Saturday, October 4, 2014

Vancouver: Bambudda

generation new

BAMBUDDA open Tuesday to Sunday, 530 to midnight
@99 Powell Street - Google maps

Full post a little farther down, but if you're becoming like me where you don't care why and just want to know what, here are the must eats. If you go, you must:

Potato vermicelli, oyster mushrooms, cilantro sauce vierge ($13)

Crisp oysters, house maggi glaze, egg crepe ($11)

Pork belly,  taro, fermented tofu and lime ($19)
Bambudda has been around a while, but I am weary of modern Chinese or Nouveau Chinese or whatever the kids call it these days. Like many trends, ill qualified people jump on the wagon. If I was driving that cart, I'd hit enough bumps to eject them from my ride. Bambudda can stay on, cause I said so and so did they.

I had dinner with some straight shooters so I'll take my inspiration from them and keep this to the point: Bambudda is worth a visit. There were some standouts and some misses, but overall, things tipped to the good side. Especially because the prices weren't obnoxious. You'd be surprised how many people slap on a nouveau in front of the word Chinese and all of a sudden things go haywire. 

Ling cod foreground, pork belly background
Bambudda is known for their cocktails which are creative to say the least. The restaurant itself had a regal flair without being unwelcoming or pretentious. Service was warm, engaging and attentive: our waters were always full, the bartenders had a heavy pour, the food was pretty and they seemed to genuinely care whether we enjoyed our meal. We did. Especially the potato vermicelli. I don't know what they did to the mushrooms but they were stellar - lightly fried and flavour bomb. I also liked the ling cod served in a sweet and sour style, although my dinner companions thought it was overcooked. I didn't notice. 

The misses were the crisp tofu - pretty pedestrian - and the pork dumplings with watercress sauce and pickled ginger salad. Now it's half my fault I didn't like it. I was expecting dumplings in a more traditional sense - like Hon's potsticker in Vancouver or Mother's Dumplings in Toronto, but not a version of sui mai. Never anticipate as it can ruin your experience, but I didn't like the flavours anyway, and that's their fault.

Bambudda on Urbanspoon

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