Generally speaking, wild bamboos have a good reputation around Southeast Asia. Because of its nature, it became a symbol of uprightness, integrity, simplicity, adaptability, optimism, and even immortality in various Asian cultures. It is a versatile raw product with plenty of uses in textile, medicine, construction, culinary, war, and even music. Wild bamboos can grow at 3cm/hour. LET ME BORROW THAT SUPERPOWER FOR 3 HOURS, PLEASE! Just like its namesake, Wild Bamboo in SM City, Iloilo is definitely having a growth spurt. It has been a buzz since it opened and I understood why:
Ilonggos are hesitant to try new restaurants not because we are not open to new things, but because we are thrifty. We don’t like to spend too much especially if we haven’t proven that it’s worth every centavo. But Wild Bamboo offers budget-friendly bento boxes that even students can manage to buy. Cheapskates will love these satisfying meal boxes, for sure.
When I dine at other Japanese restos, I always order tonkatsu because I am a picky eater and that’s probably one of the few Jap dishes that my tummy can tolerate. My frequent complaint would be about the breading. Others would serve breading with pork, but I’m glad that at Wild Bamboo, it was clearly pork tonkatsu – pork with a thin coat of breading. I brought my brother with me because he likes Japanese food. He says Wild Bamboo hit two birds with one stone with their Mixed Tempura. To him, it seemed like tempura and sushi in one.
I admit, I doubted when I first heard that Wild Bamboo is a Japanese fast food. First, the cuisine is intricate. Secondly, the prices may compromise the food’s quality. And thirdly, how will it compare to other Japanese restaurants whose dishes are… overpriced? Or will it be as rad as the Crazy Katsu at Maginhawa? I had high hopes and fortunately, Wild Bamboo delivered well. Their rolls are on a roll.
If it were up to my brother, he would have finished three plates of their California Maki. Even on the fast lane, it didn’t disappoint. The Wild Bamboo and Spicy Tuna Rolls are new on their menu.
They offer a lot more such as this Spicy Tuna Salad. The family owns Carlo’s Bakery Cafe too so you will see their bestsellers on Wild Bamboo’s counter.
3. They know their target market.
Wild Bamboo is owned by the young entrepreneur, Paolo Treñas. He is still a student but because their family has been a household name in food and business in Iloilo, he has all the guidance he needs to start his own joint. His youthfulness is truly an advantage for a startup food chain. With active Instagram and Facebook accounts, he hits his targets easier – young professionals and teenagers.
Are you always on the lookout for something new? Treat your palate without shelling out more than what you are willing to spend. Visit Wild Bamboo.
Thank you, Greg of Cafe Ilonggo and Paolo for the invite.
Wild Bamboo is located at
Ground Floor, SM City Food Court,
Tel. No. (033) 320 8150