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Leisure Tea & Cafe

With the amount of times of I have been to Leisure, I should have really posted about them years ago. This little Taiwanese owned cafe has been open since… I cannot recall when they have opened. I only know it’s been there forever. This is always my go to place when I am in Richmond, late night and need somewhere to grab some sweets.

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From waffles, to flan, sandwiches, taro/yam rice balls and a wide variety of drinks including tea and coffee.

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One thing it made it so memorable other than the food, is the decor. Rustic old grandma’s home, the moment you walked in reminds you everything about grandma. The vintage tea cups, the wood furniture, lots of patterns from the olden days.

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My favourite thing to get here is their taro rice balls and flan.

The Beach House

The restaurant sits right in front of the water, as I was walking towards the restaurant I can’t help but stop and take photos of the beautiful British Columbia scenic view. Then I knew right away this would be a perfect restaurant for any romantic dinner. We arrived sometime around sunset and it was just beautiful to see the sunset from outside and inside the restaurant. They also has a patio area that is enclosed by glass, which would allow you to enjoy the view fully while having a Sunday brunch.

To start, we ordered a few appetizers to share:
Wok Tossed Calamari – charred poblanos, peppers and red onion
This is a good appetizer, full of flavours and texture. Crispy and chewy, although it says wok tossed but it does still taste like it has been lightly fried already. But I do recommend this calamari and in comparison to many other restaurants, I like how this one is lighter in flavour and not deep fried.

Another great appetizer to share is mussels and clams, they were put in a lime and lemogross broth with mile red curry and coconut. This taste like Asian, something I have eaten in a Malaysian restaurant. Too similar that I thought maybe it is a replica. I am not saying it’s not good, it is good just tasted like a copy cat. So it didn’t feel anything special.

For entrée I ordered Spicy Scallop and Prawn Linguini (warning if you do not eat spicy please do not order this, because as a spicy eater this definitely has a kick to it). Made with fresh herbs, chilies, olive oil, white wine and tomatoe sauce, maybe lots of chilies….😛 When I took my first bite, I really liked the flavour of chilies and tomatoe sauce went together with passion. However the spicy comes after, as you kept going and indulge more the spice comes back up from your throat and literally you can be sweating from this. So I would recommend this dish to those who eats very spicy.

I also get to try my friend’s North Pacific Sablefish made with maple soy glaze served with spinach, shiitake mushrooms and soba noodles in dashi broth. Somehow this dish seems very Asian to me again, but of course almost 50% of the ingredients in this dish is Asian. The noodle is not exactly done properly (it is not that easy to prepare soba noodles perfectly). The sablefish is alright, I have to say a little bit disappointed at this dish. Everything is good, but maybe not for that price.

Overall I think The Beach House has beautiful ambience and gorgeous view, but aside from that I am not sure if their food is worth its price. Food are good, service is decent but maybe I would expect more at that price. However if you want something romantic or a new view, you really need to come take a look yourself.

The Beach House Restaurant & Lounge on Urbanspoon

Snowy Village

I had been a bad blogger. I haven’t done any type of food blogging since 2014. [Insert horrified emoticon.] Ever since Instagram, I just stopped blogging. It was so easy for me to post a photo with a short description and just leave it at that. Sometimes I wonder if people still reads blogs.😛 But hey, I am back again!

Let’s start the new year with Snowy Village.

Patbingsu is shaved ice to a powder form, they are much lighter and dust powder like topped with various sweet toppings such as rice cakes, syrup, soybean powder, red bean, ice cream, etc.

After we have placed our order, we were served with hot ginger lemon tea.Which is very considerate, because often times when I have shaved ice I get so cold. (Like I need to wear my jacket indoor to keep warm kind of cold.) This tea was a life saver, it was also very delicious and not too sweet!

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We have ordered the injeolmi bingsoo. The ice sorbet is made of milk, creamy cold flavour in a bowl topped with traditional Korean rice cake. Also a generous layer of roasted soybean powder (please becareful while eating this powder, do not take too much as they will stick to your mouth and will choke you). With condensed milk drizzled on top, so many textures and depth in just one bowl.

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Soft and fluffy, the bingsoo literally just melts right into your mouth the moment the flaky snow touches your tongue. With a wide variety of toppings you can choose from red bean matcha to original injeolmi (a traditional Korea sweet rice cake, not like mochi).

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With my recent visit to Korea, I can actually compare! But I must say, this franchise is as good as the one I have tried in Haeudae Korea. (Here is a picture below to make you jealous.) 맛있게 드세요!

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Swiss Bakery

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Let’s go have some famous frissant/cronut – this flaky pastry with mouth watering creamy filling is a must try. Although their available hours and flavours are not very stable. I suggest checking out their website or calling before heading in.

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There is a very good reason why this is so popular, the super flaky pastry is just so delicious.

I so far tried three flavours:

Chocolate – Is this a classic flavour? I hope so, and I hope they always offer it. Because I absolutely love it!

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Raspberry Rhubarb – Refreshing light tart flavour from rhubarb balances out the sweet pastry.

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Cafe Au Lait (coffee) – I don’t really know what went wrong here. The pastry is still great, but something about the cream is very odd tasting. It doesn’t taste like coffee, I am not sure what I am actually eating. It was indescribably flavour but not in a good way.

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Also try out their other pastry, they all look very delicious. I had a fresh croissant which was so yum. I believe they do their flaky pastry really well. So anything with flakes, take a bite.😉

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PS: Follow me on Instgram! Instagram

Swiss Bakery on Urbanspoon

Beta 5

Beta 5

This review is kind of late, because I know Beta 5 had came out so long ago. But it’s better late than never. :p

I had been meaning to go get these delicious cream puffs (perhaps their chocolate?), but somehow I always ended up not going or they are not open. Finally one a day off, I decided to finally venture this place.

Beta 5

From the directions from a friend, I really didn’t know about this area. Full of industrial warehouses, Beta 5 is one of the small warehouses within. They do not have seating, I strongly suggest just buying take out and enjoy it at a park with a nice cup of coffee or tea.

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Although Beta 5 was really famous for their chocolate, but it seems like their cream puffs have stolen the thunder. They are available in about 12+ flavours, from yuzu to chocolate and some very interesting flavours. All flavours are great combinations with each other, each telling you a different story. So far I have visited twice and tried out five different kinds of flavours:

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Blueberry Yuzu – Citrus taste of yuzu and blueberry is very dominant, if you are not into any sour flavour items. I wouldn’t try this, however I personally like sour stuff.🙂

Coconut Passionfruit – I never though these two flavours would work so perfectly with each other with over powering each other. I am very impressed by this one.

Salted Caramel – With a chunk of salt sprinkled on top, they make sure you can taste the salt. :p

Raspberry Earl Grey – I can taste the raspberry, but not sure where is the Earl Grey?

Vietnamese Coffee – smooth delicious coffee flavour, with a hint of vanilla. This is a must try for a lot of coffee lovers.

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Overall, these are very good puffs. A little on the sweet side, but the pastry of these puffs are so crispy is hard to resist. I would recommend this place if you are looking for a place to get some good puffs to bring to a party.🙂

BETA5 Chocolates on Urbanspoon

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Cafe de Waraku 和樂屋

When I first found out about this place I was super excited. Because finally you can get Japanese style pasta in Vancouver, they were the first one to open in Richmond (even though they are not opened by Japanese). This restaurant has been here for almost 4 to 5 years as I remember correctly, they used to only sell Japanese style pasta but later become a dessert café as well.

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They have special lunch/dinner combos where you can get a toast, salad/soup, pasta for around $12-16 dollars depending on which pasta you select.

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Their pasta is always cooked to al dente (perfect chewiness). I especially like their light/clear sauce. Usually toss lightly in a frying pan, great alternative to traditional Italian pasta.

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I always get a matcha latte from them because they are never sweetened. (Usually how I like my drinks, you can adjust your own liking.)

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This is a durian cheesecake. It is something that I ALWAYS ALWAYS ALWAYS get when I come here. I would not suggest it if you do not like durian (an exotic and strong aroma fruit from Thailand). But being a durian lover, I simply cannot resist it. Smooth, rich in durian flavour. There is nothing not to love about this cake.

I love this cozy quiet family run business, which I always get great service here. Never too too busy, great chat spot if you need to catch up lots.

Cafe de Waraku 和樂屋 on Urbanspoon

Glenburn Soda Fountain

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I had been venturing around my own neighborhood and found many neighborhood gems to visit! This little soda fountain and ice cream store is a sweet sweet memory from the past. The moment you enter, you will instantly think of the song “Milkshake”. Giant ice cream cone display with shelves filled with retro candies from the 80s.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

 

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(instagram photo :p)

They specialize in fountain soda (which you can pick and choose your flavours just like the old days). They have daily feature flavours and all classic ones to choose from. I had a lavender lemon soda, which I really enjoyed. Light lavender aroma with a kick of citrus and lots of frizz! :3 Reminds me of childhood.Exif_JPEG_PICTURE Exif_JPEG_PICTURE

They also offer local ice cream from Birchwood Dairy and many different types of ice cream treats such as float, egg cream, sundaes, malts and of course milkshake.
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This delicious maple pecan fudge sundae was perfect after dinner and satisfy that sweet tooth craving. Topped with lots of whipping cream!😀 Lots of flavours and texture and warm chocolate syrup at the bottom, oh so yummy.

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This place is adorable, and great for an ice cream break on a hot summer day (days that we had been getting in Vancouver). I would say this is a heavy for many small children and big adults. Lots of fun and memories just sitting in this little shop.

Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery on Urbanspoon

Rose Water

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I have heard of this place mentioned in lots of Facebook posts, so of course I needed to give it a try. This café is almost invisible, I barely noticed it and drove by it as I was searching for the place. It is tucked away and also doesn’t have a stand out entrance. When I walked in, it gave me a  feeling of royalty and glamorous. It is actually a verily small place, not many seats available, but it was able to give off a grand atmosphere.

 

They offer many different types of food but many (many as in 80 to 85%) are rose infused in one way or the other. Few sizes of afternoon tea, a la carte dessert items, various types of floral or fruit tea.

 

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Few of my friends had recommended this Rose Water to me. The moment it was brought to our table, everyone just couldn’t stop saying how beautiful it looks. Yes, iced pink rose water in a clear glass jar. Something probably not many girls can resist. :3  It taste as pretty as it looks, swift of rose fragrant as you sip down this water. Makes you feel like you’re in a rose garden. (But if you are not into flower scented food, I wouldn’t recommend this.)

 

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Cheesecake Waffle – both infused with rose essences. Waffles were served warm on the side, light and crispy. But I really enjoyed the rose infused cheesecake, you can taste light rose scent with the smooth fluffy cheesecake. I probably would just order this next time I return. :p

 

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Savory Tier: Deviled Egg, Salmon Sandwich, Pepper Tuna Open Toast, Egg Salad Sandwich, Cocktail Shrimp

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In general, their savory items are very standard and to me some seems to be quite odd to show up in a high tea set. But they were decent, nothing quite outstanding.

 

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Scone, quiche were served with rose infused (yes again, but I’ve warned you)  jam and whipped butter.

 

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Sweet Tier: Macaron, Strawberry Philly, Honey Jelly, Cream Puff and Panna Cotta

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I especially liked the honey jelly, refreshing jelly with a little bit of whipped cream.

 

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We also ordered a Tiramisu on the side. This one is not rose infused, traditional tiramisu. Traditionally basic and good.


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Fresh Fruit Tea – very basic tea that you can order at many cafes or tea places.

They have quite bit of tea selection and they would explain on the menu what are the benefits of certain type of tea. You can also ask the staff and they can explain to you the flavours of the tea.

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I would recommend this place as they have many options not like many afternoon tea places where you can only order afternoon tea. And if you really like rose scent, this is definitely the place for you as you get to enjoy many items rose essence infused. Of course, everything is just so pretty.

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Please enjoy the tea, your highness.😉

Rose House on Urbanspoon

Ask for Luigi

I walked it by it once (don’t ask why I am in that area), then I was attracted by its “PASTA” sign. I took a peek and realized that at this corner is a small Italian restaurant. So I grabbed a friend and went to try it out.

They are a small and busy place, I tried to call the day before to reserve for a table. They told me their reservations are made WEEKS in advance, but 2/3 of the restaurant is open for walk ins. (But you are expecting 45 mins wait on a Sunday night at 6pm, you can only guess what is it like on Fridays and Saturdays.)

But even the wait is long (you can just walk around Gastown on a good weather day), it is worth your wait. Just pop by early leave your name and do some shopping then your table would be ready.

This crispy polenta sits on top of lightly sour homemade tomatoe sauce. The tart of fresh tomatoe gave a simple yet delicious balance to creamy texture of polenta. It was one tasty appetizer.

Spaghetti, anchovies, garlic & chilies – loaded with crunchy garlic bites and anchovies, yet another very simple but simply delicious dish. Noodle cooked to al-dente, in personal preference was a little salty as you come towards the end. But neverthelesss, good.

Pappardelle & duck ragu – tomatoe based thick pappardelle (probably my faouvrite pasta noodle next to angel’s hair) along with slow braised duck. Sounds like heaven? Because it was.

Olive oil cake – sponge cake made with olive oil sits on top of sweet orange slices. I was absolutely in love with this combination, maybe it is also that I haven’t had any orange flavoured dessert for a while. The light plain sponge cake was a perfect match for the sweet orange slices giving it harmony between sweet and sour.

Chocolate budino – very very rich, quite dense but at the same time short of pudding-ish. If you are a chocolate lover than this is definitely a must. But in comparison I enjoyed the Olive Oil Cake much better. :p

Try it for yourself.🙂

Ask for Luigi on Urbanspoon

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Maji Restaurant 麻吉台式熱炒

This new addition on Alexander Road in Richmond, BC has been creating a lot of noise recently among the locals. I went there two times before I wrote this review, because I wanted to try out a little bit more dishes before I say anything. According to a few Taiwanese friends of mine, their food is very authentic.

Here are some of the dishes that I get to try (some I do not have photos because I was seated in a very dark area.).

Ginger Chicken – chicken leg stir fried with ginger sauce and green onions

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First thing my friends noticed was that, wow that’s a lot of ginger. Which got me excited for a moment, because I was trying to imagine in my head how gingery it will taste like. But it didn’t. It tasted like soy sauce, lots and lots of ginger but none of the flavour came out onto the chicken. I can see it but cannot taste it.

Hakka-Style Pork and Squid – shredded pork belly stir fried with squid, bean curd, dried shrimps and chili

Spicy stir fry of thinly cut squid and pork shreds along with crispy dried shrimps. I liked this dish, very flavourful and full of different types of textures all in one dish. This is quite a spicy dish, I would suggest you ask for mild if you cannot handle spicy.

Shrimps with Egg – shrimps stir fried with egg and green onions

This dish was very interesting, because when I first saw it sit down on the table I immediately thought “Where is the egg?” I see lots of shrimps, then I realized it was deep fried bits of egg stir fried with the shrimp. I personally liked this dish because it gave crunchy texture to the shrimps and no slimy egg-sauce like most places would do.

Stir Fried Vegetable – season vegetable with garlic

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Pi-Egg Tofu – silken tofu drizzled with thick soy sauce, sprinkled with green onion and dried pork floss

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This is a very classic and easy Taiwanese family dish. I would recommend it if you have never had such dish anywhere else, it is one of my favourite Taiwanese homemade dish. I often make this at home when I am feeling lazy and a perfect summer dish.🙂

Chinese Yam Chicken Soup – clear broth with fermented glutinous rice, Chinese yam, chicken leg, chicken date, goji berries and mushrooms

This soups sounds so healthy for your body that I really had to order it. Soup was not too salty and has light aroma of fermented rice. Chinese yam had been cooked so well it tasted like mash potatoe.

San-pei Squid – squid stir-fried with San-Pei sauce; tossed with basil

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If you have tired San-Pei Chicken (which means three sauce chicken) it pretty much taste exactly the same instead of chicken they used squid. I need to give prompts to the squid, they were tender and chewy at the same time. Perfectly cooked to the right tenderness.

Golden Fried Rice – friend rice with diced ham and corn

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It is basically what it is, very simple but instead of bowls of plain rice we got fried rice instead.

Overall, I have to say their stir fries are generally good but I noticed they are all very oily and full of MSG? I became super thirsty while I was having these dishes (both times I was there). But some dishes are great ideas and they are perfect with a few beer. A very traditional way of eating these dishes at late night in Taiwan.

Maji Restaurant 麻吉台式熱炒 on Urbanspoon