbo sized Hot Dogs, big enough the keep them quiet for a while. A selection of Pizzas [seafood, the ?Aussie?; Hawaiian with ham, pineapple and cheese, a vegetarian, gourmet chicken and a spicy Volcano] are also a regular favourite with kids [but of all ages].
The seafood options are many. Standard style is the Red Snapper and Mahi-Mahi Fillets, both cooked in that simple Mead fashion of being filleted in the kitchen, dipped in an egg wash to seal in the flavour then served with lemon and sea salt. Sardine fillets are grilled as is the Sashimi grade Tuna. Then there is their pasta dish, Linguine, tossed with prawns, white fish and clams.
As a restaurant catering to the International hoards one item has to be on the menu; Fish & Chips. Fillets of snapper are dipped in a light beer batter. Even though the fish is deep-fried as the batter seals in the fish the flesh tastes almost as if it has been steamed, the flavour kept in! A touch of local cuisine is the Fish Curry, with rice of course. A Seafood Duo combines red snapper and prawns.
Combinations of Meat and Seafood are found in that American creation, Surf & Turf. Tenderloin steak topped with king prawns and a garlic sauce. Then there are their famous Individual Pies, of flaky puff pastry base baked in the oven open style topped with mashed potato and filled with your choice of mixed seafood, minced tenderloin beef [even wagyu beef if you want] or chicken and vegetables.
The meals are hearty, the food is basically simple but they use the best fresh local ingredients [seafood and vegetables straight form the market every day], and you can taste the difference!
Great value to find a restaurant like this in the middle of tourist town! It is very different from the rest which is obvious when you see the crowds that are flocking to Bamboo ever since it opened.