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Indie Of The Month: Bamboo Shoots Like A ‘Harry Potter’ Film Set

Published on: 5 Nov, 2019
Updated on: 3 Nov, 2019

By Hugh Coakley

Walking into Bamboo Shoots in Jeffries Passage was like stepping into a film set straight off Diagon Alley.

Based on a North China tea house, the walls set the scene with tea boxes, tea pots and Chinese decorations.

Step from Diagon Alley (or called Jeffries Passage in Guildford) straight into Bamboo Shoots, the Chinese Tea Shop and cafe.

Run by the owners, husband and wife team, Dennis Hayler and Alice Li, they set out six years ago in Epsom to sell tea and healthy, authentic Asian food. With that established, they looked to expand and came to Guildford three years ago when they found the right premises at the right price.

Inside Bamboo Shoots, there is a film set feel about the decor.

I spoke to Dennis in the shop. A tall, quietly spoken chap, he was enthusiastic about what Bamboo Shoots is offering.

Dennis said: “Most Chinese food in the UK has lots of sugar, salt and fat. Our food is all cooked by us for healthy eating using all natural ingredients, without the use of additives, colourings or preservatives. We cater for everyone from vegan to those who love meat.”

It is a tough business though. “I used to sit on airplanes and go to meetings,” said Dennis. “Now I’m running a business with my wife and it’s much harder physically. But you wouldn’t start a business if you weren’t an optimist.”

Dennis Hayler talking to a customer.

It really is a lovely tea shop to be in. There’s a huge number of different teas to try and buy – bring your own container if you want – and the food is cooked in front of you. Dennis made me a delicious Honey Crunch Tofu with brown rice, a sticky sauce and mixed vegetables. Really lovely.

Looking into Bamboo Shoots from Jeffries Passage, you can see it is not your standard tea shop.

“Footfall in Jeffries Passage could be better,” said Dennis, but they had a large number of regulars. One of the regulars, Sergio Lafontant, said: “The food is great. I love it.”

I can testify to that. Give it a try.

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Responses to Indie Of The Month: Bamboo Shoots Like A ‘Harry Potter’ Film Set

  1. Susan Kay-Attwood Reply

    November 5, 2019 at 12:30 am

    Very tasty food and great teas. Dennis is a lovely chap too. It gets very busy at the weekend.

  2. Anjum Ahmed Reply

    September 9, 2020 at 11:12 am

    Upset to have recently learned that Bamboo Shoots (or as I knew it, “Dennis'”) is now permanently closed.

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