**Brr..** Vancouver is definitely strange with this sudden cold weather that is unexpectedly blown into our paths. I’m sure a lot of people might recall a thunderstorm yesterday on Thursday at around 5-6pm, which was honestly pretty scary… If you were out on the streets at that time in Vancouver, (and you’re alive…) you must be very lucky!
Due to this dreary weather, we decided to go to Pearl Castle in Richmond Center, seeing as we were already there in the shopping center until closing time. Let me tell you though, the place was packed when we got there and there were people waiting in line and waiting for take-outs! Maybe it’s because of the awful weather or something, but I remember that the last I came here, there was no line. They told us to wait 20 minutes, so we complied as we didn’t walk to anywhere else. Turns out it was more like a 5 minute wait, and by the time we got seated, the line disappeared… strange…
For all planning on visiting this restaurant, you should know that it’s a “hipster hangout” and that you’ll mostly see a lot of teens and young adults. After all, this isn’t exactly the pinnacle of classiness as it sells bubble tea, tending to the teen demographic. However, I’m not saying that families don’t go there to eat, because they actually do!
Based on their menu items, this is more of a Taiwanese restaurant than anything else. What’s interesting about Pearl Castle and other restaurants similar to it ( Sunway , for example) is that they give a more modern feel to your experience, while still keeping their ethnic food intact. To choose between this type of restaurant and HK Cafe restuarants, I would personally choose HK Cafe. People from HK just do that, it’s a natural thing 😀
What you might not like so much about Pearl Castle, though, is the lack of personal space when eating. You look everywhere around and the tables are placed so closely to each other. Even when I was eating, there was a couple next to us and I felt guilty that we might have been ruining their special dinner. Other than that, the decor is nice and there’s this bright, lava lamp-ish light behind us that changes color.(excuse me for not being able to describe it, you’ll know what I mean once you get there) It was pretty cool and you get a very modern feel to the restaurant, perfect for all the “hipsters”
For this evening, I got the Apple Curry Chicken Nuggets with Rice ($7.75) and my mom got the Seafood Fried Noodle ($7.75). We also had a nice medium size Mango Bubble Tea ($5.25 + $0.50 for coconut gel things) What they also have include Hot Pot style meals with rice, set meals with rice and side dishes, noodles in soup, and many appetizers.
About my Apple Curry Chicken Nuggets with Rice, it was really interesting, and I mean that in a good/bad way. Let me explain. It was definitely very tasty and probably better than just regular Chinese style curry.The taste was sweet and flavorful at the same time, giving it a unique taste. What I found out the last time I came to Pearl Castle and packed up my leftover apple curry was that it didn’t solidify in the fridge. My regular Curry Beef Brisket from Mui Garden ( top-notch curry right there, go check it out!) always turns into a gross curry block, resembling what you would find in.. Let’s not go there, shall we? Anyways, the only complaint I had was that it was a little too salty of a meal for me. Sure, the chicken nuggets were seasoned perfectly and extremely tender, but the amount of saltiness in the curry and nuggets was not very pleasing to me. I did enjoy the large potatoes and carrots in the curry, which does give the meal some good nutritional value 😀
I ended up asking for a cup of water, and drinking some of my mom’s Mango Bubble Tea. Speaking of which, the Mango Bubble Tea was alright, having a nice smooth, milkshake-like texture. Is it from powder or fresh stuff? Who cares, because it’s pretty overpriced as it is and if you’re willing to get it, I don’t think you’ll notice the difference.
There’s this cute little jelly dessert that you get with mostly every set meal, and I didn’t expect too much out of it. In fact, the apple curry made me pretty full that my mom took my jelly and ate it for me. You could find these at any Asian supermarket and nothing special really.
My mom’s Seafood Fried Noodles were actually…okay, according to her feedback. She thought it had too much sauce with the noodles, which I can understand that it would make the texture of the noodles to be a little less pleasant. What was good, though, was that it had a lot of seafood and she even found a little oyster in it! The noodles itself didn’t have a overpowering taste and was a light dish.
With Pearl Castle, it’s not like regular HK Cafe style restaurants or traditional Taiwanese restaurants. You wouldn’t want to go here every week, but rather occasionally and in moderation. Why? Mostly, to me, because I feel like I would get bored with this style of restaurant and that it is hit-and-miss at times. As well, the meals are not exactly the healthiest choice at times. Still, if you happen to be nearby Richmond Center and you’ve got a small group of hungry people, check out Pearl Castle as long as you don’t mind the cramped tables and hipster vibe!