If you show up sober and they take you to the top floor, you may think you have been drinking anyway. The stairs are very slanted. That's what I'm saying here. It's a crooked journey.
I've eaten here twice, both times I've been happy with the results though both times I can't really remember what I got into. Some asian fusion grub, I guess.
Man. I wish I could write a better review here. Sorry. It's good and I'd come back, but I don't have that much to say.
Actually, one suggestion. Slash, question. What is up with the spelling of the restaurant name? That's not cute. It's just kinda lame.
Then again, it would be pretty sweet if a salmon-themed restaurant opened and it was named See-Der. Actually, no. I stand by my original assessment. It's lame. Hyphens and misspellings are not welcome in my world.
Not bad, not great. None of the dishes were super standout except the fried rice. There is, however, a very cool lounge upstairs with great cocktails. Try that instead.
I enjoyed my experience while we were here but I had horrendous cramps afterwards. The only thing I ate that the others in my table didn't was the mushroom soup, so maybe think twice? But like I said, I enjoyed the meal. The decor wasn't to my taste but I can see that others would like it. The loos were clean (if a little strangely located lol ;)
I wouldn't choose to return but I wouldn't be upset if someone else picked it and I didn't have a choice...
The Red Bar, as others have said, is up a few flights of stairs so it might be wise to remove some layers at the bottom if you don't want to arrive needing an ice bucket to be thrown over your head. It's a very cool little place which has good seating for groups but I would say is also intimate enough for a date.
Weirdly, my friends had been discouraged from going up on account of it being busy even though when they got up there wasn't even anybody standing - worth checking it out for yourself, it seems.
I was on the mocktails and enjoyed the Green Martini; my friend loved her Rose of Orient. Really nice to see inventive options that aren;t just a a virgin version.
After a while I got a little hungry and order some kind of spring roll which was actually literally one spring roll, cut in half. I was displeased but later found half a Dairy Milk bar in my bag so didn't pass out before bedtime!
Anyway it's a cool place and I'd reckon you would please/impress most people you brought here. I'd love to come back and try the restaurant which smelled amazing.
I think it's entirely possible I've never left a restaurant feeling as full after a meal as I did here!
I loaded up on big-as-your-face giant prawn crackers with chili sauce, edamame with a gorgeous spiced salt on it, Bo La Lot (which unfortunately looked like lil doggy poos but tasted excellent), and Hanoi-style short ribs. And that was just starters!
Between 4 of us, we split our mains of three flavored chicken, baked sea bass, Sichuan-spiced duck breast, and peppered beef fillet. I honestly have a hard time picking a favourite! If I had to choose, I'd pick the duck. It wasn't greasy at all, which duck can sometimes be. We also got sides of coconut rice, the yummiest I've had in a long time.
Oh, I got ahead of myself. We went on a busy Friday night, so we had to wait for a table. In the meantime, we went up to the bar which was on the 4th floor. It was awesome! I'm really digging places with more than 1 floor. As Teresa L. said, it's a converted townhouse, which makes for a very interesting restaurant. I even loved the women's bathroom!
This review is for the bar only.
It's worth climbing the 4 storeys to the top of this town house as long as not many other people are in the bar when you get there. It's the sort of place which lends itself much better to being relaxed and less crowded, with everyone seated, rather than having people perched all over the place or standing awkwardly in what looks like someone's front room. The comfy chairs/sofas and a tasteful, purple theme throughout gives it a rather homey feel.
Unfortunately i was in a rather large group and when we arrived all the seats were taken and more people kept entering the bar (it was a Friday night).
The bar itself is in a small separate room which makes queuing for a drink uncomfortable (unless of course, you like being squashed!) but at least it keeps the seating area quieter.
The drinks however are amazing! I had a perfectly mixed vodka cranberry and tried everyone else's cocktails. I'd recommend the 'Love Passion'.
The place is open fairly late (12ish i think) so if you've had dinner on Charlotte St it's a nice place to stop off for a drink before going home.
Definitely a fan of this place.
Salmon with green curry is a winner, as is, well, everything else I ate.
The bar upstairs is also excellent. I have maybe three litmus tests for bars, one of which is based on the bartender's reaction to ordering a g&t with bitters - suprise/confusion = failure; familiarity/approval = pass. The upstairs bar definitely was a pass. Also, fairly serious selection of Japanese single-malt ryes.
There are lots of stairs; wouldn't recommend for those with mobility issues. If there was a lift, I overlooked it.
In an effort to be succinct I will be using bullet points to get my thoughts across:
- good flavourful food
- good wait staff
- not crowded
- nice for groups
- the bar of the fourth floor is worth going early for so that you can chill before your meal
Erm...that's eat...go forth and be sated.
I held an event here for journalists to meet and greet my company and I must say, the location and the food were quite nice. We had reserved the fourth floor bar area for our little affair and, on a rainy and cold London evening, it was certainly cozy.
But that's really it. I just wasn't impressed with the food or the service otherwise.
Appearantly this place is along the trendy places at the moment. It is certainly quite busy and as it is effectively on Charlotte Street, it attracts the right crowd.
Not sure what the french component in this french-vietnamese Restaurant is, but I am a real fan of vietnamese cuisine and Bam-Bou does not match what I have started to expect.
The beef in the lot (pepper) leafs for example: It was done alright, but why then serve it on boring salad ?
The summer rolls - one of the absolute standards - comparatively small and not nearly as delicious as they could be.
Take the sauces: We had 5 different dishes on the table, but everything came accompanied with the same sauce based on fish sauce. The other tastes and spices of vietnamese food: basil, coriander, peanut sauces were absent.
Highlight was the peppered beef: tender, spicy, great. But the overall relatively simple adoption of a great cuisine combined with less than average service and a higher than average bill leads me to: 3 stars only
Having only experienced this place at lunch, and with a pregnant colleague, I think we may have had a better experience than some.
Our meal was lukewarm at times, with less than adequate care taken with the food. In other instances, the food was excellent. Thankfully we were a large group and so many different dishes were sampled.
While it is a posh place to bring clients, I would hesitate to recommend it for a meal with friends. The posh interior makes you feel uncomfortable, the seats are not comfortable and the lower floor can be cold.
That said, some of the food was great, the staff were very helpful and the time we went for lunch we did have a great experience.
stop press! BamBou isn't actually that expensive! Hurrah!
Came here for my birthday lunch with a couple of boys from work and we had a great time. Lunch was yum and I only freaked out slightly by the prices. Between £11 and £15 for a main. Some of them come with rice though so it might be better to stick to those and save buying a side as well.
Everything was perfectly cooked and served really well. It all looked so pretty! Peppered steak was yum, and so was the little bit of green curry I got to try. Rice was a little stodgy, but I know this is personal taste and not their fault I'm not a fan of sticky rice.
I wanted to keep the little dishes they served the food on as well. Everything about BamBou is so pretty. Very swanky decor that feels all sumptuous. You get very pretty cushions to sit on as well instead of just the hard wooden chairs.
Staff are attentive without being over bearing. There was a mix up when they gave us the wrong bill, but this was quickly changed with lots of smiling - and, made us feel even happier when our bill arrived. £17 for yummy swanky lunch isn't too bad in my book.
I'm not sure I'd rush back, but it's worth bearing in mind if you're in the area. I'm going to be too busy trying every single other restaurant in the area
Great food, great decor, great atmosphere - especially when sitting out on the terrace and people-watching on Charlotte Street!
Highly recommended - make sure you try the chocolate spring roles for pudding!
Fitzrovia 'Pan-Asian' withe emphasis on Vietnamese & Thai dishes just off Charlotte street.
Bam-Bou is the place we go for a real treat and we've never been let down so far - the staff are impeccable, the food divine and the drinks delicious.
The menu changes regularly so there's always some nice suprises on it and you will never leave feeling hungry. The last time I went I had a melt in the mouth Massaman Lamb Shank which was one of the best things I've ever tasted. The best idea is to confer with your fellow diners and make sure you've all got something different to eat, as it'll all be delicious and you will want to try everyone else's dishes!
It's pretty reasonable for what you're getting and the location you're easting it in but this isn't for those on a budget - definitely for special occasions.
Even if you're not planning on eating at Bam-Bou, make sure you visit the cocktail bar upstairs sometime, it's a lovely cosy place and the barmen are fantastic
The passion fruit panna cotta was amazing! Very creamy and the perfect way to top off a meal. Overall, Bam-Bou is a nice restaurant, very relaxed, cozy atmosphere and a nice way to have a meal. The food is just ok though, especially for the prices you pay. We had the soft-shell crab and crispy calamari to start. The crab was good, but the calamari was more fried batter than squid. For my main, I had the seared scallops with sweet pork. The sauce on this dish was nice, but I wasn't blown away by it. I think the dish to get here might be the curries.
If you love Vietnamese food you have to go to Bam Bou. The Kingsland Road Vietnamese 'cafes' are great for a some filling noodles or rice dishes but they mostly lacking in atmosphere. This is fine because I always leave satisfied with both my food and the low cost. Bam Bou is a dining experience that you will not forget- it's not just the fantastic food that will amaze you (you have to try the lightly shredded chilli chicken) but the decor is authentic and you feel like you're in Vietnam. The staff are great and eager to please but annoyingly so. Try to get a table on the terrace for the ultimate dining experience. I will be going back very soon.
Cool place, great atmosphere. I have been to the bar at the very top. We booked a cosy corner and it was a great place to meet up with friends! The drinks are reasonably price and there was a good crowd. We had a great time and there were various types of seating arrangement to suit individual! Overall a great drinking place.
We came over to London from Germany for a two-day business meeting, so my German colleagues and me, we went for dinner to the Bam-Bou. We sat in one of these nice private areas for group dinners. The decor and the atmosphere are nice and the service was attentive. I agree that the cocktails were not as good as expected and too expensive. But, apart from the expectation of the taste of "real asian food", I have to state that the food tasted really well. We ordered as many dishes as people we were and each of us tried each dish. When the dishes were served we weren't convinced, but finally we were full and happy with our choice. And the desserts were tasty as well :-)
You can do better for Vietnamese in London than Bam-Bou. The staff are not all that friendly and they sort of rush you through your meal. The food is perfectly adequate, but it doesn't always come up piping hot, and I have had the same dishes better elsewhere.
Was taken here in July as a treat by my best friend. Had a wonderful time. Found the tables a little close together (1st floor [2nd to Americans] along the window) but really enjoyed the meal. We both had alcohol free cocktails called Hello Kitty, which were lovely. Food was plentiful and hot. Only criticism was a mix up with the desserts. I'm allergic to dairy, and was assured they had mango sorbet not mango ice cream. When it arrived it was clearly ice cream, but the waiter realised the mistake immediately, and it was whisked away and replaced with another sorbet. I'd return in a heartbeat
Only been to the bar here which is right at the top. The last few times though - a rather rude woman has questioned whether we were eating and hesitantly allowed us to pass her and proceed to the bar at the top. Not had any problems at all before. Having passed the rude sentinel at the gates, the bar is a dark, cosy, comfortable, intimate place to have a few drinks. My favourite place to drink in the Charlotte Street area and highly recommended. Keep meaning to try the food too but have been scared off by the rude woman.
Update 23 Feb 2012 Bam-Bou has got it right! A great mix of good food, a creatively-decorated historic venue with windows overlooking Charlotte / Percy St, and most importantly, staff that look after you! Go for the steamed dumplings for starters, spicy beef and Bam-Bou noodles, and their signature lime cheescake for dessert. And head up to the Red Bar on the top floor for a digestive!This is my fav in Fitzrovia good food with creative spices, loads of atmosphere especially on 1st floor, attentive staff that generally do look after the details and a bill that doesn't break the bank. Nearby Pied-a-terre is in another league but Bam-Bou is a place to relax and enjoy food and friends.
Went here for pre-dinner cocktails with a group of girls. It's a steep climb to the Red Bar on the 3rd floor but the ambience and cosy seating areas are worth it. However- the cocktails here are acclaimed but newsflash- they're not that great. I know what a Margarita is supposed to taste like and it isn't that. They are very well presented but that's not enough of a decoy - they are just OK but not amazing. The half price offer Mon-Weds is good value though.
I booked this restaurant as I was looking on The Ivy webpage and this came up as a sister resteraunt. It was ok - staff were friendly enough.
We were offered crackers and soya beans when we went in. As it was our first time in London we thought this would be complementary but they were added to the bill.
It felt a bit rushed as they were hovering over our table to clear it away and even took my plate before my friend was finished - very unusual. But all in all the food was nice and would go aga
We've been going to Bambou for many years now. We used to really enjoy it and were guaranteed good food, lovely cocktails and attentive service. Yesterday though was probably the last time we'll go. The service was shirty and soulless, the food bland (how can prawns in red curry not taste of anything and morning glory taste like it had been cooked in a vat of boiling salt), and the cocktails only average.
The venue is still lovely but what's in it isn't what it used to be. We've given it one star because we know it has been great - shame we'll never know if it improves as we're unlikely to go back.
The primary appeal of Bam-Bou is undoubtedly its atmosphere and décor. The building itself is a magnificent Georgian townhouse, with a gorgeous central staircase that winds narrowly upwards. The dining rooms are decorated in a French Indo-Chinese style, and the lighting is warm, glowing and soft. Tables are close together, encouraging informality and a sense of a shared experience, but placed sufficiently apart to ensure there's no excessive intimacy with people you don't know. The food is a little less fancy - it's a hybrid of Thai, Vietnamese and Chinese cuisines that adds up to something vaguely Oriental, but the menu is wide-ranging and interesting. The fish dishes are fresh, and the sauces and seasonings spicy and complex. There are numerous small dishes to encourage sharing. Bam-Bou is a very enjoyable experience, busy, buzzy and animated. It's not about the food, it's about the overall experience.
Good evening Vietnam! Beautiful surroundings, original Indochine art on the deep red walls, killer cocktails in the cosy top floor bar, Saturday night buzz and the food was......ok.
Good food, good service. Nice private areas for intimate group dinners
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