Restaurant review: Bamboo Mat London

When it comes to ‘fashionable’ food in London we’re spoilt for choice, however one of the latest fashionable trends to sweep the capital is ‘Nikkei’ cuisine (the ultimate blend of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine), which is what’s on offer at Bamboo Mat London. Courtesy of the culinary-genius of chef-owner Denis Gobjila and business partner Victor Rosca, Bamboo Mat has burst onto the Nikkei scene in London – but this time, in a totally cool, laid-back and unpretentious form. 

Nikkei was the cultural exchange between Japan and Peru that began at the end of the 19th century that acted as the catalyst for today’s exquisite style of gastronomy. A concept that has, without doubt, evolved and improved over the last century, its latest incarnation is a definite influencer favourite. Although far from the grandeur of Mayfair’s avenues, Stratford is just as photogenic in its own right. Absorbing this clean-cut, sharp-edged, glassy metropolis towering above me, I see Bamboo Mat sitting clean and neat amongst a hubbub of bars, eateries and hotels. Bright and spacious, Bamboo Mat’s interiors are understated, simplistic and airy  – almost industrial chic reflecting the cityscape outside. A lengthy open-kitchen/bar takes up the entirety of the back wall, centre stage for all the action of gastronomic displays. 

Bamboo Mat LondonFirst out the blocks is the famously pretty hamachi tiradito. Diamond-shaped slices of yellowtail kingfish overlapped to look like flower petals on the plate, the middle comprised of a healthy scattering of chopped chives and each tuna petal tip is dotted with a vibrant orange globule of ajil amarillo. The plate is drizzled in yuzu truffle soy and this is what tips the dish into the realm of exquisite when it comes to taste. Salty soy and earthy truffle are delightful tangy, savoury accompaniments to the slippery delicateness of the yellowfin – a truly strong start. Alongside this dish comes the one-of-a-kind ‘ceviche deluxe’.  Spicy on the tongue, this ceviche is a memorable one. A lovely mixture of seabass, scallop, and prawn is complemented by a golden-ratio of fruity vs. savoury, when passion fruit and mango come together with tiger’s milk, sweet potato and red onion, topped off with a satisfying savoury crunch of chancha corn. A third dish of grilled anticucho octopus with lentils mash follows, giving that satisfying squeak on the teeth and distinct meaty flavour on the tongue.  

Bamboo Mat LondonAlthough these dishes come with true ‘pzazz’, Bamboo Mat manages to remain cool and not try-hard, pretentious or overly-ostentatious. This restaurant is not shying away from being Insta-fabulous, but instead places priority on food, flavour and authenticity while succeeding to be Insta-worthy and will, without fail, be impressive in a photograph. So don’t worry if that’s your thing – showy displays are still a thing here and this is proven by our selection of sushi main. Of course aesthetically pleasing, the large platter is a real showstopper, arriving to the table accompanied by a blow torch used to cook the ‘Bamboo Maki’: A4 grade wagyu beef with cucumber, sea salt, red onion and black pepper. I need not mention that this is a melt-in-the-mouth morsel, succulent and beautifully tender. Two more types of sushi accompany this, the ‘California Maki’ and the ‘Spicy Tuna Maki’. Utterly fresh in taste, the California maki’s combination of pasteurised crab, avocado, tobiko, cucumber and egg sauce is serious sushi goals. The spicy tuna maki is just as good but with a nice little bonus kick – shichimi chilli pepper groovies up the bluefin tuna, baby gem lettuce and egg sauce. Relishes and condiments don’t go unforgotten – hot wasabi, crunchy ginger and a zingy soy sauce accompanies the platter.

Bamboo Mat LondonFull, but as ever, curious for dessert, we consult George and he comes up trumps again. A heart-shaped chocolate fondant oozes its heavenly hot chocolate inside spilling out onto the plate. It is not overly rich and is perfectly complemented by the palate-cleansing mango ice cream on the side. We also indulge in the creme brulee. Smashing their burnt-sugar caramel tops with a satisfying crack of the spoon, we scoop up this creamy sweet delight with pleasure.  

To book a table or to see more info on Bamboo Mat Stratford, click here.

Olivia Riccini