The boys at Bambudda know cocktails! The Post Opium is a 3-year rum, passionfruit purée, lime, Bambudda's own brand of bitters, zephyr white chocolate, calvados and sherry foam. The sweet foam contrasts the bitters perfectly and this is one delicious drink. Head mixologist at Bambudda, Tarquin Melnyk, consulted for the brand new Sports Bar at Rogers Arena, home of my faves the Vancouver Canucks and is a lead contributor to JustCocktails.org. It shows! Jenn tried the Koi Pond, a beautiful gin, Aperol, cucumber, lime and elderflower cordial. In Hong Kong last year Jenn indulged in nothing but elderflower apple cider, the 7-11 street drink special, for almost an entire week so I knew she's LOVE this. She certainly did! My Post Opium seemed to disappear quickly, because you know thirst, so Tarquin suggested a Campfire Gin & Tonic: Black Moon Gin, Stump Gin, charred cedar bitters, lemon juice, gin marshmallow. They like to say it's like drinking a gin & tonic fireside and, having had a similar smoked drink a few days earlier, I would say they nailed it where others have half faltered! Not too smoky and the mix of gins really cut down on the tinniness I usually taste in Tangeray.
That first paragraph is almost not even long enough to contain all the goodness that is Bambudda's cocktail program, but, being a Dine Out Vancouver review, I must switch gears to the appetizers though as tipsy as I felt I would probably have ground them! The gears that is. The Lobster and Shrimp Dumplings with curry kumquat mayo are as good as they sound! Very little 'filler' with the lion's share of the flavours coming from the extremely fresh and flavourful seafood. The delicious lobster flavour swims along with the sharp shrimp notes; simply delicious! The Manila Clams in a black bean sauce, black bean sauce being a staple at Jenn's favourite, old world, authentic, you-think-you're-in-China restaurant; the Congee Noodle House. The clams were fresh and plump and the sauce was the perfect match!
For our main courses we went with the Braised Pork Cheeks -and the Confit Five Spiced Duck. The pork cheeks were served with a Calamansi tomato fondue, cilantro pesto and pappardelle. Very tender and a bite with a bit of pappardelle, some tomato fondue and you will be rushing back to Bambudda as will we! The duck was served with white bean, Chinese sausage and dark cherry sauce. The Savoury spice of the duck with the sweetness of the white bean and the sharp high kick of the cherry sauce was simply divine. I've had occasion to have some fatty duck. We've all been there, but the duck I had did Pilates or maybe hot yoga; lean and delicious!
The Coffee brûlée reminded Jenn of her childhood favourite See's candy. She devoured it and made lustful noises so I'm guessing it was good! I tend to dislike coffee flavoured everything, I've had maybe 50 coffees in my life, but I did try a nibble and they struck a nice balance of flavours between the coffee and cream. I had the Choca Trio and White Chocolate Parfait and it was marvellous! The lava cake was perfect and the parfait even better! Bambudda is an up and coming culinary hotspot and the cocktail program is amongst the best in Vancouver and you can really tell they spend a good deal of focus on it! While we dined several parties cozier up to the bar for a cocktail or two and frittered back into the night satisfied and happy! Head in and tell Tarquin we sent you and let him make you whatever he wants and sit back and watch the show and enjoy the bounty!