My friend suggested going to Zephyr Tea House for dinner once when we were out of ideas. I had never really considered this place before since it seemed sorta hidden. The restaurant seems spacious but also emptier than I expected. Definitely not as busy as Pearl Castle. Also, this review might be biased because I was really hungry!
I ordered the Spicy Shredded Pork set which came with 3 side dishes that were all on the same plate. I was really surprised that there was potato salad. Or their version of it which was essentially potatoes with mayo. The spicy shredded pork was indeed spicy and tasty.
My friend had the Black Pepper Beef set which came with the same 3 side dishes. Pretty good, fairly standard.
Taiwanese Sausages. I haven’t had this in so long!
Peach Calpis.Good, not too sweet or artificial tasting.
Basically there was really nothing special here. It was also lacking in ambiance because it seemed really quiet there. Like too quiet for me. Good thing is that there were no lineups? I’ll keep it in mind if I’m really craving Taiwanese food… Food was fairly typical and portions matched the price. It was about the same as Corner 23 and I’m not dying to come back anytime soon.
Bubble Queen is famous for their assorted chocolate bar bubble tea drinks but they also serve bubble waffles as well. That was exactly what I was here for this time. Besides the original flavour, they also have sesame, blueberry, chocolate, matcha with red bean and best of all (in my opinion at least) matcha with mochi!!! I’m not sure about you, but I’m absolutely in love with the chewy texture of mochi. Humans just have a natural urge to chew stuff right? That’s why gum was invented! Anyway, I was super excited to try the matcha mochi bubble waffle. Meanwhile, I also had the Fresh Mango Slush with mango cubes.
I find their drinks very filling and this one was no different! The mango on top tasted very refreshing and the mango flavour in the drink was thick and tasted a little syrup-y but not artificial either. I originally wanted mochi on top but they said they ran out of mochi already =( However, they said the mochi used in the bubble waffle was a different kind so they could still make the matcha mochi bubble waffle.
I convinced my friend to try something new and he got the Pina Colada Bubble Teawith pearls. The consistency was not as thick as my mango slush and it was sweeter than my drink too. The Pina Colada flavour was strong and better than I expected because I was expecting something along the lines of Orange Julius.
Here is the star of the show! I forgot that bubble waffles take longer to make so I was anxiously waiting for it. I’m telling you it was well worth the wait! Although the matcha flavour was mild and almost non-existent, the mochi made up for it. The bubble waffle was completely filled with mochi and it gave it a soft chewy texture and it definitely filled you up a lot faster than regular bubble waffle! This is a must try!
The drinks are pretty expensive but the flavours and variety can’t be found anywhere else! The bubble waffle was also pricier but hey where else can you get mochi in your bubble waffle? You can also read my first post here.
There are so many Taiwanese cafes to choose from now so it had been a while since my last visit to Pearl Castle. We visited the Sexsmith location for a late lunch. I wasn’t that hungry so I decided that the best option would be to order thick toast and a drink. I started liking Taiwanese thick toast a lot after getting one from SoHo Tea Room. I just like my carbs a lot haha x)
The Peach Slushwas well, just peachy to me. Not too icy or overly sweet. I wish bubble tea drinks came in smaller sizes, then it would be cheaper and I wouldn’t have to drink as many calories! Technically this drink can feed two people. Or two people like me who don’t want to drink too much… This costs $4.25 which is already on the lower end of the price range but I guess that’s the norm now right?
Pearl Castle offers a variety of thick toast including a special one topped with almonds but since I’m not really a big almond fan I went with the chocolate fluffy cream thick toast.When I got the toast there was no “fluffy cream” in sight. So I’m not even really sure what that means. The layer of chocolate on top was similar to the topping on a pineapple bun. Sort of crumbly in texture but underneath you could taste the butter that the used on the bread. The piece of toast also wasn’t as big and fluffy as the one from SoHo Tea Room but it was alright as far as toast goes. The chocolate topping wasn’t that chocolatey or sweet either. I expected the chocolate to be like a Nutella spread. Was I expecting too much? It was still enjoyable but maybe I’ll stick with the butter and condensed milk toasts.
My friend had Satay Beef with Noodles and it came with a side of grass jelly pudding. I really liked the flavour of the satay sauce and it made the whole dish quite delicious. I thought the portion was bigger than I expected too. It also helps that the plate was big haha Moreover, it was a bit on the oily side and my friend commented that everything is served with kimchi nowadays! We are not quite sure why…
We also got an appetizer to share. The deep fried tofu was very light and crispy. Despite the fact that it seemed to be seasoned on the outside, they tasted quite plain without the dipping sauce. I can’t quite articulate what kind of sauce it was though… And there was a side of kimchi too. The kimchi had a lot of spicy sauce and it gave the tofu some more flavour too but it wasn’t very good kimchi.
We enjoyed our meal here and they had pretty solid food as usual. The waitress was a little hard to flag down though even though it wasn’t busy.
Bubble Queen is located in Pacific Plaza in Richmond. I’ve never really had a reason to go until I discovered Bubble Queen. They specialize in drinks made with a variety of chocolate bars and they also have bubble waffles with interesting flavours and fillings like mochi. Unfortunately I haven’t tried them yet still but I heard they were pretty good!
Apparently their mango slush drink is very popular and they seem to use a lot of condensed milk too.
I decided on the Coffee Crisp slushand it took me forever to decide haha so typical of me. It was topped with whipped cream and a chunk of Coffee Crisp. I should have taken the Coffee Crisp out because by the time I was finished my drink it was at the bottom and I didn’t want to eat it anymore. The Coffee Crisp flavour was mild but still detectable and rich enough. They are a little bit more expensive too and cost around $5.50 or more if you have add-ons like pearls or mochi etc.
My friend had a matcha milk tea with pearls. It doesn’t look green here in this lighting but it was! It wasn’t too sweet and there was sufficient matcha powder used so it was pretty good.
I also noticed they had some interesting cheesecakes on display but they really didn’t look all that appetizing and usually I get pretty excited about cake! However, I shouldn’t judge a book by it’s cover so maybe next time. The interior is really small so it’s best to grab and go!
I love how the Aberdeen food court has pretty much every type of Asian food you can think of. I stopped by after school to grab some snacks with a friend. It was a bright sunny day and a nice cold drink would be perfect. The only bubble tea place was Estea so I didn’t have much of a choice but I’m not too picky. After staring at the menu indecisively I decided on a peach slush. They offer a selection of standard flavours and some fresh fruit flavours as well.
It didn’t have much peach flavour at all and was mostly just sweet but pleasant enough for $4.
Then I had an intense craving for fries! Since Vera’s happened to be there we went for their yam fries. Located in the corner next to Teppan Kitchen, it didn’t seem to get a lot of business. Their kitchen looked super clean and unused too. We had to wait a while before anyone came to serve us. For $6 this was a nice portion of fries. The fries were skinnier than I liked them to be but rather crispy and not limp. I also noticed that it wasn’t that greasy either since they served it to us in a paper bag, it wasn’t greasy afterwards. However, I thought they were lacking in flavour somehow and the garlic aioli wasn’t spicy either so I was a bit disappointed but it did the job. I’m really not sure how Vera’s manages to stay in business in this super Asian food court though.
I have to say that it is pretty rare for me to visit the same restaurant twice in the same week (or even mere days apart). However, I felt compelled to bring my other friends to Soho Tea Room for another hangout during reading break. We arrived at 6pm and the restaurant was fairly empty. Well it actually was for most of our visit but I think not many people know they’re here yet.
I was tempted to try the honey toast box because I’ve never had one before and I’ve heard a lot about the ones at What8ver Cafe and on the one occasion that I tried to go, they were closed. =( Since Soho Tea Room was having a promotion for their honey toast boxes (see my post here), I convinced my friend to share one with me. There was a warning that said it would take 30 mins before it was ready and we were willing to wait. The promotion was for one honey toast box for $12-14 and it included two bubble tea drinks as well. That’s a steal right?
For my drink I ordered the Tiera-I-Miss-Youwhich had coffee, chocolate, mascarpone cheese and ice cream. Despite the nice description, it was essentially a coffee slush and that was all I could taste so I was a bit disappointed. Maybe there was a hint of chocolate.
My friend ordered the Love Letter which had strawberry, honey, and milk with a touch of fresh yogurt. My friend commented that this was pretty tasteless and when I tried it, there was a very very mild strawberry flavour. There seemed to be too much yogurt and it diminished the strawberry flavour further. It was also overflowing when it arrived. Despite the fancy drink names that enticed us, we should have went with more standard bubble tea drinks from their regular menu or the tried and true stuff!
My friend ordered the lamb currywith came with a good portion of rice (not pictured here). I didn’t try this but he said it was good.
My other friend had the baked salmon on rice with cream sauce and puff pastry. I really liked the puff pastry! It was very buttery and flaky and definitely made the whole dish taste better. Well I might be biased since I liked pastries…
The salmon was a tad on the dry side but it was not bad and the cream sauce made up for it! I usually don’t order baked _______ on rice but I think this one made me change my mind! Or it was the puff pastry part hehe
Finally after more like 40 mins, we got our honey toast box!!! We decided to get the original one with cookies, ice cream, honey and condensed milk. At this point I was pretty hungry and just tore right in.
Inside there are chunks of toasted bread flavoured with honey and it was warm, soft and sweet. It was very delicious and also tasted good with the cold vanilla ice cream as well. I was surprised that the sides of the box tasted good too due to the honey flavour and it was not that hard despite being toasted. There was quite a lot of bread here and we were both really full after and we decided to leave the bottom of the box.
Verdict: While it was indeed a tasty treat, waiting for 30-40mins is not ideal for me so I don’t think I will order this again for a very long time. And if you do, make sure you’re not too hungry before hand and order other snacks while you wait!
My other friend also ordered waffles with ice creamfor dessert. I didn’t try it but they seemed pretty standard looking.
We took the rest of our drinks to go and they gave it to us in the usual bbt cups but this time they had cute bubble tea related cartoons on the lids! I thought it was pretty cute.
I still enjoyed my visit to Soho Tea Room but I think I will stick to their regular entree items and drinks now. I like that their menu has a lot of variety with Eastern and Western dishes as well as noodle soups, snacks and hotpot dishes.