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New Korean fine dining, Italian restaurants come to West Vancouver

The Bridge, Fred’s Restaurant and Bar Olo have all recently opened in Ambleside and Dundarave
Husband-and-wife duo James and Jay Kang open the doors to The Bridge on July 1. Their Korean fine dining restaurant is open in Ambleside Tuesday to Sunday, 5 to 9 p.m. at 1560 Marine Dr. | Courtesy of Patrick Malone

The list of new dining options in West Vancouver’s main commercial hub is continuing to grow.

The newest addition is The Bridge, a Korean fine dining restaurant, which opened in Ambleside on Marine Drive near 16th Street. Meanwhile, Fred’s Restaurant – specializing in modern Italian cuisine – welcomed its first guests in May next to Crema on Bellevue Avenue. Bar Olo also opened in May in Dundarave, offering Italian small plates and crafted cocktails.

The driving concept behind The Bridge is to serve as a crossing point from Korean culture and cuisine to the West Vancouver community, says managing partner Patrick Malone.

The restaurant is owned and operated by husband-and-wife duo Jay and James Kang. In Korea, James’s brother owns Bridge Restaurant, a successful dining destination in the capital Seoul.

In West Van, Malone said to expect a menu that spans from culinary classics of steak and seafood to crispy kimchi pancakes, Korean bibimbap, braised pork belly bossam and military hot pot.

This being their first entry into the restaurant business, Malone describes the Kangs as a young family living in Ambleside who have a passion to share Korean culture, philosophy and food. Much of traditional Korean cuisine promotes health alongside flavour and technique.

“I was born in 1964," Malone said, “So people like Gwyneth Paltrow and me grew up without fermented foods, because refrigeration was all over the place.”

“That’s why things like kombucha and kimchi are coming back so strong now because when people who haven’t had those micro biomes in their system, get them in their system, it can it can be very helpful.” he continued.

“Korean cuisine is probably the world expert in fermentation.”

At the core of Korean fermentation are the aged sea salts cultivated in the country.

“It’s those kinds of cultural culinary treasures that the Kangs want to share with Canada,” Malone said.

The 45-seat dining room first opened its doors July 1, and is currently in its soft launch phase. Eventually, the business will also include an emporium of Korean goods, building on James Kang’s past successes as an importer and exporter of medical supplies.

The Kangs also have plans to host free kimchi-making “lunch n’ learn” events in the fall.



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