There's a spot of role reversal in the works this week; the usually oh-so-sharp Ms Gill puts the knife away to wax (mostly) lyrical about Bambudda's clever menu. Over at the Vancouver Sun, the ever-sunny Mia Stainsby gets her claws out at Yaletown's West Oak. And the New York Post hits town and goes cray-cray. But first Bambudda:
Take the divine law bak go, for instance. It's hard to improve on this classic dim sum cake made from rice flour and grated radish that are cut into slices and pan-fried to a melt-in-the-mouth consistency. But executive chef Keev Mah very cleverly steams the cake into pillowy blocks that are lighter than the often-dense original. Instead of mixing the batter with barbecue pork, he places a thin roll of pepper-crusted smoked brisket over top and adorns it all with deep-fried shallot ring for crunchy texture. It's so smart and sinfully delicious.
of course, there are things Alexandra Gill doesn't like; a side of rice is "overcooked and mushy" and cod "doesn't pass the test" . She awards Bambudda two stars - which for her means: "Very good, with some standout qualities."
Over at the Vancouver Sun, Stainsby doesn't pull her punches revealing an in-family lawsuit before getting to the food: "While it's not cutting-edge cuisine, Cuff does a good job of pleasing palates that prefer good, simple food and dishes include greatest hits." Menu sizing gets a swipe for being "awkwardly big; putting it down on the table was like parking a Hummer." But still a solid 3/4 overall.
The New York Post's Lawrence Ferber was recently in town, raving about the city's outstanding sushi scene. From budget options in "the largely gay Davie Village" to all the big names from Tojo, Minami and Blue Water Cafe he loves it all before ending up at PiDGiN "with its ultra global menu and artisanal sakes, PiDGin epitomizes Vancouver's new cuisine scene at its tasty and innovative best." Ferber has a sashimi-stuffed blast declaring when it comes to sushi "...this Pacific Northwest city absolutely rules North America."