Second visit and it lived up to expectations. Great price point, fresh, well prepared and presented food - and a bit of a hawker stall vibe. We'll be back.
I should preface this review by saying I'm a regular diner at BAMBU - but typically I visit during the week for lunch (and sometimes even on a non-market day!!)
The food is great - accessible asian with Thai/Korean/Chinese influences. Great selection of smaller dishes for sharing (and the kitchen can adapt the numbers to suit your party). The bao are fantastic (I love the friend chicken) and all the dumplings are spectacular. The barramundi curry is my favourite dish and I always order this. This time we also tried the coconut beef curry which was gorgeous - highly aromatic and spicy. I can't recommend the food enough.
BUT, on this occasion, we went for Sunday lunch (I booked via OpenTable prior which is a new booking system for BAMBU). It was busy. Very busy. We had to wait five minutes for the diners to move off our table. The tables were wiped but we had no water (until we asked). There was no cutlery or chopsticks (until we asked). Our drinks took over 10 minutes to arrive. We ordered our food with some basic preference for how we'd like it brought out. This is not going to happen on a Sunday - it comes when it comes!!
So I absolutely recommend BAMBU but if you go on a weekend, you need to tolerate some inconsistencies with service. I guess that's to be expected at any of the South Melbourne Market eateries though.
I recommend lunch on Thursday when it's still bustly not panicked :)
Bambu has great food. I've always enjoyed the dishes I have tried. The staff are nice and it's lovely to sit outside in Summer. I find being indoors a little noisy with the concrete floors. I think the food is very reasonably priced as well and the quality consistent.
BAMBU is one of my favourite places in South Melbourne!
The fitout is contemporary and simple and because of the hard surfaces it can get noisy but mostly it's must bustly. Service is friendly and efficient.
Wine list is accessible with some great French options. They also have full bar (which suits my dad who always starts with a martini!!)
The food is exceptional - Thai influences erring towards the sweet palate. The prawn spring rolls are a generous serve and fantastic with mint and avocado dipping sauce. All the dumplings are sensational, I especially like the chilli prawn. The bao buns (made in the outside kitchen) are a great deal and the friend chicken are my favourite. The servings are all generous and great for sharing.
My FAVOURITE dish is the barramundi curry - slightly sweet green curry sauce with perfectly cooked barramundi and vegetables. It really is a standout!!
I eat here regularly (every couple of weeks) and have never had a bad meal.
They recently added OpenTable booking which makes it especially easy. It can get busy on market dates (booking recommended) although Thursday is a great day to go (as parking is a breeze).
bambu has great food and reasonably priced. the only problem with the restaurant is that it is so loud and very hard to have a conversation with the person next to you.
Amazing staff, quick service, AMAZING food!
We got in early and were almost the only people seated indoors on arrival.
Staff made sure we were never without a drink and offered help selecting food for two people.
We took on their suggestions and were wrapped with everything.
Will be back again and highly recommend their food if you like spicy food!