Disclaimer: All food was complimentary but opinions are my own
Pearl Castle is one of my favorite Taiwanese cafes and I used to come here a lot before some of the newer Taiwanese cafes popped up. Even my parents like it! I was invited to a menu tasting by ChineseBites with Sophia (Every Day Is a Food Day) so I was excited to try some new things and old favourites. We ordered 4 appies, 4 drinks and 4 entrees! It was enough to feed another three people… Read more
If you haven’t heard already, Corner 23 opened a new restaurant called Uncle Lu in Continental Square in Richmond. It’s right in the corner so it might be easy to miss. My parents took me here for lunch on the weekend and at the entrance, there is a list where you can put down your name. It was quite empty when we got there around 1pm so we didn’t need the list. The ceiling is decorated with a lot of Chinese lanterns.
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.
To celebrate the beginning of reading break (woot!), my friend and I headed to the new Soho Tea Room. We used to live near Flo and were quite disappointed that they closed down. However, the menu for Soho Tea Room looked promising and they also had honey toast boxes too! They are currently doing a promo for honey toast boxes in light of Valentine’s day. For the price of $12-14, you can get a toast box and two drinks as well! Offer ends Feb. 21! I love the cute poster.
Unfortunately this just didn’t seem appropriate for lunch so we passed on it. =( The Tiera-I-Miss-You seems like a good drink though!
Soho Tea Room is located on Cambie and 19th right by Cafe Gloucester and within walking distance of the King Edward skytrain station. The interior was very bright and inviting and they had specials written up on the wall in chalk. When we arrived at 12pm, there were only about three tables occupied.
My friend loves noodle soup combos so he wanted to compare the soup combos here with Deer Garden . He ordered a Malay Satay soup base with udon, spam and beef brisket. The soup base was flavourful but not too spicy and there were a variety of veggies in it including mushrooms, tomato, bean curd and napa cabbage (siu choy). This cost $8 and does not come with a drink. Additional side dishes are available for $2. His verdict was that he liked Deer Garden better and also it is a better deal since it comes with a drink (he’s addicted to Deer Garden so he might be biased). The portions were approximately the same size and overall it was still an enjoyable option for fish soup noodles. Now that I’m looking at their menu again, it does say that DIY fish noodle soups are part of the lunch special so drinks should be included?
I ordered a teriyaki chicken fried rice which came with a creamy vegetable soup. It was a bit too thick which became more evident as it cooled down which made it really unappetizing afterwards. It had very small pieces of carrot, celery and potato in it.
My usual order of cold milk tea. Very standard and refreshing.
I ordered a teriyaki chicken fried rice but they got my order wrong so I ended up with a Thai style fried rice. I was trying to order something different because I frequently order the Thai style fried rice but alas I was meant to be with my Thai style fried rice. I didn’t want to wait for them to make me a new order so I just ate it anyway. It was very evident that this was not teriyaki chicken fried rice due to the sweetness of the dish and the Thai chili sauce used. This had green and red peppers, egg, onions and small chunks of chicken. I found the portion to be quite big as well even though you can’t tell from this picture. The sweetness of the rice was very addicting and I ate almost all of it! Perhaps they could tone down the sweetness though because it might be overdone for other people and there were no other flavours in the dish.
Overall I was very satisfied with my visit here and will definitely come back and try their other offerings (honey toast box!). I did hear another table complain to the server that their noodles were too salty though. Most of their menu items are approximately $8-12 which is very reasonable especially since the portions are quite big and the lunch specials are a good deal too. They also have daily specials if you follow them on Twitter.
After some unexpected car problems and my plans foiled once again… we ended up at Pearl Castle. I was surprised that there were still so many people there at 10pm and more people came in after us. This was at the Continental Square location. I love how they have a lot of restaurants there now. Our first choice was going to be Deer Garden but they had a line up too.
Seafood fried udon. This came with some kimchi and a lot of veggies. The kimchi seemed kind of random though.
Black pepper chicken on rice. There is chicken underneath that pile of veggies!!! It was like deep fried chicken thigh but covered in sauce. I was expecting a less watery sauce but it definitely had a lot of black pepper flavour to it! The chicken was also very tender but the crispy skin didn’t look very appetizing now that it was drenched in sauce. The portion was pretty big too but it was mostly veggies and very filling.
Tomato with beef brisket.
Apple curry with pork chop.
My matcha with mocha bbt! I was surprised that the top was covered with mini marshmallows but it was a nice touch. There might have been too much mocha flavour though since I didn’t taste the matcha this time.
Floating Ice. This didn’t really have much flavour to it but I think it was suppose to be peach.
This was the Young Girl’s Dream. It looked really nice and we agreed this was the best drink. Not quite sure what was in it but there was soda and grenadine?
We got my friend a cookie card from Mrs. Fields cookies. =) We were too full to eat it after though so he just took it home. We could smell the sweetness from it though! This was a 7″ milk chocolate chip cookie.
The food was good and reasonably priced and their drinks are getting fancy! No wonder there’s a line up. For some reason I felt that this one was better than the one at Richmond Centre but I’ll have to come back again sometime to confirm that!
Ah another visit to Beefy Beef Noodle. This was probably the latest “lunch” I’ve ever had at 3pm… but there were still people eating there so it wasn’t too awkward. I hate eating in an empty restaurant.
Egg and beef on rice with broccoli and eggplant? as side dishes. Hmm I think there are usually 3 side dishes though not sure what happened today. Or maybe that’s just at some other Taiwanese places. Did not try this but apparently it was good. It looks too wet for me though haha
I had the kimchi and beef fried rice. I liked this because it wasn’t too spicy. I had one at Pearl Castle before and it was SUPER SPICY and I like spicy food but I could only eat like half of it :S However there wasn’t much kimchi in it either. With all the appetizers we ordered I only managed to eat half of it though.
We decided to get some appetizers as well. We’ve never tried the deep fried tofu before and I didn’t really like it. The tofu was fine but the sauce that came with it didn’t really compliment the tofu. The sauce was too thick and salty and I can’t really say what sauce it was but there might have been some black bean in it? I’d rather have it with just salt and pepper. Like the chicken nuggets =D
Siu Long Bao! These were quite well done, not as good as the kind from Shanghainese restaurants but they still had some juice in it. The dumpling skin was probably a bit thicker than usual though but it’s ok maybe it’s Taiwanese style xD
Yay my favorite beef and green onion pancake rolls ^^ There was ample filling and the pancake park was crispy but still soft =)
Great lunch and convenient location too. =)
Dropped by Well Tea after two exciting games of lazer tag! It’s buy one game for $8.25 and get one free on Wednesdays! I forgot how much running around there was to do and it was really hot inside! So we refreshed ourselves with some bbt afterwards and I got an ice plate.
This cost about $4.50 and you have a choice of three toppings so I chose the green mango, coconut jelly and pearls. They also offered toppings like tapioca noodles (no idea what those are), condensed milk, grass jelly and chocolate syrup. For an extra $0.75 cents you can add another topping. I like sour things so I really liked the green mango although I’m not quite sure what’s in it since it’s not fresh obviously. It was in a gooey syrup but it went well with the ice. Too bad the ice isn’t flavoured like at Frapped Bliss though! They have the best shaved ice =) I was happy that there was a generous portion of toppings though.
This was my friend’s honey lemon green tea with coconut jelly (say hi to Totoro in the back!). There was a slight bitter after taste from the tea I think so I didn’t really like it that much and I usually go for slushes anyway.
Anyway Well Tea is a nice hang out place for drinks along with all the other bbt cafes out there in Richmond.