LOTI Eats | Bamboo Mat

Bamboo Mat is bringing Nikkei delights to East London

Former Chotto Matte chef, Denis Gobjila, and his business partner, Victor Rosca (who is best known for Sushisamba and Lucky Cat), have joined forces to put their own stamp on Nikkei cuisine – a fusion of Japanese and Peruvian flavours – and showcase it at Bamboo Mat in Stratford.

Situated in East Village, Bamboo Mat has just launched a new luxury 9-course tasting menu for just £55 – you can also add wine pairing for £25, which we highly recommend you do for the full experience. All of the dishes are presented in a sharing style, the first of which was ceviche deluxe: raw seabass, scallop and prawn, laced with citrus, sprinkled with Peruvian cancha corn, and served in a refreshing yet fragrant aji amarillo and tiger’s milk broth. It’s the type of dish where you throw away the chopsticks, grab a spoon and unapologetically scoop up every last drop.

The next burst of dishes included hamachi tiradito – thinly sliced yellowtail kingfish with a bold yuzu truffle soy and aji amarillo dressing – and a spinach salad. Tossed in a wasabi and sesame dressing with crunchy pomegranate seeds, it was fiery yet salty, sweet yet tart, and possibly the best plate of spinach we’ve ever eaten. The accompanying wine for the first three courses was a Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand, its freshness and acidity complemented the vibrant flavours brilliantly.

Next, we moved onto the ‘main courses’ of Peruvian favourite chicken anticucho – succulent, crispy chicken thigh in a savoury yet tart anticucho sauce with chives – and slow-cooked ox cheek in a teriyaki sauce, which fell apart at the most gentle of touches. Not only was each dish executed perfectly, the portions were generous, too. The wine pairing for this was a red wine from Portugal: Coreto Tino, DFJ Vinhod.

The second to last course was a platter of the restaurant’s best sushi. As a restaurant known for its innovative flavour combinations, this was the course we were most excited for. The platter was piled high with beautifully executed dragon maki, bluefin tuna nigiri, and A4 grade wagyu beef aburi nigiri, seared at the table with a blow torch. As is tradition, we washed it down with a glass of sake.

The dessert course is ‘chef’s choice’. For us, this was three soft spongy, biscuit-type layers, with thickly piped cream and doused in a yuzu mango sauce. It tasted a lot better than it sounds – the clean plate was a clear giveaway.

A decent Japanese tasting menu doesn’t come cheap – at Chotto Matte the deluxe menu is £125 per person – but for just £55, Bamboo Mat has exceeded all expectations. If you’ve never tried Nikkei food before, this is your sign to take a trip to Bamboo Mat.

21-24 Victory Parade, East Village, London E20 1FS