I just went there for lunch with my wife and kids and we did have a good lunch. The food was good and the atmosphere was very much like the street restaurants you find in south east asia but price-wise when the bill comes you fell you're in Tokyo...
A place to go.
Chao bamboo gets points for atmosphere, but lacks in flavour. Vietnamese food is all about the herbs; the mix of basil, mint, coriander and whatnot gives it its distinct flavour and edge. But, the herbs were largely absent of my steaming bowl of pho (900 yen) or the spring rolls (250 yen), and they were sorely missed.
The atmosphere is great. I love street food, and love it when a restaurant can recreate the street atmosphere as well as Chao bamboo. If you’ve been to Southeast Asia, you’ll get it right away. Definitely go for the vibe, but don’t expect any bright flavours.
I never thought I'd find a restaurant that sold Coke in glass bottles in Omotesando. I found this charming Thai/Chinese restaurant on a side street just meters away from Dior, Gucci, and their ilk. Chao Bamboo is pretty small and tables spill out onto the sidewalk, always crowded during lunch time. From my back corner table I almost felt like I was in Thailand - picnic tablecloths, ash trays, and old liquor bottles on shelves give Chao Bamboo an unpretentious, authentic vibe.
The menu is about 60% Thai and 40% Chinese, particularly Sichuan, plus a drink menu that includes plenty of Chinese beer and alcohol. Lots of rice or noodle based dishes. I ordered a pleasantly spicy green curry prepared just how I like it - lots of bamboo, chicken, and eggplant in a coconut sauce. I even had to order a Coke to take away some of the sting.
Although the service wasn't bad, I thought my lunch took a little longer than it should have, given the low-end style. Lunch plates hover around 1,000yen.