Review: Bambudda

Dine Out Vancouver is a yearly event where restaurants provide a set menu at an affordable price. The problem with Dine Out is the popularity as many restaurants are booked solid. Prices can range from $20 a meal to $40. Meals are sometimes not up to standards as it is a set menu and mass produced so would not judge the restaurant too harshly.

During Dine Out Vancouver I decided to try out Bambudda, a “not-fusion” but elevated Asian Cuisine located in Gastown, Vancouver. The restaurant had a nice bar type feel with tidbits of Asian decor.

The first “small dish” was lobster and shrimp dumplings served with a chipotle mayo and cilantro pesto. They were not what I expected to have when they said dumplings. The “dumplings” were tasty but I wanted a bit of acid to cut the creamy flavours.

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The other small dish that was served was the pork dumplings with spiced sesame black vinegar. We first guessed the dumplings would end up being something like sui mai or Shanghai juicy pork buns but we were wrong. They were more like a wonton. I wasn’t a huge fan.

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For the main course, we ordered braised pork cheeks. The portion was quite small and there was very little white bean cassoulet. Unfortunately it was a tad too salty and would have been delicious on rice.

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The other dish we ordered was prawns and scallop served on top of some butternut squash ravioli. The order was a lot bigger than the pork cheeks and less salty. The dish had some high and low points. The scallop and prawns were cooked and seasoned well but I found the vegetables to be slightly undercooked for my liking.

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Finally for dessert we ordered the choca trio which included lava cake, white chocolate parfait, coffee brûlée and jasmine anglaise. The lava cake was slightly overcooked so it didn’t have the gooey chocolate I would have expected. The white chocolate parfait was ok but also not what I expected as a parfait and the coffee brûlée didn’t have the classic sugar crust. Instead it was just a coffee custard in a cup.

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Unfortunately, I did not try any of the cocktails which I have heard are great. The dishes were presented beautifully but they did not live up to my standards. I would have to say the price ($40) for the meal was a great way to try out the food but I don’t think I would have tried it at regular price. I might come again just for the drinks.

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