Photo courtesy Facebook
It won't open until September at the earliest, but the complete menu of NE Alberta's upcoming Bamboo Izakaya — the binchō-tan and booze arm of the sustainability minded Bamboo Sushi restaurants — is already available for perusal. Two crucial points: 1) The main menu will focus on kushiyaki (skewers) cooked over traditional Japanese binchō-tan, a charcoal made from oak. 2) There will be brunch, and one of the brunch options is a bacon tasting flight.
Bamboo's executive chefs Jin Soo Yang and Chris Paquette designed the izakaya menu, featuring more than a dozen kushiyaki and three sauce options. "Traditionally in Japan that is the primary focus of a true izakaya," says Bamboo Sushi/Izakaya owner Kristofor Lofgren of the kushiyaki focus. "We really want to transport people and give them something that they can't find almost anywhere else in United States, let alone Portland." To that end, the restaurant will use authentic binchō-tan charcoal from Japan (made from charred oak) to fire up 1/2 quail, skirt steak, and salted mackerel. Other plates include foie gras and onion-dotted meatballs, coconut-braised pork cheeks, and head cheese served tonkatsu-style.
Meanwhile, a weekend brunch menu applies kushiyaki-grilled meats to plates like steak and eggs, plus trout served over rice. The aforementioned "bacon flight" includes tastes of everything on the "bacon bar," featuring five different brands of smoked bacon. "It's one of my favorite meals and I think many of our team's favorite meals to go out and enjoy," Lofgren says of the izakaya's brunch menu. (For brunch booze, expect Bloody Marys with smoked soy sauce, mimosas with sparkling wine and yuzu sake.) Bamboo Sushi's current chef de cuisine Paul Osbourne will serve as chef when Bamboo Izakaya debuts early this fall.
· Bamboo Izakaya [Official site]
· All Previous Bamboo Coverage [Eater PDX]