Disclaimer: Asians going to Asian fusion restaurants are a recipe for disasters. I was tricked once at Pok Pok in Portland and I'm even more furious now. We were at Bambudda Vancouver Gastown recently. We picked 3 items based snacks, starters and main course category.
Crispy Chicken Skin
- 4 pieces of chicken skin
- 2 wedges of lime
- Salt / Pepper
- Salt / Pepper chicken skins, throw in deep fryer at high temp.
- Coat salt / pepper mix on lime wedges
- Serve...and charge 4 bucks. Mark up: $3.80
Next up, grilled. Octopus with potatoes...
- 1 / 2 potatoes of your choice
- 1 octopus
- Salt / Pepper
- Duck egg yolk
- peel potatoes, blanch them until softened. Sprinkle salt / pepper
- grill octopus until slightly over cooked, rest until warm
- with mixing bowl, mix duck egg yolk with mayo. Season with salt and pepper.
- Price: $14 (portion size, ingredients, technique combined worth $3, Gastown lease)
- 1 piece of steelhead, fine dining size
- Small amounts of greens
- Off the shelf XO sauce
- Grill steelhead until overcooked. Make sure the white stuff is oozing out. This is an indication that the protein is coming out and thus overcooked.
- Turn on the burner to max and put turnip directly on the source of heat. Let that sucker rip to ensure it is burnt. This is the Bambuddha way.
- Blitz the turnip or some other veg into a puree and mix xo sauce in. This is the Asian fusion element in the dish.
Seriously…$19 for this??? I can’t even begin to break down how they can have the audacity to charge $19 dollars for this? I was grabbing my hair because I couldn’t comprehend how they justified this price when the landscape is so competitive.
Look, bottom line: I rarely have bad things to say about a restaurant, just look at our other reviews. In this case, I was just bewildered by the fact that they charged premium pricing on such simple, poor executed plates.
I will end with a fair assessment, the waitress that was serving us was a true professional. The disclaimer I have to make is that we didn't pay for the steelhead because we only ate half of it and the waitress read the situation. So hats off to the front of house. My only wish is that I hope the bar serves deadly cocktails, because I think it’s needed to enhance and assist the flavor (or lack thereof) and paying an outrageous price for it.
Of course, sometimes we get angry responses from the owners.
Dear Mr Ray Loy,
Assuming you are the one that wrote this response, I will try to respond to you in the most professional way possible. The first thing I want to address is the fact that I don't have any clue as to how the restaurant business operates. That is indeed 100% accurate and I have no business commenting on how the pricing breakdown works. I only did that for comedic purposes, for that I apologize.
My rebuttal towards your response is: I don't care how much your overhead is, that's your business. I am a patron that have frequented many of your neighboring restaurants and compared it to yours and found it to not be on par in terms of taste, texture etc. That's my opinion and what makes the restaurant business in Vancouver so vibrant.
Without the likes of Yelp and Food Bloggers, a word of mouth, how do you expect to build awareness? This is a risk of the F&B business isn't it? To be exposed to the likes of me, who has been around the neighborhood and tried all of the restaurants and giving most of them a good to raving review. I just didn't think your product was even remotely close to what your competitors are offering.
Also to clarify, I don't think it's a ripoff to charge $5 for amuse bouche type items, and upwards to $30-40 for mains. My opinion is that when the product is overcooked, and executed poorly, it lacks value. NOT price.
Lastly, I want to thank you for eliminating the trout off my bill (which I did not ask to be left off). I am grateful for that gesture because well... I hope to see more positive reviews from your establishment in the future, I would love to be proven wrong.
Honesty is a bitter pill isn’t it?
99 Powell Street
Vancouver, BC V6A 1E9, Canada
cuisine: Chinese, Fusion
Thursday & Friday: 12-2pm
[cetsEmbedGmap src=https://maps.google.ca/maps?q=99+Powell+Street+Vancouver,+BC+V6A+1E9,+Canada&hnear=99+Powell+St,+Vancouver,+British+Columbia+V6B+2J1&gl=ca&t=m&z=16 width=350 height=425 marginwidth=0 marginheight=0 frameborder=0 scrolling=no]