3 Star

JoDeen Cafe Taiwanese Wheel Cake Dessert with Bubble Tea

Even though the store was chaotic when we arrived JoDeen Cafe on the 3rd day of their soft opening, the food and drinks were very tasty. Wheel Cake was not only filled with toppings that squeeze out from the side with every bite, but also with a crispy shell that remained crispy after my 10 minutes drive home. The drinks quality also speaks for itself. At the time this article is written, the customer service needs the most attention. Ice level customization should be standard in 2021. Dessert and drinks should be served within 30 minutes. I’m hopeful that JoDeen can figure these details out in due time. By then, I can honestly recommend this cafe on all aspects.

Gotcha (高茶), Soft European Bread

Soft European buns is derived from European buns such as sourdough or French baguette. It uses levain as natural yeast for the rise, but altered to be softer to fit Asian palate. Although its name has the word “European” in it, this type of bread is actually not European. It was invented by Japanese, adopted by Taiwanese, and recently glorified by Chinese. Gotcha has picked niche market and a good target audience base. I think the bread has good texture, but not as moist as the bread I am used to. Their continual sold-out merchandise seem to suggest that there’s definitely a market for soft European bread.

Mean Poutine Vancouver Downtown

Mean Poutine is not a fancy joint but they got the essentials of a good poutine down. They serve large portioned poutine with an affordable price of $8. I wish I had ordered the basic poutine instead of the Mean Supreme which has too much toppings. That way I could really know how much fresh cheese curds they put in each order. Perhaps that is something I will find out on my next visit.

Truedan (JenJuDan) Bubble Tea

Truedan is a bubble tea shop, and to call themselves the master of brown sugar drinks is an overstatement. We go to Truedan for the 0.85cm bite-size bubble that they are proud of. These bubbles’ selling point is the sweetness throughout, but I find them a little monotonous. The overpowering sweetness makes me thirsty after each sip, and I find the taste quite boring after the 3rd sip. It is fortunate that the store is flexible on the sweetness level because the normal sweetness is just too much. At $6.50 per cup, we do not recommend Truedan.

Achino salted egg yolk and boba ice cream bar

Considering Archino is following the footstep of the Brown Sugar Milk Tea Boba Ice Cream Bar, we do not think this salted egg yolk & boba ice cream bar did well. Aside from the salted egg yolk flavour being unevenly distributed which made the flavour inconsistent, the boba’s texture also wasn’t very pleasant. It’s true that this is still a tasty ice cream bar which gives you a sweet and savory alternating taste. We just expected more for a $2 per pop ice cream bar.

iDen & Quan Ju De Beijing Duck House (全聚德)

Judging by the items on the menu and the price point of $60 per person, Quan Ju De placed themselves at the fine dining establishment tier of restaurants. I believe the owner has focused too much on the decor, and missed some of the fundamental elements of a fine-dining restaurant. Peking duck is a classic dish. You can improve the recipe or make it fusion, but you cannot charge a premium while skipping steps on the process. Some of the food does taste good, but there are ones that are just mediocre. Please make sure that you do not get take out from Quan Ju De. The food quality drops exponentially, and you are paying for part of the $12 million dollar interior decor anyways. We cannot honestly recommend this restaurant. There are better fine dining options in Vancouver, and many have better tasting food, better service, and breathtaking views.

Delissio Crispy Pan Pizza

I feel like the thickness of the pan pizza mainly contributes to the fluffiness of the base, rather than filling me up. Perhaps the amount of ingredient is the same, and being fermented longer is the only difference between the deep pan pizza and normal ones. Maybe, the purpose of the pan is just to hold the airy dough to its shape. The Delissio’s Crispy Pan Pizza is quite enjoyable, however, the $7.99 price point is a bit too much for what we are getting in the box.

Nongshim Korean Clay Pot Ramyun Instant Noodle

My added spam was the most enjoyable part of the Nongshim Korean Clay Pot Ramyun. The ramyun does live up to its name for being chewy after being soaked in hot water for 5 minutes. However, the taste wasn’t that memorable. When I see the word “clay pot”, I was expecting Korean specialty hot sauce and a bit of sweetness from caramelized ingredients. Unfortunately, none of which was present. The Nongshim Korean Clay Pot Ramyun has got the texture, but the taste is 2 stars at best.

Michi Craft Kitchen

Michi Craft Kitchen’s Taiwanese restaurant is an above-average approach to both the cost and quality of food. The price is up there, but the food quality is playing catch-up. While the spicy Michi was pleasantly seasoned, there is nothing special about the chicken wing and sticky rice. Having to spend the effort on de-boning the chicken wings and stuffing sticky rice in them and charge customers $7 per chicken wing makes me wonder how they stay in business for over a year. Both of the rice dishes we have ordered have good taste. However, we would appreciate a more honest approach to rice/sauce proportion.

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