Bambu has managed to achieve something that many other places have tried (and failed) to: The Perfect Sunday Session.
For prematurely cantankerous nannas like me who are over the drunken shrieking and terrible dancing that comes along with the Sunday afternoon pub scene and would rather not finish off their weekends reeking of other people's cheap cologne and Eau de Box Of Chardonnay, Bambu contains one of the best solutions on the Gold Coast.
The place is tiny, intimate, and cleverly designed enough to make you feel as though you could be shut up inside a beach shack on an island paradise, rather than perched right on the Gold Coast Highway down the dodgy end of Palm Beach. No small feat. The staff are that rare breed of hospitality professionals who are educated enough about their brand and product to be genuinely helpful while at the same time not the slightest bit arrogant about it at all. They actually seem to enjoy working there! Any why not, I suppose? Not everyone gets to work in a beach shack on an island paradise.
The music on Sundays is Always. Good. I haven't managed to catch them out yet. Talented soloists and duos, playing a range of music from Spanish-inspired originals to soulful covers, sit right near the tables and smile and interact with the patrons during their set. Some of the artists are so good that people just stop chatting for the duration of their sets and listen. For me, who for a while has been feeling as though I will throw myself into the ocean if I have to stand on one more terrace at one more surf club listening to another bored, cookie-cutter covers band churn out "Khe San" while passive smoking other people's Alpine cigarettes, this is a gigantic positive.
Given that this is a bar / cafe review, I should probably mention the food and booze. Bambu has a range of starter plates which are perfect for sharing on Sunday afternoons. Although I am generally speaking a pacifist, I feel I could cheerfully torture the head chef in order to gain the spice mix recipe on the chicken skewers. If you can pass up the sweetness and intensity of the garlic and chilli seafood share plate or the little cubes of haloumi with a pesto drizzle, then you're a stronger person than I. Of course they offer more mid-sized fare as well, with a range of burgers and pizzas for those with more of an appetite. Finally, for those wishing for a full meal, an excellent option of protein plus side plus salad exists for under $30. You get to choose between a range of different items such as grilled fish, chicken, steak, strawberry and mint salad, herb roasted potatoes (the list goes on) in order to create your own main meal. It's very clever. The wine list isn't extensive but it is smart and there is something for everyone on it. Cocktail lovers will be satisfied.
Bambu is really about a quality experience. You won't get $5 specials here. It is not over-priced for what you get, but if you are budget conscious then it would be an occasional treat kind of place as opposed to a regular haunt.
They do not have a website, but you can visit their facebook page here.