Have you heard of Nikkei? It’s a little known food genre that fuses the freshness of Japanese flavours with the fieriness of Peruvian cuisine and often comes with painful prices. Bamboo Mat, with glamourous connections to the world of Sushi Samba and Chotto Matte, is a more subdued yet altogether delicious alternative.
Bamboo Mat has some great offers this month with 30% off all food until the 31st of January, £1 Monday Meals and a bottomless weekend brunch. Go and treat yourself to a meal that will transport your tastebuds to far-flung destinations as you enjoy this love child of two of the best cuisines in the world. If you don’t make it before the end of the month, I am very pleased to say that EEK members will get 10% off food (not available with other offers). Although our meal wasn’t plant-based, they did seem to have a decent offering.
We arrived at Bamboo Mat in Stratford fresh from the London Aquatic Centre and absolutely starving; the hunger one only knows after a swim. I broke my loose attempt at Dry January with a Dragon Fruit Pisco Sour – whoopsy, and the 8 year old had a mocktail Mohito while we munched on salted edamame and tried to decide what to order while we waited for daddy.
One read of the menu and I wanted to try everything. There were so many curiosities – Mozarella Maki? Yuzu mash? Wagyu Nigiri? I asked the waitress for a bit of guidance who gave us some very delicious ideas. In the end, we played it fairly safe as I wanted our son to be able to try everything.
First up, Seabass Ceviche with passion fruit & mango tiger’s milk, sweet potato, red onion and chancha corn. I probably could have licked the bowl, the tiger’s milk was so divine and it was fun telling our son that they had to milk wild tigers to make it. Although all credit to him, he isn’t as gullible as I was at his age, we did have him going for a bit.
We loved the gambas which were juicy fat little prawns breaded in a light crumb and served with a lightly spicy mayo.
Next came surprise theatrics with the Vulcano Maki. This was the little sushi monster’s choice and it came with salmon, seabass, cucumber, asparagus and avocado piled high on a soft cushion of sushi rice. There was nothing about the description to hint at the fun that came as the tiny tobiko (flying fish roe) went snap, crackle, pop in the flame of a blow torch. Our son was very impressed and he ate two but it was a little rich and a bit spicy for him. Oh well, all the more for me!
He gobbled up the Veg Maki, a refreshing crisp bundle of asparagus, avocado, cucumber, sesame seeds and yuzu soy, and he also loved the Salmon Nigiri after scraping the hidden wasabi between the fish and the rice. Kids, hey?!
My husband isn’t a sushi guy so we tried the Wagyu Nigiri which came with a Japanese pickled Wasabi relish. Lightly singed with the blow torch, this was a great way to enjoy such high quality meat.
For my main, I ordered the Oxtail Cheek, slow-cooked to spoonable with a rich depth of flavour that zinged with the hint of citrus in the yuzu mash. Everything was dripping with a rich caramelised gravy-like teriyaki sauce that I couldn’t stop spooning into my mouth long after the meat and mash were gone.
My husband ordered the lamb chops – flame grilled and marinated in anticucho sauce with some mash on the side, which we first observed as unnecessary and perhaps a bit greedy but was, in fact, essential as the anticucho sauce was simply too good to leave on the plate.
For dessert, 3 massive scoops of sorbet in our son’s favourite flavours – pineapple, mango and lemon. He was absolutely delighted!
We had some super cute crème brulés which were just the right size to finish such an indulgent feast!
Family friendly restaurant features
- Huge bowls of ice cream
- Fun Theatrics
- An exciting menu with non spicy options
- Kid’s menus
- Chopstick adapters
Things that would make it even better: smaller maki rolls for the kids and wasabi just on the side.
We will be back to Bamboo Mat again soon and I hope to see you there taking advantage of your EEK member’s offer. Not yet a member? Make sure to sign up!
Bamboo Mat has 2 locations:
Stratford: 21-24 Victory Parade, East Village, London E20 1FS
Leyton: 625 High Rd, Leyton, London E10 6RF