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“Turn up, eat what they give you and enjoy!”
5 of 5 bubbles Review of Bamboo

Bamboo
Ranked #538 of 12,102 Restaurants in Kyoto
Price range: $36 - $41
Cuisines: Japanese, Asian
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Dining options: Dinner, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff
Neighborhood: City Center
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
16 reviews
9 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 11 helpful votes
“Turn up, eat what they give you and enjoy!”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed March 1, 2013

Echoing other reviewers, let the chef decide what to give you rather than ordering items yourself. Decide your budget and that's as much as you need to do for their "omakase" option (equivalent to the western degustation, more or less). The food quality was phenomenal, the presentation very good and we were surprised at how much they gave us for the amount we set (we chose ¥4000 per person). The sake was also one of the better ones we had during our Japan trip.

The staff don't speak much English, but they have a well-used book with English and Japanese names for a huge range of foods and dishes, each with a picture. For each dish, they pointed to items in the book to tell us what we were eating. This led to some funny moments when the exact item was not in the book, but something similar was. So one of the items was described as "friend of clam". Hilarious. :) We also found ourselves talking with one of the other customers who had some English-speaking skills - not the first time this happened to us in a place like this!

It can be hard to find (we had to ask for directions at a nearby hotel). Easiest way is to take the subway and get off at the Higashiyama station, since the restaurant is very close to the exit. It's small and the signage is not so obvious, but it's worth looking for.

Overall, it's an Izakaya with fantastic food and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves there.

  • Visited February 2013
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank Audiofanatic
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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53 reviews from our community

Visitor rating
    30
    13
    5
    2
    3
Rating summary
    Food
    Service
    Value
    Atmosphere
Date | Rating
  • Chinese (Simplified) first
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • Italian first
  • Japanese first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Melbourne, Australia
Level Contributor
50 reviews
21 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 17 helpful votes
“Not just any izakaya...”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 22, 2013 via mobile

We heard about Bamboo and whilst it took a while to get there it was worth the walk and the hunting around. For those who may want a hand looking for this place, it's about 20m from Higashiyama subway station.

The 'omakase' menu (chef's choice for the non-Japanese speaking folk) is the best value. Just let then know how much you'd like to spend eg btw ¥3500-¥5000 and then sit back and eat. The sake is phenomenal. Make sure to order the junmai sake option, best served cold.

The guys don't speak Japanese but they make an effort and so should you. :)

All round AWESOME meal!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank 1MoreTrip
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Brisbane, Australia
Level Contributor
106 reviews
38 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 127 helpful votes
“An interactive delight”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed February 4, 2013

This is an Izakaya - a Japanese tapas bar. You watch the chefs work, and enjoy lively interaction, even without speaking Japanese. We ordered omakase style - gave the chef a budget and he prepared a meal for us. There is also an a la carte menu. Very reasonable prices and top notch food.

Visited February 2013
Helpful?
2 Thank TheLongWayHome_10
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Seattle
Level Contributor
301 reviews
195 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 185 helpful votes
“Delicious Japanese Food”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 8, 2012

This unpretentious but wonderful izakaya restaurant in eastern Kyoto is one of our favorite restaurants in the world. There is an English menu PLUS the staff will give you an immensely helpful "point and say" illustrated Japanese to English food book. When we had questions about what we were eating, one of the chefs would flip through the book and point at the appropriate picture, which had both the English and Japanese names. Order omakase style (you can pick your price range) and let the kitchen be creative! Or you can order ala carte. Sit at the counter and watch these expert chefs at work. There were ashtrays at the counter, but when we were there, no one was smoking and there was no "cigarette smell" detectable. We can't wait to go back!

  • Visited November 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
2 Thank paokano
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Boulder, Colorado
Level Contributor
62 reviews
41 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 38 helpful votes
“Wonderful experience”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed November 1, 2012

This is the place to go if you are on the east side of Kyoto and are looking for casual but delicious food, good sake, friendly staff and an English menu. The prices are very reasonable for great quality and the atmosphere is comfortable. You may make friends with the other patrons as well as the staff. We loved it so much we returned several times during our visit.

  • Visited October 2012
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Helpful?
1 Thank foodsnob80302
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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