[Continuously Updated] Greater Vancouver Bubble Tea Guide

We have been drinking a lot of bubble tea; to the point where we decided to compile an unofficial ranking of bubble tea shops in the Greater Vancouver Area. Below is a brief summary of our methodology:

  • We only compare milk tea w/ pearls (or the closest equivalent)
    • There’s a bit of leeway on the type of tea used; some stores prefer black tea, oolong tea, or green tea, etc.
    • Default sugar and ice level
    • Default dairy component
    • Default pearls
  • Scores are determined by a weighted average of these three main categories:
    • Tea: Good tea in bubble teas is like a good broth in soups. This is the foundation, so it holds most weight in the final score.
    • Creaminess: We are talking about milk teas here, so it needs some kind of dairy component. It doesn’t matter if milk, cream, or powder is used; as long as the perfect ratio is there. Too much would overpower the drink, and too little would make the drink taste watered-down.
    • Pearls: Self-explanatory. The pearls must have the best combination of texture and flavour. This category holds slightly more weight than “creaminess”.
    • (Bonus) “Value” Factor: Each shop may get a bonus/penalty up to +3/-3%. Bonus is applied if the vendor is cheaper than average, offers consistent promo, and/or serves larger volume than average. Conversely, the more “overpriced” a place is, the more penalty it would receive.

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[Restaurant Review] Lollipot

Address: 9020 Capstan Way, Richmond, BC V6X 1R4

Lollipot occupies the space that used to be TTOB (a bubble tea shop). Don’t worry, the drinks are still there! The two simply combined forces. You can now enjoy your BBT along with a boiling hot pot.

Upon first glance of the menu, we expected the dining experience to be similar to a popular hot pot chain – Boiling Point.


Essentially, you choose from a variety of mini (individualized) hot pots. You may also choose your spice level, as well as a side (rice or vermicelli). Lunch comes with discounted pricing and a free drink!

Let’s jump right in to the food~

Thai Green Curry – $15.95


Our first impression of the soup was that, even at “mild” spice level, it packed quite a bit of heat. It also wasn’t as creamy as we would expect from a Thai green curry dish; perhaps there wasn’t enough coconut milk (to our preference at least). Our main critique would be that the soup lacked a flavorful “punch”. It wasn’t a bad soup by any means, but it just wasn’t as addictive as most other hot pots we’ve tried.

Otherwise, this was still a wholesome hot pot. There was a good variety of hot pot ingredients: fish balls, tofu, mushroom, pork slices, seafood, and veggies, etc. Those came in large chunks too.

Cumin Lamb – $15.95


As expected, this had a very heavy soup; however, it wasn’t as spicy as the Thai green curry. Again, while it had a strong cumin flavour, we felt like it lacked an extra layer of flavour. No complaints about the other ingredients, quantity or quality-wise. 🙂

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 3.5/5

Value: 4/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4/5

Total: 15.5/20

Food is good for this price point. Service is also good and friendly. Compared to popular hot pot joints, Lollipot’s soups are a bit weak.

[Review] Old Surrey Restaurant

Old Surrey Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 13483 72 Avenue, Surrey, BC V3W 2N7 5V9



Old Surrey Restaurant is situated in a charming little house near the heart of Surrey. The establishment has been around for more than forty years. It’s bit old on the inside, but the vintage decor gives off a warm vibe; like going to grandparents’ house. From the moment we stepped in, to the end of dinner service, we were served by one of the friendliest and most courteous staff.

For dinner, we decided to go with Spring Special. It was a four-course special that showcased some of the locally sourced ingredients. Price was $58 per person.

Amuse bouche – seared beef with vegetables in vinaigrette (complimentary)


Tender beef (perfectly seared) with tangy veggies. Delicious.

Appetizer A. Wild mushroom & Abbostford duck confit risotto


This was a heavy appetizer. The earthy flavours of the mushrooms matched well with the salty and succulent duck. The rice had been infused with parmesan cheese as well as truffle oil.

Appetizer B. Mussels & fries


A generous pot of mussels cooked in white wine sauce. We were pleasantly surprised to see this served as an appetizer. The shoestring fries made it less filling (in a good way).

Second Course – Caesar Salad


Caesar salad prepared live by our table! Crisp romaine lettuce, fresh croutons, parmesan cheese tossed in a dressing consisting of mustard, olive oil, red wine vinegar, raw egg, anchovies, and crushed garlic. It doesn’t get any more classic than this! This had got to be one of the most satisfying and biggest salads we’ve ever had. We were about 65% full at this point.

Main Course A. Chilliwak-Ryder Farm’s spring lamb combo


Roasted rack and leg of lamb served with red wine sauce and mint jelly. Meat was cooked medium-well, but was still tender and flavourful. Side veggies were roasted zuchinni, green beans, and red pepper; simple but healthy contrast to the red meat. Potatoes were a bit more unique. They seemed to be mashed and lightly fried. The end result was very fluffy and creamy.

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Dazzling Cafe – Restaurant Review

Dazzling Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 7971 Alderbridge Way, Unit 140, Richmond, Richmond, BC V6X 2A4

Dazzling Cafe is a petite little bubble tea/dessert shop that also serves modified Italian cuisine. By modified, I meant flavours revised to cater Asian palates. In broad strokes, the pastas, pizzas, and risottos are lighter (and smaller) than you’d expect.

Pesto Risotto w/ Pan Seared Salmon – $13.50

Dazzling Cafe 1

Salmon fillet, though small, was seasoned and seared well. The flesh was still moist. The pesto risotto did not have an overpowering basil taste, which could be a pro or a con depending on who you ask. Rice firmness was just right.

Smoked Duck Breast w/ Pesto Sauce Pizza – $10.95

Dazzling cafe 2

Compared to the risotto above, the pesto sauce was even more faint. Personally, I felt there was too much cheddar cheese, and combined with the thin crust (which was delicately pleasant), it almost felt like eating nachos. Duck breast, while tender, lacked that smokey punch.

Italian Tomato Sauce Spaghetti w/ Seafood – $14.50

Dazzling Cafe 3

This is what I meant by Asian-Italian pasta. The tomato sauce had a lot less acidity than the “original stuff”, and more white wine + basil flavours. We liked it because it tasted more sophisticated. There was a good variety of seafood: prawns, mussels, squid, and scallops. Pasta was al dente.

Squid Ink Risotto w/ Pan-Fried Squid

Dazzling Cafe 4

Warning: this still will momentarily stain your teeth and lips! To make the dish even darker, they added mussels. The squid ink infused rice was rich and creamy. The squid meat was chopped up and mixed in with the rice as well. Very interesting overall.

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 3.5/5

Value: 3.5/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4.5/5

Total: 15.5/20

Dazzling Cafe is certainly… dazzling when it comes to presentation. The decor is very cute and highly suitable for high tea. Food was light and tasty.

Kiyo Sushi – Restaurant Review

Kiyo Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 11590 Cambie Road, Richmond, BC6V1G5

Kiyo Sushi is located in the less busy area of Richmond. It doesn’t look like the fanciest Japanese restaurant, but the food quality is up there among the best. For dinner, we ordered four dishes.

Salmon Aburi Sushi – $15


True to its name, this sushi roll is loaded with salmon. There wasn’t any “fillers” (e.g. avocado, cucumber, or imitation crab meat) inside; it was straight up a huge chunk of salmon sashimi! The charred salmon on the outside not only added a different flavour, but a melt-in-your mouth texture as well. Don’t underestimate the tiny bit of greens up top. Seriously, those gave the sushi roll a sophisticated aroma.

Negima – $7.50


It may look like chicken, but it is actually grilled tuna on the skewer. It was nice to eat fully cooked tuna for once. The flavour wasn’t too heavy, as the skewers weren’t drenched in soy sauce. Texture-wise, the fish was like a very tender chicken breast. Continue reading

$15 Prime Rib Dinner?! [Review] Miltown Bar & Grill

Milltown Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 101-9191 Bentley Street, Vancouver, BC V6P 6G2


Miltown is sandwiched between South Vancouver and Richmond. It is so close to Richmond that you can clearly see the McArthur Glen Outlets from the restaurant! Hey, that’s a bonus – good view!

Getting there is slightly tricky… Below is a semi-helpful illustration on where to go.


Basically, turn into that minor intersection as you drive along Granville St./SW Marine Dr.

Now back to the main topic of this blog post – $15 prime rib dinner! Continue reading

[Restaurant Review] Pot Belly Mini Hotpot

Pot Belly Mini Hotpot Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond V6X 1J8

Pot Belly Mini Hotpot is a newly opened restaurant in Richmond. They picked an interesting location because one of their direct competitors (I would presume) is just around the corner. Perhaps they’re trying to siphon off some customers since the other mini hot pot place is almost always fully booked.

Ordering is pretty straightforward, as you go through a list, and circle your preferences. Hotpots are $13.99 each.


We went doing lunch hours, and every order of hotpot comes with a free drink. The drink can be either iced black tea or green tea. Milk tea or fruit juices would cost an extra dollar.

They also offer side dishes (~$6.00) like fried chicken nuggets, Taiwanese fishcakes, and stinky tofu, etc., but we were mostly interested in hotpot at the time.

Our cooking apparatus looks cute. The pots were heated up by some kind of oil-jelly. They seem more cost-friendly than gas/electric stoves.

The two pots we ordered contained the following:

  1. Tomato soup + lamb + satay sauce + medium heat + vermicelli
  2. Pumpkin soup + chicken + spicy garlic sauce + mild heat + vermicelli

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Dinner @ Gyo-O

Gyo-O Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Address: Continental Centre, 3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond, BC V6X 3Z9


Do you like Japanese rice bowls? Go to Gyo-O. Do you like seafood rice bowls? Why aren’t you at Gyo-O yet?! 😛 Yes, Gyo-O is a cozy little Japanese restaurant that specializes in rice bowls. They also offer creative ramen/udon dishes, but it seems like the rice bowls are their best sellers.

For dinner, we ordered…

Salmon & Ikura Don – $15

This was one of the most expensive dishes on the menu, but it was still fairly priced at $15. As seen in the picture, you get decent chunks of salmon sashimi, and a dollop of ikura (salmon roe). Ikura were deliciously salty poppers that meshed so well with the warm rice. On the side was a sprig of bamboo shoots, but they didn’t add much to the dish (not complaining though; more food!). I wish the rice was slightly more vinegary, but that is just a small nitpick.


Tuna Mayo Don – $11

We were curious to try a dish with cooked fish, in a Japanese restaurant… Here is a short summary of this bowl: tuna salad on rice. The tuna was boiled, and they used fresh tuna (we didn’t notice any canned tuna taste). The mayonnaise was lighter (i.e. healthier) than what you would expect. Topping off everything were seaweed shreds, green onions, and a sunny side up egg. When properly mixed, this bowl packed a gooey texture, and a deep flavour profile. It was yummy and filling, but we still prefer raw fish bowls like the Salmon & Ikura Don.


In retrospect, our dinner was a good source of carbs and protein! Not so much veggies though… 😀

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 4/5

Value: 4/5

Service: 4.5/5

Ambiance: 4/5

Total: 16.5/20

Gyo-O is another good restaurant to visit for a weeknight dinner after work. The atmosphere is cozy, and the (yummy) food is inexpensive.

P.S: this place is cash only


#LFFFMolangs #GyoO #RiceBowl #Ikura #Food #RestaurantReview #Molang

National Guacamole Day!


Today is National Guacamole Day! What is your favorite recipe?

My guacamole recipe (this one tastes slightly tart):


  • 3 avocados (ripe ones!)
  • 1/2 onion (red + white)
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3-4 tablespoons of spicy salsa or chili sauce (I used this)
  • 1 jalapeno pepper
  • Chopped cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • Salt & pepper
  • A pinch of cumin (optional)
  • A drizzle of olive oil (optional)


  • Dice onion/garlic/jalapeno to desired size
  • Mash everything together!


#LFFFMolangs #Guacamole #Guacamolang #Avocado

[Nanaimo] Brunch @ Rewsters

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

Address: 223 Commercial St, Nanaimo, BC V9R5G8

Rewster is conveniently located in Downtown Nanaimo. There’s plenty of free side street parking nearby 🙂

The interior of the restaurant is very spacious. They can easily host 100+ patrons. The high ceiling and modern decor makes it a comfortable place to dine.

Our server was courteous, and she explained their menu concept. Rewster aims to provide modernized classics using locally sourced ingredients. Whether it is vegetables, fish, or meat, everything is grown, harvested/caught, or raised on Vancouver Island.

For our brunch, we ordered two eggs benedicts.

Crab (cakes) – $18


It looks and tastes fancy. Eggs were poached to order. The mini fries were very delicate. Crab cake was light, but flavourful when combined with the hollandaise sauce. We were a bit taken off guard by the lack of substantial carbs, i.e. an English muffin or equivalent.

Salmon Tempura – $17


I would call this fancy fish and chips (without the chips). The salmon was moist and delicious. The batter was light and not overly crispy/hard. The sauce and the garnishes are mostly the same as the ones for the crab cake. Instead of thin fries, I got pickled radishes. This dish is more of an East-West fusion (something you could already tell from the name).

Molang Scores & Verdict

Food: 4/5

Value: 3.5/5

Service: 4/5

Ambiance: 4/5

Total: 15.5/20

Tasty and healthy food, but we felt like we had fancy appetizers instead of a proper brunch.


#Brunch #Food #Molang #LFFFMolangs #Nanaimo #Rewsters #RestaurantReview