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Bambada 밤바다

I was invited to visit Coquitlam’s new Korean restaurant focused on seafood, so thought to bring Diana of @foodologyca and her family along for the experience. Of which includes her Korean husband Mark, who I thought would be a good resource in testing the authenticity of the cuisine and to utilize as a guide when it came time to order. So here we were in their simply dressed, well lit, spacious restaurant.

As is the case with most Korean restaurants, you start with your complimentary serving of sides. Here it was kimchi, pickled radish, and broccoli (which is a new one for me). To much to it.

But the starting dish, the that cannot be missed is the Bambada signature steamed seafood pot. This is a show stopper and basically a trough of crustaceans and molluscs ready for a larger group to dig into. A collection of shells that you can rummage through that includes sea snail, calms, mussels, abalone, oyster, shrimp, and squid. A stunning presentation, but it lacked in ready to eat flavour. Luckily each table is equipped with a squeeze bottle of the popular Korean spicy and tangy red pepper sauce and it did plenty in adding new life to old seafood. Although a collection of various sauces presented along with this banquet style buffet tray would have elevated this offering.

Worth mentioning is that the table’s collection of utensils that included kitchen scissors and tongs were helpful in eating this as well. Lots of meat to gouge from shell.

I would also recommend adding a side to this. A starch or base that fills and satisfies. Some boiled quail’s eggs? a bowl of rice? Meant for their daughter, Diana ordered fries as a side, which turned out to be a great accompaniment to the seafood platter; much like mussel fritz.

The Beef Tartare came recommended by the staff. Beef tartar with raw egg, avocado and seaweed. You mix the runny, whole yolk into the mound of red meat it sat on. Just be warned it is melted frozen so require additional time to defrost at your table, not allowing it to do so means you get frozen iced meat. We would confirm this to be true, as the more we progresses though our meal, the more we enjoyed our serving. This was also the thickest application of tartar that I have seen. The sheer quantity of meat took away from the would-be refined appetizer, and made it feel daunting with the very little sheets of seaweed and other sides meant to accompany. There was definitely more meat that radish, avocado, or sprouts.

Mark was drawn to the Bossom. Boiled pork belly with tofu, Korean style pickle and radish kimchi. I liked the flavour of the pork belly, but just wished that there was more char on the meat (although that would make this a whole different dish). Textural and flavourful-wise I was missing depth. But found the sides necessary for balance and freshness. Crispy pickled radish and soft tofu as a base to cut into the fatty portions.

This is another one Mark suggested that we get and we did. The Bambada signature Mulhoe. Spicy cold soup with noodle and seafood. It is basically a cold salad that you mix up and together. A good hot weather dish as it is eaten chilled, and the spice doesn’t overheat.

I have never had clam in a bibimbap before, so that in itself made this worth trying, plus it came recommend by the staff. Though sadly it was not served in the photogenic stone bowl that sizzles and further cooks your rice at your table. Instead, it was pre-fried and plated with much care, ready for immediate eating. Tasty as is, but it made for a fragrant base for all the above.

In conclusion, this is the first Korean restaurant specializing in seafood that I have seen of or heard of. A nice addition and option in the community.

Bambada 밤바다
2764 Barnet Hwy #201, Coquitlam, BC V3B 1B9
(604) 474-3900

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