When we’re looking to go out for a drink and something to eat, we usually don’t like to stray too far from home and while it doesn’t need to be any place super fancy, it does need to have some style.
That’s why Gastown is an area we adore. It’s close enough to walk to from our East Vancouver home and has a seemingly endless selection of places to explore. Plus, it’s still got that unique ‘off the beaten track’ vibe going.
Bambudda — an amalgamation of the words bamboo and Buddha — recently opened at 99 Powell Street in the heart of the historic neighborhood. It fills half of the old Canvas space, and it finally gives us a place to recommend if you’re looking for something different from the usual destinations.
Serving Cantonese-inspired cuisine, the space has a sophisticated and cool vibe, with a great looking bar you’ll want to pull up a stool. With large, folding doors that open completely to the sidewalk, the space feels open and airy while still keeping a private ambiance.
Opened just last month, Bambudda offers a variety of inventive snack plates, small plates and not-so-small plates and an intriguing drink menu too, with signature cocktails named Smoking Buddha and Gwielo. We were there during Pride, so we opted for the special of the night called The Red Lantern, with one dollar from every cocktail going to the Dr. Peter Foundation.
We enjoyed a tasting of items from their regular menu, including the tea egg – a quail egg poached with smoked tea on a bed of watercress and we loved it. The BBQ pork bun is a cute spin on a slider, made with pulled pork in a Chinese BBQ sauce, with a pickled cherry on the side. The bison tartare had an amazing fresh flavor, with a crispy rice cake base that added a great crunch.
Our favorite dish of the night though was the skins, deep fried chicken crackling and fresh limes. This was incredibly tasty and indulgent, and owner Ray Loy told us people either love it or hate it although those that don’t like it must be vegetarians because this dish was insanely yummy.
Bambudda is open from 5:30 to midnight, Tuesday through Sunday, and offers a wonderful space to relax after work with friends, or go for a romantic date. With a more intimate seating area in the upper half of the restaurant, as well as a private back room available for parties or large groups, it’s a space that is truly unique. We recommend you check them out.