Ya Kun Kaya Toast, National Museum of Singapore, and Singapore River Cruise

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The next morning, we decided to go to 313@Somerset, which is a shopping mall along Orchard Road. Our goal was to have our favourite kaya toast at Ya Kun Kaya Toast. There are outlets all across Singapore so be sure to try it whenever you see one. However, since we were planing to walk around the Orchard area after, this was a great spot for us. If you are deciding between Toast Box or Ya Kun, I highly suggest Ya Kun as the toast tastes much better! I started with a Hot Tea which comes with my set.

 

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Since it wasn’t our first time here, S decided to try the Kaya Peanut Toast. It is essentially the kaya toast but with peanut butter as well. If you haven’t had kaya before, it is sort of like a coconut spread. It is typically made of sugar, coconut milk and eggs, pandan, and sometimes margarine or butter. It is a common breakfast dish for Singaporeans or Malaysians. S also got a Chocolate Frosty to quench his thirst.

 

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For myself, I got the traditional Kaya Toast with Butter. Kaya toast is not exactly healthy as the kaya often comes with slabs of butter, but it tastes amazing! Guilty pleasures! The value sets also come with soft boiled eggs which you whisk together with some soy sauce and pepper. You can dip your toast into the egg mixture for a different experience!

 

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After brunch, we walked around Orchard Road and checked out some fancy department stores. We decided to check out the Singapore Visitor Centre which I suggest stopping by if you’re in the area. You can get all the maps you need and purchase any tourist tickets you’re looking for. They also have a small souvenir shop with some cute Singaporean items. On the second floor, they have an exhibition which changes and they have free tours  at 10:30 am, 11:30 am, and 4pm based on first come first serve. For example, when we went, it was close to mid-autumn festival, so they were actually teaching visitors how to make mooncakes! Unfortunately we just missed the start time!

 

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Right next to the Singapore Visitor Centre on Orchard Road is Emerald Hill, a neighbourhood which was a former home to many members of the city-state’s wealthy Peranakan community. The architecture here brings you back to the past and I especially loved the colourful buildings. Some of them are now bars so you can grab a quick drink here as well. Otherwise, it’s a nice detour from the modernized Orchard Road which doesn’t take too long.

 

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Our next stop was the National Museum of Singapore. For whatever reason, we decided we could walk 20 minutes from along Orchard Road to the museum. But it got confusing and after being lost for a while, we finally found the beautiful white building! The museum is just off the Fort Canning Park, so you can also quickly check that out. During our stay in Singapore this time, we used KLOOK to buy almost all our admission tickets. You download the app and it’s so quick and easy to use. For example, for the museum tickets, they normally go for $15SGD but we were able to get a $1SGD discount on KLOOK. It doesn’t seem much but it adds up and some of the other attractions are more heavily discounted. Plus, all you do is show them the QR code and oftentimes you can bypass the lineup.

 

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Anyways, we had a really good time at the National Museum of Singapore. Given I did not know much of the history, I found the museum to be extremely informative and well laid out. The exhibits were entertaining and dates back from 1887 to present day. You can definitely spend a couple of hours here and I have to add the exterior and interior is visually appealing! Great for those who want to get some Instagram pictures! They also had a Glass Rotunda which featured a cool interactive forest display.

 

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We also wandered over to Istana Park where we found the Festival Arch. Opposite to this is The Istana which is the official residence and office of the President of Singapore. Unfortunately, we are not allowed to visit the Istana Grounds although it is actually open to the public five days a year on special holidays.

 

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After lots of walking, we headed back towards Orchard Road to ION, a shopping mall. We were getting tired and hungry, so we decided to look around for food. We decided to settle on Hong Kong Wonton Noodle 香港雲吞面. I got the Prawn Wonton Noodle and it was actually pretty good. Noodles were chewy and broth was flavourful.

 

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We then decided to take the bus to the Clarke Quay area. After getting off the bus, we were greeted by the colourful MICA Building, also known as the Old Hill Street Police Station. There are 927 windows with colourful shutters!

 

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As we walked toward the water, you’ll find the famous Clarke Quay signage. This riverside district has some shopping, but it is more famous for the night clubs and night life along the water. Some of these restaurants/pubs are floating on water!

 

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We came to Clarke Quay mainly because I wanted to go on the Singapore River Cruise. Again, we purchased this through KLOOK because it is slightly discounted but mainly because you can cut the line to purchase tickets and it also seemed like we were able to get into a fast track line. We simply showed them our QR code and we were on the boat in no time. I suggest going on this cruise in the evening because the night lights in Singapore are very enjoyable.

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The boat is quite nice with seating outside as well as covered seating.

 

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Seating is really just benches but it is very clean. I suggest sitting outside to take advantage of the 360 view.

 

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The boat ride is roughly 40 minutes and departs every 30 minutes. The last boat departs at 10:30pm. The boat will stop by different spots such as Fullerton, Merlion Park, and the Esplanade. You can choose to disembark at the spots, but you won’t be able to get back on. I suggest just staying on to enjoy the full ride. I also liked how they had English audio playing with some basic commentary of what you were seeing. This made it informative if you weren’t sure what the buildings were.

 

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This is a great activity if you’re only in Singapore for a few days as you can see all the signature spots in just under an hour. I highly recommend this! On KLOOK, an adult ticket costs USD$17.

 

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After we enjoyed the cruise, we headed back to the Clarke Quay area to walk around the pubs. There are many Western style pubs in this area, but keep in mind that alcohol in Singapore is quite pricey!

 

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We decided not to indulge in the pricey alcohol, but instead on some dessert. Ended our night with some hazelnut cake and rested our feet before heading home!

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The Parkside Brewery

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During my visit to Port Moody for sushi, the guys wanted to check out some of the breweries since there is a street filled with them. We decided to check out Parkside Brewery which has both a patio and indoor seating.

 

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Parkside has their own beers but also features a few guest taps which is nice. They not only list the alcohol content but also the IBU or International Bitterness Units scale which I much appreciated since I don’t like bitter beers. You first choose and pay for your beers and then you can bring your beers to any open seating you find.

 

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Dusk Pale Ale, Riot Brewing Dark Mild (Guest Tap), Beauregarde Blueberry Wit, Skate or Dye Mango ISA (left to right)

I decided to share a Park Bench Flight with M since I only wanted to have two beers. The two beers I tried were both fruity and I especially enjoyed the Skate or Dye Mango ISA as it had a passionfruit aftertaste. I felt that the Blueberry Wit didn’t have enough blueberry flavour compared to the mango ISA. For $8 a flight, the price was quite comparable to the other breweries in the area. I loved how they were put on a little wooden bench!

 

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The cool thing about the area is that most of the breweries have teamed up with food trucks to offer food to pair along with the beers. At the Parkside Brewery, they had The Frying Pan dishing up their signature fried chicken sandwiches, but since we were heading to sushi after, we decided to check out The Wandering Mollusk instead. They were serving up some oysters and I wish we had some wine to go with these! Love the idea of collaborating with food trucks!

Pros:
– Great variety of beers including guest taps

Cons:
– Can get quite busy so seating can be difficult to find for larger groups

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking at nearby streets Overall: 3.5

 

Parkside Brewery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Sen Pad Thai

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I’ve heard many great things about Sen Pad Thai, which is part of the large group of restaurants Chef Angus An runs. The shop used to be inside The Loft at Granville Island, but recently moved to The Granville Island Public Market where the rest of the restaurants are. It is more of a food court set up to be honest, where you order and pay up front first and find your own seat in the area or take out. I liked how they give you a buzzer so you can wander around until it buzzes which means your food is ready.

 

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The shop offers a variety of noodles, curries, and a few appetizers. The prices are roughly all $12- $15 which is a bit pricey given you’re eating in a food court setting. However, we were pleasantly surprised that the portions were pretty reasonable given the price.

 

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Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic

We started off sharing the Crispy Wings with Thai Garlic which were served with a tamarind sauce. The wings were rather small in size but they were very crispy with the inside moist. I enjoyed the flavours and especially when dipped in the tamarind sauce which was a bit acidic and sweet.

 

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Pad Thai

I heard great things about the Pad Thai so had to give this a try. The pad thai was served with tamarind, tofu and egg. The portion of this dish was huge! I kept eating and it didn’t end! This is great to be shared between two if you’re going to have an appetizer as well.

 

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The noodles were chewy and not overly dressed in sauce. It was quite flavourful but I would’ve liked it to have a bit of a kick. Seems like they do not add any spice unless you ask or you can add their homemade chili sauces which is on the side when you pick up your order.

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Pad Siew Beef

My favourite dish we tried was the Pad Siew Beef which featured fresh rice sheet noodles stir-fried with beef, gai lan and egg. This dish had so much “wok-hay” which is hard to find. The noodles were also a new type of noodles I’ve never tried before. They were translucent and wide and very chewy. The beef was tender and I loved the gai lan which added a bit of crunch. A must try if you’d like to try something new.

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Overall, we really enjoyed the dishes at Sen Pad Thai. They have great wok flavour and the portions are very generous for the price. You’ll have to scout around the market place for a seat during peak hours though!

Pros:
– Dishes have great flavour and “wok hay”

Cons:
– A bit pricey for food court setting

Price Range: $15-20 per person

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

Food: 4 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: Free and paid parking in Granville Island Overall: 4

 

Sen Pad Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Superbaba

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Superbaba is one of the newest food trucks in the downtown core. It opened up earlier this year and parks in front of the Bentall Towers on the weekdays. The food truck has a restaurant in Victoria so not a stranger to BC. It caught my attention after seeing so many people lining up.

 

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The food truck features Middle Eastern food and focusses on pita wraps and bowls. The dishes range from $10-$12 so fairly priced for the downtown lunch crowd. They have two vegetarian options including falafels and eggplants, but also two meat options including chicken and steak.

 

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Falafel Bowl

I decided to go for the Falafel Bowl which featured chickpea fritters, fried cauliflower, tomato & cucumber salad, hummus, pickled cabbage, tahini, and shug. All bowls have a base of dressed kale and arugula and chilled rice and lentils. Being a meat lover, this vegetarian dish was absolutely delicious. These are probably the best falafels I’ve had. The falafels were so crispy on the outside and moist and flavourful inside. The hummus was smooth and not too garlicky and the fried cauliflowers were again crispy and crunchy with a nice acidity. Even the pickled cabbage and salads tasted great. I thought I would be hungry given most of the dish were vegetables, but I was surprisingly full. Highly recommend this dish!

Based on the falafel bowl, I am already loving Superbaba. I can’t wait to come back to try their wraps and other dishes. There’s a bit of a wait during lunch hours, but they’re pretty quick after you place your order. Plus, the people are super nice. Will be back to try more soon!

Pros:
– One of the best falafels I’ve had
– Reasonably priced

Cons:
– Line up can get pretty long during peak hours

Price Range: $10-15 per person

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

Food: 4.5 Service: 3.5 Ambiance: N/A Parking: N/A Overall: 4.5

 

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

Sweet Memory

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Sweet Memory is the sister restaurant of Memory Corner and I’ve heard great things about this spot. The interior transports you to olden days in Taiwan as it is dimly lit, even on a sunny afternoon. They mainly offer Taiwanese desserts, but they also have a few savoury dishes. The decor is really interesting, with the wooden tables and benches, but to be honest, the seating is not the most comfortable.

 

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They even have a little food stall where there is actual food kept in there. Super cute! They give you free wintermelon tea in a silver pot, and the tea is extremely good! Free refills too.

 

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Homemade Brown Sugar Cake

To start, we ordered the Homemade Brown Sugar Cake which is sort of like a jelly but dusted with brown sugar. Not for everyone as the boys at our table did not enjoy it. However, I love these jelly type of desserts, so I found it quite tast. It also comes with these two cherry tomatoes which are filled with this plum type of filling. Quite interesting, but not my favourite.

 

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Jasmine Jelly with Three Coloured Taro and Yam Balls

My favourite was the Jasmine Jelly which is topped with condensed milk. You can choose a variety of toppings such as pearls and beans. We decided to go with the Three Coloured Taro and Yam Balls which are hidden under the jelly. The jelly was really refreshing and lightly flavoured with jasmine tea. They also have Coffee Jelly or Grass Jelly.

 

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Tofu Pudding with Pearl Barley

We also tried the Cold Tofu Pudding of which you can also customize with different toppings. This time, we got the Pearl Barley. The tofu pudding is not very sweet so I quite enjoyed it.

Overall, I quite enjoyed the desserts, but the guys actually didn’t enjoy them. They thought the desserts were too bland. If you enjoy desserts that aren’t too sweet, then you’ll enjoy these. We did have an issue with one of their drinks though. The guy both ordered a Mango Slushy and it was the worst mango slush I’ve had before. It was extremely diluted and tasted like mango water. However, we let the server know and they quickly said they could remove it from our bill. So in terms of service, they were pretty nice about fixing things for us.

Pros:
– Desserts are not too sweet
– Great variety of traditional Taiwansese desserts

Cons:
– Mango slush was not well executed

Price Range: $10-20 per person

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

Food: 3.5 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free parking Overall: 3.5

 

Sweet Memory Dessert Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop

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I’ve been wanting to try CACAO 70 for a while now, but the other locations were a bit out of the way for me. So when I heard the dip shop opened in Steveston Village in Richmond, I was excited to go check it out. The shop is quite small with only a few seats, so it’s more of a grab and go spot. Love the cute decor inside the store though! You can get waffles, drinks, and of course their famous dipped ice cream.

 

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There are a variety of melted chocolate or dips to choose from. The ice cream itself is a vanilla soft serve that comes from the machine. The ice cream is then inverted and dipped into your dip of choice. I found the dip to take a while to really harden though.

 

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Sesame Dipped Soft Serve

I chose the Sesame Dipped Soft Serve and like I said, I found the dip to take too long to harden. Even after getting my pictures, the dip didn’t really harden to a shell. You would need to wait quite a while if you wanted that texture. Instead, it’s a soft flexible shell. The sesame dip has a white chocolate base so I also found the dip to be too sweet for me. However, S didn’t seem to mind it. The ice cream itself was creamy but I wouldn’t say it’s anything to go crazy about.

Overall, the soft serve is decent and if you have a sweet tooth, then this is a nice option if you’re looking for something other than Timothy’s at Steveston Village.

Pros:
– Unique twist to traditional soft serve
– Soft serve is creamy and smooth

Cons:
– Some flavours are on the sweeter side

Price Range: $5-10 per person

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

Food: 3 Service: 3 Ambiance: 3 Parking: Free and paid parking in Steveston Village Overall: 3

 

CACAO 70 Dip Shop Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Shipyards Night Market

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

Lonsdale Quay in North Vancouver is one of my favourite spots to visit every summer. S and I try to visit once a year and the best time to visit is when the Shipyards Nights Market is going on. If you are coming from downtown Vancouver, the easiest and quickest way is to hop on the seabus which operates roughly every 15 minutes in the evenings. It takes only 12 minutes to arrive in Lonsdale Quay and only a short 5 minute walk to the night market.

 

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The Shipyards Night Market happens every Friday from 5pm – 10pm until September 28, 2018.

 

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To find the start of the night market, look for the yellow crane next to Tap & Barrel. The best part about the night market is that there is no admission fee to enter. Your only cost is the food and beverages you’ll purchase. So feel free to come by to just walk around if you already ate. A great date night spot!

 

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If you come early around 5pm, you’ll avoid line ups and the crowds. By 7pm, the place is quite packed. There over 40+ food trucks from all over metro Vancouver parked at the night market. This is your one stop shop if you’ve been wanting to try a food truck but it’s too far for you!

 

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As part of our media tour, our first stop was the famous JJ’s Hot Cobs. Perfect for children and the family!

 

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Corn on the Cob is $4 and includes butter and your choice of seasoning.

 

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There is a selection of seasonings at the truck and you can choose as many as you want as it’s self serve once you get your corn. We went with the garlic salt which added some saltiness to the corn. The corn itself is already good enough on its own though because it was sweet and piping hot!

 

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Moving on, we tried Disco Cheetah which I first came across 3 years ago at this same night market. It was a tiny truck back in the day, but this has become one of the most popular trucks at the event. The menu has also changed a lot since then, but it continues to serve Korean fusion dishes.

 

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The dishes at Disco Cheetah are so colourful and appetizing to the eye! S and I shared the K.F.C. Fries which translates to Korean Fried Chicken with French Fries. The boneless chicken is topped with a sweet chili glaze, pickled red radish, scallion and garlic mayo. The chicken was juicy and the sauce was not overpowering. Other dishes you can find at this truck include rice bowls or fries with various proteins and pulled pork sliders.

 

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Moving on to a different cuisine (because there are so many to choose from), we checked out The Reef Runner which features Caribbean street food.

 

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I had the Jamaican Beef Patty which was new to me. The flaky pastry shell was filled with ground beef and various spices. It reminded me of a curry pastry I had in Japan. Really enjoyed this and will be getting it again!

 

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Getting a bit thirsty, we tried Kics Lemonade for some homemade lemonade. There are various flavours to choose from and I chose the Mango Lemonade. If you’re looking for something sweet and sour, then this is perfect refreshment for you.

 

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Of course we had to end our meal with some dessert. This was actually my favourite food truck of the night. Chouchou Crepes features some delicious French crepes all run by one lady! She works on three crepes at a time to make sure the line moves as quickly as it can!

 

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S and I shared the Nutella Banana Crepe and it was the perfect way to end our night. The edges were crispy with the center having a nice chew. The food truck also has crepes that are served with a splash of rum and apparently they’re really good! You can find both sweet and savoury crepes at Chouchou Crepes.

 

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And if you’re 19+, then you can head over to the Beer Garden which serves local craft beer, ciders, wine, and highballs. The beers were literally on tap from the side of the truck, which I thought was a pretty cool concept. Drinks are affordable and they give you a generous pour.

 

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Entry in the beer garden is again free, so you just need to purchase your drinks and have a good time! There is live music every night featuring local bands.

 

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After you have filled your bellies with some food and drinks, head over to the pier which extends 700 feet over the Burrard Inlet. Turn back and check out the new developments by the Quay including a third hotel coming in 2019.

 

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Or get to the end of the pier and enjoy a stunning view of the Vancouver skyline. To be fair, we went on a smoggy day, but imagine what a view this would be on a bright sunny day!

 

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There have also been many new developments in the area, including the Polygon Gallery, cool new public amenities such as the 48-metre-long Megabench, a water feature for splashing in and cool off, and a brightly painted alleyway, appropriately titled ‘Fun Alley’. Each year, there is also an artisans market where you can shop locally made goods!

 

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Overall, the Shipyards Night Market is a fun Friday night activity whether it be with friends or family. With 40+ food trucks and vendors, a 19+ local craft beer garden,
artisans market and live music, you’ll be sure to have a good time!

 

Boba Boy (Kerrisdale)

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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!

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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.

 

 

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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.

 

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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.

 

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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