Tucked away in a hidden corner of a strip mall in Burquitlam (i.e. the North Road area between Burnaby and Coquitlam), there is a restaurant specialized in an ingredient favoured by many Asians — rice cakes. With a recommendation from friends, we went and checked it out.
And yes, their menu is indeed full of various interpretations of rice cakes. Korean rice cakes. You can have it savoury, spicy, or even sweet. First, we were quite excited when we saw the Rice Cake Pasta with Tomato Meat Sauce. It was still bubbling when it got to our table. At first glance, I thought of those baked pasta dishes that you can get at HK cafes. Then we dug in, it’s a spicy tomato meat sauce! It tasted different from Gochujang — the Korean chili paste — and it wasn’t overly spicy; but the level of heat was just enough to whet our appetite. The rice cakes were of great texture — chewy, good elasticity, but didn’t require you to chew a hundred times to break it down. This is like spaghetti bolognese with a Korean twist. A hearty dish.
If you can’t eat spicy food, you can order the Royal Court Rice Pasta with Soy Sauce. It’s a simple stir fry of sliced beef, onion, bell peppers and mushrooms, and of course rice cakes, in a soy sauce. There’s a slight sweetness in the sauce, and the dish reminded me of a Chinese stir fry.
Lastly, the highlight of this meal. What caught our attention was the Rice Cake Waffle with Maple Syrup – or you may call these Moffles. No, I didn’t just make this up. I wish I did, but this has existed for awhile and has apparently gained popularity. Essentially, moffles are mochi (Japanese rice cake) pieces pressed into a waffle iron so it has the waffle look. Mochi + Waffle = Moffles!
And these were really good! With American waffles you look for the crispy exterior with the light, fluffy inside. With moffles, it’s still crispy outside but now you get the chewy, rice cake texture on the inside. On this plate the moffles were drizzled with maple syrup and sliced almonds. It’s light, not overly sweet. It has more of a bite making it a more satisfying dessert.
As for beverage, I ordered, not Americano, not Canadiano, a Koreano! It’s one cup of rich coffee, using what I believe is half and half cream, plus sugar. We also ordered the Rose Tea to try. It’s very fragrant with the rose scent in this vibrant pink hue. Almost artificial looking! I did like the little double-walled cups; even though they were plastic, they looked really cute.
Service & Ambience
According to our friends, Midam seems to have changed ownership recently. And I was looking at its old photos, the interior decor has definitely changed. It now has a lot of NBA/basketball related items as decoration, which felt like a disconnection to the restaurant. But then, the restaurant targets a younger crowd, perhaps basketball enthusiasts or NBA fans?
Contrary to what others said in the reviews, we received decent service despite we are non-Korean speakers. Staff were friendly, attentive and responsive.
I thought the rice cake specialty was a perfect niche for Midam, especially in the Burquitlam area. And the menu is quite reasonably priced. I would recommend ordering the rice cake waffle and rice pasta with tomato meat sauce. It also has some interesting parfait and other desserts on the menu that I want to try. The only drawback is that it’s not easy to spot from the street level, so be sure to look for the Han Nam Supermarket and it’s located right beside it.
Midam Rice Cake House 美談餅家
110-4501 North Road, Burnaby