日出茶太Chatime!

Chatime! It’s the first I’ve ever heard of this bubble tea restaurant, but apparently it’s all the rage in the states! As on their website, they advertise freshly brewed tea infused with natural flavours.  In that description I don’t think it’s much different from other bubble tea places in Vancouver. They pride themselves on having precise quality, timing and temperature to ensure a perfectly made, great quality tea. This global brand produces their variations of bubble tea all around the globe throughout North America, Europe and Asia.

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The store was really nice, pretty modern and clean cut! The service was extremely friendly and the staff explained how their drinks worked really easily. You first choose your drink, they have a ton of variations like the “Mousse Series” and the “Coffee Series”! If I lived close to this Robson location, I  would come back and try the different twists they have on regular bubble tea. You then choose the percentage of sweetness and how much ice you prefer in the drink. This is good if you are quite particular with your bubble tea, but personally I don’t think it’s necessary. I chose one from what they are known for which is the Roasted Milk Tea with Grass Jelly. At first I was a little skeptical, roasted milk? How do you even roast milk?

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Nonetheless, I gave it a try, with regular sweetness and regular ice. It was interesting. It was exactly as advertised… Roasted milk tea… You could taste the roasted flavour as well as the milky richness. I would not say it was bad at all, just a little strange! It was pretty good, but nothing to go out of my way to get.

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Overall, I would rate Chatime 6.5/10. I would come back if it were convenient, but wouldn’t go out of my way to get. I will be trying some of their special offerings the next time I pass by though, seeing how they have now three locations in the Lower Mainland (Richmond, West End and South Granville!), hopefully I’ll have something more memorable.

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Anny’s Dairy Bar!

Anny’s Dairy Bar is a dessert store in New Westminster just a 20 minute drive from Vancouver! It looks like a small scale store run by ma and pa, hiring high school students part time for help!  The establishment has very few tables, but I’d assume people are more inclined to grab their ice cream and enjoy the sun.

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They specialize in maple twist soft serve ice cream! I’ve been here once before and decided to go for a nice drive to get some yummy dessert! Of course I had to get the maple twist ice cream for true Canadian treat!

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They say its unique to British Columbia and I cannot confirm that, but I haven’t ever seen it served anywhere else. The ice cream is actually really good, really smooth and not too sweet. The maple flavour is a bit lacking I believe, but still great tasting ice cream! I’d prefer Anny’s ice cream over Soft Peak’s ice cream any day! It doesn’t have the glitz and glam of Soft Peaks, but they have some damn good ice cream!

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They give you good portions as well! The picture above was a small cone, really great value! Overall I give Anny’s Dairy Bar 8/10. They could improve on the service, there was only one young boy working and he was running the tills, making ice cream as well as cooking in the back kitchen. We went on a weekday and it was pretty deserted there, so that may be the result of the lack of employees… I’m sure they may have more staff in the summer! I would definitely go back and maybe come for lunch, looks like they make a great poutine, I’m just a little hesitant on canned gravy… but definitely worth a try!
Anny's Dairy Bar on Urbanspoon


Glenburns Soda Fountain and Confectionary! Ice cream anyone?

How can you not end a weekend without some ice cream! If you haven’t noticed I’m a huge ice cream junkie, soft serve or hard, I’m into it all! I had heard many things about Glenburns ice cream and gourmet soda, not to mention their amazing Urbanspoon record! A whopping 97%!! I definitely had to give this North Burnaby dessert shop a try.

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We went around 8:00PM I think this was our biggest mistake. It was so busy! There was at least 10 people ahead of us in line. We even debated waiting because it looked so stuffy inside, but thank god we waited! It was totally worth it.

The interior has a really retro American feel to it and the uniforms were pretty cool! There menu was pretty big too, had many combinations between ice cream sundaes, milkshakes or even floats!  The ice cream is not actually house made, they use local Birchwood Dairy ice cream, which is a dairy farm located in Abbotsford, British Columbia (http://www.birchwooddairy.com).

I decided to go with something simple, a small sundae with maple caramel ripple ice cream topped with chocolate sauce. I usually go towards the simple items on a menu when I approach a new establishment, I think it really shows what you can do when you perfect the basics.

It was fantastic! Really good ice cream and two huge scoops for a small. I was really impressed with the portion size! Totally worth the $4.75!

My older sister got a milkshake and no complaints from her! She was all quiet in the back seat during the ride home and we all know what that means! She must be really enjoying her time!

What impressed me the most was that my younger sister had a vanilla sundae with butterscotch topping. It was so simple, but the best one out of the bunch!! I would come back for that one for sure. It was amazing!

Definitely the best one! I would recommend this to anyone!

They also had some brownies for sale by the cash register and of course for the sake of the blog post I had to give it a try as well.

I think they had advertised it as a brown butter brownie. I think it was a good brownie, but the best? Doubtful! The good thing is that it wasn’t overly sweet, but I didn’t taste any brown butter richness at all.

Overall I would rate Glenburns 8/10! The only thing I think they could improve on is the system of moving traffic through the store. It was stuffy and congested, but well worth the wait! Will I come back again? Yes! I actually have been there twice now between the first time I went and posting this blog insert!

Glenburn Soda Fountain & Confectionery on Urbanspoon


Soft Peaks Ice Cream!

Soft Peak Ice Cream is a local ice cream shop located in Gastown. This creamery makes soft serve ice cream with only the best ingredients, using organic Avalon milk and other organic ingredients like milk powder and cream. Not only do they use the best ingredients they can get their hands on, they love to use premium local toppings! This new craze has been blowing up on Instagram so I decided to give them a try with a friend and a couple of my siblings.

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A cool looking store with a great location, lots of walking traffic and of course being the beautiful area it is, there was a movie set right around the corner. After we got the ice cream we took a walk down to see what was filming, unfortunately we didn’t get to see much, just a few smoke machines and extras standing around.

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Soft Peaks is 2 story store, with additional seating upstairs, was pretty cute. The atmosphere and ambiance was great, very cool and mellow, very approachable. The place had really fast service too, not much more you could ask for!

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They had quite a items on their menu, but after careful consideration I ordered the Salty Himalayan to share with my friend. My siblings got the Rocky Mountain (toasted coconut with your choice of syrup) and the Green Forest (matcha powder with sweet red beans and condensed milk).

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I took a bite of each of them and I think that we made the right choice with the Salty Himalayan! In my opinion was the best out of the bunch.  With the Salty Himalayan, you get your choice between caramel or maple syrup, I went with the caramel (anything with salted caramel is my cup of tea). It was pretty good, very light and mild in flavour, but honestly it wasn’t the best ice cream I’ve eaten, nothing to go running for again and again. Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying it was bad, I just doubt that I would ever take the 20 minute drive to have it again. I can tell you that the ice cream had a very clean taste, you could tell that it was quality ingredients that was used, it just didn’t stand out to me as amazing.

I think this is the first mediocre review I’ve given to an establishment! Feel free to try it out and give me your opinions on this place! I just don’t know what all the hype is about! I may give it another try another day! Maybe they were just having a rough night. Who knows.

Soft Peaks Ice Cream on Urbanspoon


Beta5 Chocolates!

Beta5 Chocolates, a little pâtisserie in East Vancouver tucked away and surrounded by food trucks and industrial shops. Though the location may be odd, the award winning chocolates don’t keep the customers away! The name comes from a form called “5 beta structure” when chocolate is melted. It is described as the the most stable form of cocoa butter crystallization on their website. My first look at the place was actually on a Monday. I had heard so many good reviews about this place, I had to go check it out. I arrived at 5:10PM and to my surprise, they were closed. Everything was barred up and looked pretty vacant. I was quite upset about not getting any sweet treats after tracking through Vancouver’s rush hour. I was really unimpressed seeing how I had thought that they closed at 5:30PM. After some investigation and some ranting to a friend, she had informed me that she looked at the site and it clearly said that they were closed on Monday’s. Well whoops…

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Here are their hours for you guys who skim through the details like I do:

  • Monday: Closed
  • Tuesday-Friday: 10:30AM-5:30PM
  • Saturday-Sunday: 10:00AM-5:00PM

I really had to redeem myself this time, so I decided to go after class and pick up some goodies. I walked in and the store was empty, I was little concerned about where the staff were, but I patiently waited and looked around to see what was available. I walked up to the two big boards displaying their creampuffs, desserts and prices. A little pricy, but what the heck, it’s my second time here so I better make it worth it!

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A woman then came and greeted me! She was extremely helpful, allowing me to take my time and take some pictures of the store. She had informed me that if I got more than 6 creampuffs, they won’t charge me any tax. Of course, being the bargain hunter that I am, I took the opportunity!

IMG_4828I ended up picking up 9 cream puffs, a bag of the Salted Butter Caramel and 2 jars of the desserts (Concord Grape Cheesecake as well as the Banana Chocolate). The bill came up to a whopping $62.00! What the heck! This place has awards, it has to be worth it! Right?

I got home and set up a little photoshoot with these bad boys and wow did they ever photograph well!

At this point, I then realized that I didn’t pick up any chocolate. None at all…

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From left to right: Vietnamese Coffee, Banana Cream Pie, Raspberry Cheesecake, Vanilla, Salted Caramel (back).

The vanilla and banana cream pie puff was pretty good, but I didn’t think it jumped out at me enough. The salted caramel and vietnamese coffee on the other had were fantastic! They were strong and concentrated in flavour, yet so light! I could have had a dozen of the salted caramel ones! I give those ones a 10/10!

IMG_4815The desserts were quite average to me, they had a cool concept and beautiful assembly. The banana chocolate one is just the way it sounds, packed with banana, chocolate and cream. The cheesecake on the other hand was a little underwhelming to me. I had the highest hopes for this one because it was so beautiful. It fell a little short.

Overall I would give them a 7/10. They exceeded my expectations and I would love to go again to try out some new stuff! Maybe next time I will remember to pick up some damn chocolate!

BETA5 Chocolates on Urbanspoon


Earnest Ice Cream, seriously good?

Earnest ice cream, one of Vancouver’s best ice cream joints. I had the delight to try one of their vegan options, the maple walnut. For attempting a vegan ice cream I’d have to tip my hat to them. Overall, not too bad, great flavour and packed with nuts. Though it’s nothing compared to their regular maple walnut, but still worth the calories!

 

Earnest Ice Cream on Urbanspoon