French with Japanese characteristics? Japanese with French accents? Either way, this is one very enjoyable bistro.

Larry Xie’s restaurant takes its name from a Japanese Buddhist expression meaning all-encompassing. It’s an organising principle that runs right through the French-Japanese menu at his charming Armadale bistro, an ambitious project that opened quietly on High Street late in 2023. There are steaks, but there are also sashimi platters. There is tempura, but there’s also a bombe Alaska. There’s vichyssoise in the chawanmushi, koji marinating the duck, and matcha in the choux. Call it fusion, call it, as Xie does, a celebration of the “timeless elegance of French and Japanese cuisine”. In any case, it’s a winner, winner, chicken-mousseline-roulade-with-kombu-dashi-béchamel dinner; here’s your inside word on the menu from owner Larry Xie.

Is there a dish that really captures the Bansho vibe?
I would have to go with our chawanmushi. It has a traditional Japanese foundation of a steamed egg custard, but we serve with French vichyssoise on top. It’s savoury and light; warm and satisfying for your soul.

What if I’m here for a good time, not a long time?
Try our salmon tartare, wagyu skewers and sushi and sashimi followed by something hot such as our signature chawanmushi. These dishes go especially well with a glass of Domaine Gautheron Chablis.

Got anything light and fresh?
I suggest trying our tuna tartare as an entrée. For the main course, the fish of the day with our yuzu beurre blanc. Both dishes fit well with our sakes.

What about if we’re feeling famished and dangerous. What have you got for us?
I recommend our beef croquettes to start, followed by our chicken mousseline roulade, the sushi platter and freshly made tempura to share. All of these dishes are hearty and great for a group of people who are feeling hungry.

What if I like tasty food but don’t eat animals?
We have lots of choices for guests who don’t eat meat, but I do want to highlight our vegetarian sushi selection. We include seasonal vegetables in the mix and I have heard great feedback from our customers.

And to close?
It has to be our matcha choux pastry paired with matcha umeshu.

Bansho, 960 High St, Armadale, open 5.30pm-11pm Tue-Sat, 0493 707 391,, @banshodining