Boba Boy (Kerrisdale)

01.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Disclosure: All food and beverages were complimentary as part of a media event, but all opinions are my own.

Boba Boy opened up their Kerrisdale location earlier this year and also recently opened one in Burnaby. The boba shop started back in Ontario and has expanded to Vancouver. They are known for their freshly made tapioca balls.

 

04.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The Kerrisdale location has a few two seaters up front with more seating in the back for larger groups. The space is modern and clean and lit with natural light.

 

03.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Who can resist the cute logo of the Boba Boy! Guess where the funny hair style comes from? Of course, it is inspired by the tapioca balls!

02.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

The shop has a variety of drinks from smoothies, teas, milk teas, and fruit teas. As for their freshly made tapioca balls, you can choose from original, taro, matcha or sesame. The original balls are clear instead of black.

 

 

07.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Taro Smoothie with Matcha Pearls

The first drink I tried was the Taro Smoothie with Matcha Pearls. The smoothie was creamy but I’m pretty sure the taro was powder as the colour was too purple. As for the tapioca pearls, they are quite different from the ones from other chains because they are handmade. The pearls are more chewy and can get a bit tough if they sit in the cold drink for too long. They also stick together more but I actually don’t mind them knowing that they are hand made. They probably don’t have as many additives or preservatives so it’s much healthier. The matcha flavour is also quite strong and has a bit of a bitter taste but I like that strong tea taste.

 

06.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

Strawberry Milk with Pearls

T got the Strawberry Milk with original pearls. How pretty is this! I didn’t get a chance to try this one though.

 

05.jpg by SophiaHo on 500px.com

They also offer two containers – one is a plastic one-time use cup and the second is a reusable bottle. You are required to pay an extra $2 for the bottle, but if you bring it back, you get a discount on your bubble tea. Not sure how often you’ll remember to bring the bottle though as I usually get bubble tea spontaneously, so not sure if the bottle is that worth it. But this is great if you need to carry your bubble tea around.

Overall, the drinks itself are nothing too special compared to other bubble tea chains. However, their tapioca balls which are hand made is what sets them apart. I think the chewiness is a personal preference since some people may find them on the harder side. But, overall, still a very unique feature and great that they are healthier than the usual pre-packaged tapioca.

Pros:
– Handmade flavoured tapioca balls are a unique feature

Cons:
– Some people may find the tapioca balls to be chewier than usual

Price Range: $5-10 per person

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 3.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: Paid street parking Overall: 3.5

 

Boba Boy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Bubble Waffle Cafe – ChineseBites Media Event

NOTE: All food and beverages were complimentary, but all opinions are my own.

Bubble Waffle opened a sit-in location in Kerrisdale and ChineseBites invited us to a media tasting.

The interior is rustic and the owner said he wanted to give a HK style feel to it. The prices here are a little higher than the food court stalls, but they are still affordable.

They even have a mural painted on the wall showcasing Hong Kong.

I sat with Instagrammers, Tina, Sharon, and Elaine. First up, we got to sample all the different soup bases. This was great since there are a few soups that I wouldn’t normally order, like the really spicy ones.

We then got to sample a selection of their Bubble Waffles.

They have a variety of flavours here, including original, chocolate, Oreo, cheesecake, matcha and cinnamon. These were okay, but not crispy enough.

My favourite was still the original although I found the cheesecake flavour surprisingly quite good. The cinnamon flavour was probably my least favourite.

Next up were some Taiwanese snacks. The Taiwanese Sausages were quite a hit at our table. They are a mix of sweet and savoury and have a firm texture.

My favourite snack was the Deep Fried Stinky Tofu. The outside was very crispy and the inside was piping hot. Along with the sweet and spicy sauce, this was delicious. A miss for some because of the fermented smell.

The Fish Siu Mai was quite typical and I found that it was soaked in too much soy sauce. I kind of wished it had a chili sauce on the side.

I enjoyed the Takoyaki quite a lot as these were filled with a generous amount of octopus bits and the inside wasn’t doughy like some I’ve tried.

The Taiwanese Chicken Nuggets were a hit as they were crispy with the chicken itself very moist. I loved the salt and pepper flavouring.

The Fried Shrimp Balls were a beautiful orange colour but I found them to be slightly bland. It needed a sauce to go with it.

Overall, Bubble Waffle Cafe has a great variety of snacks which you can order on its own or pay extra to add on as a side with your noodles.

The drinks came along and I got the HK Style Iced Milk Tea. Their milk teas are actually made with a blend of 5 different Sri Lankan teas. The tea also goes through a filter and is pulled, a common way of making milk teas in Hong Kong. Very silky smooth as a result.

Finally our noodles which we got to customize arrived! E got the Laksa soup base which is one of my usual orders. The soup is flavourful without being too spicy.

T got the Satay soup base which again is very flavourful. It almost tastes like you’re having hot pot!

For myself, I chose the Chiu Chow Style Minced Pork Fish Soup along with rice noodle, sliced beef, sliced beef brisket, fried shrimp ball and fish ball with shrimp. All noodles come with cabbage and bean curd. For some reason, my soup also came with corn.

Overall, Bubble Waffle is great when you’re craving hot noodles in soup on a rainy day. I also love the ability to customize everything from the soup to the toppings. You’ll be very full by the end of your meal for sure with the large portion sizes and affordable prices. A nice option to be able to eat at a location with a nicer ambiance compared to the food court now.

Bubble Waffle Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bufala – Dine Out Vancouver 2016

For my last Dine Out Vancouver Festival of 2016, I checked out Bufala in Kerrisdale with MH and MW. They offered a lunch menu for $20 for two courses or $25 for three courses. Since the lunch price is cheaper than dinner for the same menu items, it was a better deal to visit at lunch.

They didn’t take reservations for Dine Out, but the restaurant wasn’t super busy on a Saturday, so we got a seat right away.

We were able to order off their regular menu during the festival as well. However, their dine out menu pizzas ranged from $14-17 anyways, so the dine out menu was a pretty good deal. We ended up being able to try all their dine out menu items since we had three people.

They don’t use a wood oven here, but they still make the pizzas fresh. Love the fun and bright decor in here.

Beef Carpaccio

The first appetizer was the Beef Carpaccio which were topped with fennel and salted kohlrabi, a type of turnip cabbage. It was also drizzled with an anchovy and black olive aioli. I found it slightly on the saltier side and the beef stuck together a lot for some reason. It was alright.

Meatballs

Their famous Meatballs were my favourite appetizer. It came with ricotta cheese, basil leaves, and some bread to soak up the tasty homemade tomato sauce. These were large meatballs but very moist! The sauce was also very flavourful with the right amount of acidity.

Kale Caesar Salad

The Kale Caesar Salad was also very delicious with the green and purple kale seasoned with anchovy and topped with Parmigiano Reggiano. It was also topped with a couple of slices of crispy bacon and a salt-cured egg yolk. The kale was fresh and crispy and I loved the use of the egg yolk.

Before our pizzas arrived, the server brought us three oils to use along with our pizza. This included the herb, parm, and chili oil. We were told to drizzle some on our plate and dip our pizza into it rather than drizzling straight onto our pizza. However, we found that the oils were not very strong in flavour. The herb oil was the only one that we could really taste the rosemary. I ended up eating the pizza on its own since it was already very flavourful.

Margherita Pizza

The first pizza we had was the classic Margherita Pizza. A beautiful marinara sauce topped with basil and fior di latte. Fior di latte is made of cow’s milk rather than water buffalo which is more costly. However, the mozzarella was still extremely stringy and I enjoyed the cheese very much.

Pesto & Ricotta Pizza Basil Pesto

Next up was the Pesto & Ricotta Pizza Basil Pesto of which we added an additional $5 to add prosciutto. In addition, the pizza was topped with fresh ricotta, pine nuts, Grana Padano cheese, and pesto. Loved the flavours of this pizza and I think the salty prosciutto really added flavour to it.

Finocchiona

The last pizza was the Finocchiona. This had a marinara sauce with fennel sausage, Castelvetrano olives, carmelized onions, provolone cheese and basil leaves. This is perfect for those who are meat lovers.

Classic Affogato

The Classic Affogato featured a vanilla bean gelato soaked in a single origin espresso. You can never go wrong with an affogato for dessert!

Salted Caramel Budino

I tried the Salted Caramel Budino which came in a jar. This was topped with a vanilla bean Mascarpone cream and Maldon sea salt. The budino was smooth and not overly sweet.

Overall, we were quite pleased with Bufala. The pizzas are thin crusted, fluffy, and crispy. Large portions and their meatballs and kale salad are delicious! Service was pretty friendly with our server extremely proud of the dishes.

Pros:
– Great pizza dough and flavours
– Meatballs and Caesar Kale Salad are flavourful

Cons:
– Some of their gourmet pizzas are a bit pricey on the regular menu

Price Range: $25/person for DOVF lunch menu

1: Terrible 2: Poor 3: Average 4: Good 5: Excellent

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: 3.5 Parking: 3 Overall: 4

Bufala Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ajisai Sushi Bar 味彩

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Ajisai Sushi Bar is located in a little nook in one of Kerrisdale’s walkways. It’s pretty hidden, so you won’t notice it unless you actually walk down this alley. Offering a menu of authentic Japanese sushi, it’s a fairly small restaurant and is famous for the line ups. Luckily, when we arrived for dinner, it was only a 15 minute wait, which really isn’t too bad. Definitely not a great place for large groups though.

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The seating is really just bar seats, with a line in front of the sushi chefs, and the other seatings against the window.

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Tamago Nigiri

K and I started off with the Tamago Nigiri. The colour wasn’t the bright yellow ones you find at cheap restaurants, which is always a good sign. It was slightly sweet and there were some other ingredients inside, which made it very flavourful. I liked how you could actually feel the layered texture when you chewed on it.

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Scallop, Red Tuna, Toro, Masago with Quail Egg, Negitoro, Baby Yellowtail

These were J’s selections. I’m not exactly sure which roll he got, so I won’t comment on that. However, the baby yellowtail was a special on the menu and he said was very good! He was ultimately satisfied with his plate.

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Natto Negitoro Roll, Tuna, Negitoro, Unagi

K’s selections included the Natto Negitoro Roll, which I don’t normally see in many menus. I find that their menu has many half/half rolls, which is quite interesting. Her unagi was also quite a large piece!

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Scallop, Chopped Scallop, Negitoro Roll

As for myself, I chose some nigiris and a maki roll. The Negitoro Roll was really good! It was filled with a good amount of negitoro and I liked how there was wasabi already in it. My Scallop Nigiri was very fresh and came with a piece of seaweed underneath which I found interesting. As for my Chopped Scallop Nigiri, it was one of the better ones I’ve had. The scallops were fresh and there wasn’t an overload of mayo.

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Ika, Red Tuna

I also ordered the Ika Nigiri, which was very tender and came with a leaf underneath to bring it a minty flavour. My Red Tuna Nigiri was okay. I wish it was more tender. This one didn’t seem as fresh as the rest.

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Overall, Ajisai is a great place to go for good quality authentic Japanese sushi. However, the prices are a little steep, so it’s not a place to go crazy unless you have a huge budget. Their menu has a lot more variety compared to say Sushi Hachi. You’ll find non-authentic rolls here as well, so I guess that’s why it’s so popular. Be ready for a wait here!

Ajisai Sushi Bar 味彩 on Urbanspoon

Adonia Tea House

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J and I finally met up to have some girl catch up time and we woke up early to go brunch. Well not that early, but we got to Vancouver around 11 and when we got to Jethro’s Fine Grub, we were told we would have to wait 40 minutes. The place was really tiny and 40 minutes is usually an okay wait for me, but I had other plans after. So we decided to go elsewhere. J suggested Adonia, and we called to make sure we could get a seat, and off we went.

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I love how the chinaware is super girly at Adonia. All the floral and golden details make you feel like you’re at an actual tea party!

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Jasmine Green Tea (back) and Mango Passion Fruit Green Tea (front)

Their teapots however, were not as girly as I had imagined them to be. For myself, I got the Mango Passion Fruit Green Tea. My mini afternoon tea set came with a choice of tea, so I chose this fruity green tea. I usually like floral teas, but this fruity tea was a nice change. A hint of sour and sweet, but not overwhelming.

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Seafood Chowder – Crowded with fresh seafood

J got the Seafood Chowder, but I never tried it. It looked appealing though, with an actual large piece of shrimp in it.

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Smoked Salmon – Gourmet sandwich with smoked wild sockeye salmon, dill cream cheese, sweet red onion and capers on foccacia bread. Served with a side salad.

For her entree, J got the Smoked Salmon Sandwich. I was so tempted to get this too! It looked delicious with loads of smoked salmon on the foccacia bread, topped with onions and capers.

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Mini Afternoon Tea – A sampling of our afternoon tea. It includes 7 pieces of mini sweets and savories accompanied by your choice of tea.

For myself, I got the Mini Afternoon Tea. This was for $18 and included your choice of tea, so an average price for high tea. They also offer just an afternoon tea, which is their deluxe version and I’m guessing includes much more. That one, however, is $27.

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Ham and Cheese Sandwich, Cucumber Sandwich, Egg Sandwich, Berry Scone with Devon Cream and Raspberry Jam

On the bottom tier, we have our savories. The sandwiches were all very basic sandwiches, but they were presented nicely and delicious! Simple ingredients, but executed right! The scone had berries in it and top with sugar on the top. It wasn’t my favourite, as I found it a bit too dry, but scones aren’t my favourite.

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Brownie, Coconut Lemon Pie, Fruit Tart

The top tier was filled with 3 desserts. I’m always excited to try the dessert section! I didn’t find them any special though. They were all decent, but nothing made me go wow! I did enjoy the Fruit Tart though, but I think it was because of  how nicely it was presented. Each piece of fruit, although small, was sliced nicely so it would all fit on the tart.

Overall, Adonia was average. I don’t think it was anything amazing and the service wasn’t exactly the best either. Also, you don’t know what the savouries and sweets are before hand. So you really just get a surprise, whereas many other high tea houses have a menu listing the different items that you will get.

Adonia Tea House on Urbanspoon

Faubourg

Cakes

Savouries

Types of Teas

Vert Provence – A grand green tea with flowery aroma combined with tastes of Provence, red and black fruits plus sweet lavender

3 sets of Purple Afternoon Tea – choice of 2 sandwiches, 2 pastries, and a scone with cream and jam, and choice of tea

My Purple Afternoon Tea Set! – Mini Opera, Chocolate Mousse, Smoked Salmon and Wasabi Cream Sandwich, Cucumber, Roast Beef, and Corriander Cream Sandwich, Scone with Cream and Mandarin Orange Jam

Went to Faubourg a little late in the afternoon, so most of their pastries and savoury  items were already all sold out. We decided to have high tea, and they had a smaller set called the Purple Afternoon Tea for $16. We got to choose 2 sandwiches and 2 pastries, and it came with a scone and choice of tea. I have to say that service was quite terrible. We were served by a rude man who wasn’t very polite when we asked questions about the teas. He almost seemed impatient and didn’t want to serve us. Funny, since he was dressed in a dress shirt and all, and looked almost like a manager. He might’ve been, actually, but I don’t know. Food on the other hand was good, and everything was presented nicely. I extremely liked the Chocolate Mousse and the Smoked Salmon Roll. They also have another afternoon set for a slightly higher price, but it includes all the different pastries and sandwiches. I guess you have to go earlier if you want to try their full size pastries!

Faubourg on Urbanspoon

Adonia Teahouse

 Mini Afternoon Tea

I love the feeling of going to high tea. It’s like going back to childhood memories where you dressed up and had tea parties!  Afternoon tea is a great choice to get together with your bestie or a few girls to catch up and indulge in some tasty mini sweets and savouries, while taking a sip from your favourite tea. I’ve gone to both the Urban Tea Merchant and Secret Garden, but Adonia is the place where you will feel as though you are in a fairytale. Their decor is beyond exquisite and the chinaware are gorgeous with floral prints. Oh so girly! For just $17 a person, you can enjoy a Mini Afternoon Tea, which includes 7 pieces of mini sweets and savories accompanied by your choice of tea. If you want a larger assortment, then you can go for their Afternoon Tea f or $27 a person. Both are priced at a reasonable price, and the food is delicious!

Adonia Tea House on Urbanspoon

Secret Garden

Cute jacket for the teapots!

High Tea

Creamy Earl Grey – Bergamot and Vanilla

Ever wondered what it would be like to relive the childhood tea parties but as an adult? Well you can do so at Secret Garden located in the Kerrisdale neighbourhood! With pretty decor and cute little chinaware, Secret Garden offers a variety of tea time snacks and of course tea! My friends and I went for high tea, and by making a reservation beforehand, you have a preset variety of dainty sandwiches, scones, cakes, and desserts ready for you. The portions are split up for the number of people having high tea and is quite filling even though they are dainty! High Tea is around $27 a person. I also chose a Creamy Earl Grey and mixed with milk and sugar, it tasted wonderful! Now call your girlfriends up and have some tea time fun!

Check out their site for more info: www.secretgardentea.com

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