Midam Rice Cake House on North Road, Coquitlam

Right after our dinner at Ddoo Gau Bee, we decided to go downstairs and check out the dessert place.

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We had passed by this place before and was attracted by the beautiful looking rice cakes displayed at the entrance. This time we made a point to save some stomach room for dessert after the dinner at Ddoo Gau Bee.

This place is kind of mysterious to us because you could not see what is inside.

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We were very surprised how nice this cafe is. It looks like a very traditional Korean restaurant. But it is also so eerily quiet. Besides us, there were only two other couples. For a moment, we thought they were about to close or something.

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It seems like they encourage their customers to hang out here. They have shelves of books, magazines and board games that you could use.

Frankly, we felt kind of awkward here. The waitress here does not speak English well and it seems like she is uncomfortable serving us because we don’t speak Korean.

Anyway, not knowing what to order, we just pointed to some of the more colourful rice cakes they have on display. To our surprise, she told us that almost every rice cakes are not available and need to be pre-ordered. We initially found that kind of strange.

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They have a limited selection of rice cakes on display at the counter. So, we ordered a couple to try.

The one on the left is called the … Tancy Glutinous Rice Cake which is $1.89. It is filled with red dates and some nuts. However, there is not much taste to it despite the visible ingredients. It has a chewy texture.

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It was only later I learned that Rice Cakes plays a part in the Korean culture, mostly in celebratory times such as new year, births, and weddings. That explains a lot of things such as why most of the pretty looking rice cakes had to be pre-ordered. In the Korean language, it is called called Tteuk and made primarily with glutinous rice flour. I consider Tteok the Korean equivalent to the Japanese mochi and the Chinese nian gao.

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The other thing we order was called the Little Rice Cake. It has mung beans paste as its fillings and costs $1.99. At least this one has more taste but really it cannot be described as delicious. I have a feeling that the Korean Rice Cakes are more for ceremonial and celebratory purposes than as desserts.

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We also ordered the Red Bean Sherbet. Most of the flavour is from the powdered peanuts and red beans. They also put some cubed rice cakes in it that is also very chewy.

This is $8. I find it expensive because there is nothing much in terms on ingredients used to make this.

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I think Midam is meant more for the Korean community to order these traditional rice cakes for celebrations. At just $2 a piece of rice cake, it is obvious that they don’t intend to make their profit from this cafe alone. It is definitely a good place to hang out with friends over a couple of inexpensive rice cakes … and from the looks of it, they encourage you to spend time here.

Midam Rice Cake House 美談餅家 on Urbanspoon

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  1. i’m not a huge fan of ddeuk myself, but i like the little ones with the syrupy filling inside and the rainbow ddeuk because it’s almost like bread. korean snacks are very lightly seasoned (?) and is more relient on the natural sugars of the rice (and/or oil/other ingredients), which is why you don’t get a huge “pow” of flavor. much like japanese cuisine, korean desserts lean more towards the simple and natural. as for the shaved rice…it’s totally over-priced here in vancouver! the ones up the road at the boardgame cafe is better in terms of variety of ingredients…but still too expensive!

    -jenn-

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