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Sunday, 12 February 2012

Bubble World (大頭仔) – Richmond

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Bubble World or (大頭仔) is probably one of the most recognized bubble tea places in the lower mainland, with multiple locations in Vancouver, Richmond, Burnaby, New Westminster and Coquitlam. We’ve been to quite a number of their locations as well, but the Richmond branch seems to be most commonly visited one for us. This place is SUPER busy at night, often packed with teenagers hanging out with their friends. In fact, it’s turned us away several times with quotes of 30-45 minute waits. Anyhow, the Yummy crew met up with Turtle, Wei-Gor and Chank for some late night snacks and bubble tea. Turtle and Wei-Gor showed up first and managed to secure us a table within 10 minutes or so. Mr. Chank was working late, so they were showing up later.

Bubble World is basically a typical Taiwanese place, serving various bubble tea and other beverages as well as set meals. Thus, there are two menus: the drink menu (see right picture) and the food menu (see above picture). They offer a variety of snacks, rice and noodle dishes as well as sandwiches and hotpots. With regards to drinks, there’s the typical flavoured red/green teas and milk teas as well as fresh fruit, ice cream as well as shaved ice.
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We placed our orders and as we waited, Rich decided to take pictures of our phones… Ying’s lonely iPhone 4 amidst four recent Android converts…including one Galaxy S2 and THREE Nexus…
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IMG_7818 copyThe first dish to arrive was the deep fried squid feet ($5.25) for Turtle and Wei-Gor… yum yum deep fried goodness~ It was lightly battered and well flavoured with fresh squid pieces. Rich and I shared one piece. I was glad to find that it wasn’t too greasy. Not too much to say I suppose – typical Taiwanese snack that hits the spot!
They also got a Matcha Green Tea Ice Cream Slush ($4.95) while Rich and I got the Matcha Green Tea Red Bean version (same price). Rich was so busy chatting that he forgot to take a picture of our drink, but essentially the green tea ice cream was mixed in with crushed red bean. Wei-Gor really likes the green tea ice cream here and it seemed like he enjoyed his drink. As for me…well unfortunately I forgot to ask for it to be half-sweet…and got overwhelmed by the intense sweetness of our drink. I suppose I had thought the red bean would make the drink a bit less sweet, but boy was I wrong! The ice cream was nice and creamy, while the crushed red bean was slightly chewy. After having dinner at Rich’s place, we just didn’t really have appetite for this heavy drink and left more than half of it to pack home.

Lesson of the day: ask for half sweet at this place!
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Rich and I also went for the Three Kinds Shaved Ice ($4.95), which means you get to choose three different toppings from a variety of jellys, sauces and pudding served with a mound of shaved ice. Bubble World also offers two fresh fruit varieties for this dessert: mango and watermelon. They were both labeled seasonal…I figured they probably didn’t have the watermelon one, but was disappointed that the mango wasn’t available either. When the dessert arrived, I was confused…I’ve never had shaved ice with the ice on top of the “toppings”. I had asked for coconut jelly, pudding and aloe vera jelly and was confused as to what the brown stuff at the bottom was. I deduced that it was probably brown sugar or something. They also added a generous helping of condensed milk. Overall, again too sweet, and it was difficult to get at the toppings without getting the shaved ice everywhere. Note: eat it fast or recruit help as it turns into a congee-like mixture rather quickly when it melts (see picture to the right).IMG_7835 copy         
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IMG_7834 copyNabs got his favourite tonight, the milky mango slush.  He didn't opt with the half sweet and crossed his fingers that he'd like his drink anyway.  He was rather surprised when it arrived because it wasn't as sweet as he imagined and was able to finish all of it without having his mind blown away by sweetness.  He commented that he liked his drink except that it was too icy and not mango-y enough.  He likes his mango drinks at Dragon Ball Tea House the best still.  Nabs did recall his last drink here, the taro slush and how it was a complete fail because it was overly sweet.  His tips: if you get the mango, don't as for the half sweet but if you get the taro, save your brain and get half sweet!

Rich was so distracted chatting with everyone that he totally forgot to take pictures of Mrs. Chank’s drink and Mr. Chank’s late-night meal.

Unfortunately, at places as busy as Bubble World, service is pretty much non-existent. I suppose this is understandable as I noticed the lineup gradually accumulate at the small entrance. The waitresses have tunnel vision and seem to not really communicate with each other.  We had asked the waitress that took our order to hold some menus for the Chanks, but another waitress just came back and took them away, assuming that we were done with them without asking. I know I’m kinda being nitpicky, but still! Another thing to note: there is a minimum $3 charge per person.

The Yummies:
  • Pretty good bubble tea – consistent
  • Good place to hang out late at night
The Yuckies:
  • If you don’t ask for half sweet, the drinks can be REALLY sweet
  • Fresh fruit shaved ice isn’t available all-year round
  • Ample parking spots in the plaza, but VERY difficult to find a spot since there’s so many late-night hang-out spots here at night

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Bubble World 大頭仔 (Richmond) on Urbanspoon


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