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Monday, 16 January 2012

Very affordable BBT: Green Leaf Natural Food

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It was Friday night and after four long, grueling hours of exams, I was ready for a nice and relaxing evening with Rich. First stop: T&T in downtown so I could replenish my snacks drawer in preparation for the next intense studying session. After stuffing our bags with yummy mochi snacks and various Chinese teas, we proceeded to have a quick dinner at BT Café before meeting up with Nabs at “best dessert in town” (aka Green Leaf Natural Food) for some bubble tea.

Now the story of “best dessert in town” isn’t 100% clear to me still. Apparently a few years ago, one of Nabs and Rich’s buddies decided that he would go hunt for the best dessert in town on his birthday. I don’t actually know how many places he visited, but I think the list included things like Dairy Queen and Wendy’s. Thus, I’m not too sure how credible his declaration of “best dessert in town” is either… Apparently, he went from door to door on his quest and eventually settled for a cup of green tea ice cream bubble tea at Green Leaf Natural Food.
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I would never guess that a place named Green Leaf Natural Food would sell bubble tea. Instead, it sounds more like a health food store that sells vitamins or something like that... It’s a tiny shop located on Fraser Street just across from John Oliver Secondary School at around 42nd Ave in Vancouver. I can’t really say the outside is very attractive, with its faded signs and a hand-drawn white board easel outlining the weekly specials. There’s a sign that says it sells “Asian Cuisine” (精美小吃), but the place does not serve anything except bubble tea; nor would I want to get any food items. In fact, it’s the type of place that I would never voluntarily step foot in unless someone introduced it to me. In this case, I’m glad their buddy went on that crazy venture.
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Haven’t seen these much…
The shop is small, with a few tables with raggedy old chairs and a few ancient arcade machines (including a sticker picture machine!) on the side. On this visit, we noticed that there have been some renovations, but the hand-written white board menu is still prominent (very neat writing!). There were a few people enjoying their drinks in store, but quite a long line waiting to order. I must note that most people come here for take-out rather than sit in the store (unlike other BBT places). I’ve read that they used to have all of their BBT selections for $2 during the winter, but now only the three weekly specials (12 oz. size) are at that price. This week’s specials included: mango ice cream, mixed fruit (real fruit) and passionfruit. IMG_6970 copy
IMG_6973 copy Rich and I went for the weekly specials – can’t pass up $2 BBT – we got the mango ice cream and mixed fruit. The lady at the counter told me that the mixed fruit selection includes strawberries, cantaloupe, honeydew melon and pineapple. I could see that they had a large container of the fruits (looked like frozen fruit). Nabs opted for the all-time favorite – green tea ice cream (regular price $3.75) – it tastes like a Starbucks green tea Frappuccino with no whipped cream, less ice and a fraction of the cost. Rich commented that his mango ice cream BBT was rich and creamy with just the right amount of sweetness. I really liked my mixed fruit BBT, though it was a bit too sour for Rich. The strawberries really dominated the drink, but I could still taste a hint of the other fruits.

Overall, it was quite a pleasant experience, just what I needed after the hours and hours of studying. We will likely return many times whenever we get the craving for affordable bubble tea.
The Yummies:
  • Inexpensive – $2 BBT – how many places can you find this?
  • Decent tasting – fresh fruit and ice cream selections available
  • Wide selection
  • Relatively fast service
The Yuckies:
  • Ambience leaves much to be desired
  • Limited parking on the side streets (good luck if you go during the daytime)
  • Lineups can get quite long sometimes
  • Cash only
  • They need some better arcade games
  • Misleading advertisement... NO ASIAN CUISINE (not that I would eat from them...)

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Green Leaf Natural Food on Urbanspoon


Wei-gor said...

Lol the story of the "best dessert" name is actually this: a mutual friend from out of town studying in vancouver wanted "the best dessert" vancouver has to offer after we finished hot pot for his birthday. We ended up going to some crappy place in Richmond for dessert and he was thoroughly unimpressed. We then suggested that he try Green Leaf Natural Foods's green tea ice cream bbt because we thought it was the best in town. So he did, and after that he said: "This is the best dessert!"
So now that is our unofficial name for this bbt place :)

Ying Yao said...

haha~ thanks for clarifying Wei-gor :)

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