In Japan, Bamiyan is well-known by pretty much everyone and is a popular spot to take the family to enjoy a meal. The restaurant chain has locations across the country and serves 'Chinese' food (meaning ramen, fried rice, and stir-fry-style dishes). The prices are quite reasonable and the menu is actually fairly large, meaning there will definitely be something to suit everyone.
Here's a peek at some of the popular items on the menu:
Most people probably don't think to go to a chain restaurant to get a bowl of ramen, but Bamiyan actually has quite a large ramen menu with tasty bowls at unbeatable prices. The classic shoyu 'Bamiyan Ramen,' for example, is just ¥499 and comes with a variety of satisfying toppings.
In addition to the Bamiyan Ramen, there are many other types of ramen on the menu, including the 'Hakata Tonkotsu Ramen' shown above, a seared chashu miso ramen, wonton ramen, tsukemen, spicy tantanmen, and more. The sheer variety of the ramen alone makes Bamiyan worth visiting a few times.
Bamiyan has a varied menu of Chinese-inspired dishes that go with rice. These too are priced quite reasonably (¥500 ~ ¥800 range) and are reliably tasty. You can't go wrong with any of these dishes, but if you're lost, a recommendation would be the mabo dofu (shown below) which has a classic flavor with just the right amount of spiciness. Those who enjoy spicy food would enjoy the spicier version of this dish which includes Shicuan peppers and house-made rayu.
One of the other comfort foods that Bamiyan is known for is fried rice, of which there are several varieties offered. When you order a fried rice dish at Bamiyan, you also get access to the soup bar, which makes for a very affordable meal. You can't go wrong with the classic fried rice shown above, but there are also some interesting fried rice dishes offered such as pickled plum and lettuce fried rice, or the rich 'Ankake Fried Rice' shown below.
Another of Bamiyan's specialties is its delicious and crispy karaage (fried chicken) of which there are 6 varieties. The classic juicy karaage shown above is a sure bet, otherwise try the shiokoji oroshi ponzu karaage (fermented rice paste, grated daikon radish, and ponzu) shown below.
The cheap prices at Bamiyan mean that you can order several dishes and sides without breaking the bank! One of the sides that is almost mandatory is the gyoza, which can be had for just ¥239 for 6 or ¥449 for 12! You could also try the fried octopus, Peking duck (replete with wrappers and all) or the yummy shumai shown below. Pretty much everything is reliably tasty at Bamiyan, which explains its lasting popularity.
Those with a sweet tooth will appreciate the desert menu at Bamiyan which has a nice balance of classic and modern desserts. One of the interesting items worth trying is the roasted tea-flavored steamed chiffon cake shown above. It has a fluffy texture and nice taste. The classic sesame balls or Chinese doughnuts are also great, and the peach ice cream shown below is a safe bet.
The kids menu items are kid-sized and very cheap! The little ramen (called 'Menmen' here) shown above is less than ¥200 and comes with mini jellies that are a huge hit with kids. For families, the kids menu is a life-saver because it saves a lot of money while making the kids happy at the same time!
This has been a quick look at menu of Bamiyan. If you're thinking about eating a meal there, go for it! It's affordable, tasty, and great for bringing the whole family.