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11° & RAINY ON FRIDAY 15 NOVEMBER IN WELLINGTON
By Nici McGeorge
September 23, 2019
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BambuchiSan

This neighbourhood favourite has been given a Japanese-inspired makeover.
By Nici McGeorge
September 23, 2019
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Spring is a time for new beginnings, new life and fresh new opportunities. And the transformation of Bambuchi to BambuchiSan seems to be perfectly timed with the seasonal theme.

The much-loved favourite hidden next to a dairy in Hataitai has had a facelift, with new furniture, new art on the walls and Japanese-inspired additions to its menu. It's an inviting space — painted white brick walls, wooden floors and a statue of Lord Ganesha greet you as you walk in.

We decided to visit for brunch, immediately ordering coconut flat whites as we sat down. The menu features classics like eggs benedict and then the new range of Japanese-style dishes. We ordered the katsu sando, the donburi and the okonomiyaki. And my goodness, did they look amazing as chef Jonny Taggart brought the plates to our table.

We honestly struggled to decide which dish we liked most, as they were all so different, and all had completely unique flavours. We eventually decided on the okonomiyaki — a kind of omelette-meets-pancake, with incredible deep fried skewered prawns. The combination of the bonito flakes and tonkatsu sauce was pure magic. Chef Taggart enthusiastically mentioned that the tonkatsu sauce isn't traditionally served with okonomiyaki, but he finds it to be so versatile and awesome that he couldn't not include it in the dish. "It's just all about big, bold, punchy flavours," he says.

Dinner at BambuchiSan is centred around shared plates, so they've scaled down the portion sizes to promote ordering a few items off the menu to share around the table. It's their way of keeping things fresh, fun and opening the customers up to trying new things. The team really wanted to shake things up, and find a way to engage with the community and they've definitely done so with this revamp.

Some of the options on the dinner menu that caught our eye is the fish tataki, the Japoutine (which features little nori potato nuggets, also found on the katsu sando dish on the brunch menu), fried brussel sprouts salad and a fried halloumi dessert. We're planning another trip to try all of these out. The drinks list has also seen a revamp, with a variety of Japanese sake, cocktails and sangria.

Passion, enthusiasm and a willingness to evolve is what BambuchiSan is all about. The owners have done a fantastic job with the overhaul, and from what we've seen and tasted so far, the future is looking bright. Grab your mates and enjoy the fresh Japanese flavours at this little Hataitai gem.

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