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Vancouver's tastiest food blog. Defunct since 2010 :(

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aberdeen center

Strawberry Cones Pizza & Pasta at Aberdeen

Strawberry Cones - Pizza from Japan
When I got word of a second “first in Canada, straight from Japan” restaurant opening up at Aberdeen food court that serves Japanese fusion pizza, I was hoping to find a fun and tasty venture of Beard Papa or Japadog caliber. Their online menu is absolutely gorgeous, and they seem to have done well for themselves back east judging from the byline. Kudos to their marketing team back in Japan.
Though I too wondered what the name “Strawberry Cones” has to do with pizza. According to an interview with their spokesperson, strawberry=customers, cones=success. Well, its their name, and who am I to argue.

Strawberry Cones - Pizza at AberdeenOur lunch group of 4 arrived just after their opening, and after a few minutes of staring at their dancing mochi commercial on TV and careful consideration of how much room we should leave for chicken wings at Wo Fung, we ordered two of their small pizzas and a curry croquette.
They were done after about 20 minutes and came in colorful packaging characteristic of Japanese products. The amount of witty Engrish banter on the box and the bright colors makes me wonder if their target market segment is young families with small kids or adolescent preteens with a hefty sized lunch money.
Strawberry Cones - Pizza at Aberdeen

Upon opening the box, we found the beautifully garnished pizzas in their ads were delivered to us naked. Herb seasoning, hot sauce, and seaweed for the Terimochi pizza came in separate packaging, possibly meant to add customizability for the diner as well as efficiency for the preparation process. The way the seaweed is packaged reminds me of a popular local herb. Here it is the small sized Terimochi after a sprinkle of seaweed. What looks like scallops standing on the crust is mochi, and the instead of pasta sauce, this one is brushed with teriyaki sauce.
Strawberry Cones - Terimochi Pizza After Sprinkle

Here is the Ultimate Seafood Mix.
Strawberry Cones - Ultimate seafood pizza

I didn’t take a picture of the curry croquette because (I was told) they’re out of any type of sauces besides ketchup and mayo, leaving the croquettes looking like hashbrowns. The staff looked highly inexperienced, so these pizzas probably don’t look like what the franchise intended.

The taste of both pizzas were rather dull, as if something was missing, and personally I’d rather have cheese in the crust than mochi. As is, I don’t think the pizza can compare even to chained pizza establishments. For about $10 each the price is not right, but given that the prices for these back in Japan are actually higher, it almost seems like a good deal. Almost.

I will give Cones another go in a few weeks(and that is my recommendation to others) when they’ve got their act together at this location (or possibly another if this pilot store goes well for them, like Beard Papa’s) before dismissing them as junk however.

Strawberry Cones on Urbanspoon

Wo Fung Dessert (Aberdeen Center) – Deliciously Greasy Wings

While Daniel was drinking fancy beers and sampling dishes that I can’t even pronounce at Chambar, I was eating chicken wings at the mall.

Wo Fung Dessert - Aberdeen Center

Don’t pity me though. For it wasn’t just any mall and they weren’t just any chicken wings. I was at the Aberdeen Center food court munching on the famously greasy chicken wings from Wo Fung Dessert.

A confession – lately, the Aberdeen Center food court has been one of my favorite places to dine out. This is a caf that definitely does not suck. My girlfriend doesn’t even mind when I take her here, especially when the meal ends with a Beard Papa cream puff, Mondo gelato, Frappe Bliss shaved iced dessert, or a stroll through Daiso – all conveniently located inside the mall.

Wo Fung Dessert - Aberdeen CenterYour normal mall probably has a food court with Burger King, Arby’s, Manchu Wok, Orange Julius, Taco Time, …booooring. Asian malls (e.g. Aberdeen Center, Crystal Mall, Parker Place, etc.) are so much more interesting, and usually cheaper too. It’s debatable as to which Asian mall has the best food, but there’s no arguing that Aberdeen Center’s is the nicest. It even has free wifi if you want to geek it up.

But back to the wings.

One of the busiest places in the food court is Wo Fung Dessert. They’re most famous for their deep-fried chicken wings ($3.50 for 3 wings). Unlike western style buffalo wings, which are deep fried and then smothered in sauce, these wings are battered first and then deep fried.

Wo Fung Dessert - Aberdeen Center

They are VERY crispy. Wo Fung cooks only after you place your order. Because of this, you’ll have to wait a few minutes for your food, but it’s worth it. The wings arrive straight from the fryer, dripping in sizzling hot grease. Of course like most deep fried things, they taste great. The batter crunches like a potato chip and there is a curious hint of ginger spice.

Wo Fung Dessert - Aberdeen Center

With no regard for my arteries, I also ordered some deep fried squid tentacles ($3.75). Delicious. Even crispier than the ones at Pearl Castle.

Who needs fine dining? Grab whatever you have, throw it in a deep-fryer, and I’ll be one unhealthy happy customer.

Wo Fung on Urbanspoon

NYC: Beard Papa – fresh’n natural cream puffs

Eat Snap Repeat Around the WorldContinuing with ESR Around the World from New York City, let’s talk about Beard Papa.

Don’t worry Vancouverites – you can try Beard Papa without going to NYC; their one and only Canadian location is in Richmond‘s Aberdeen Center!

Lunch at Numero 28 was filling, but I still wanted dessert. Across the street from Numero 28, on 5 Carmine Street (Google Maps Street View is amazing btw), I saw something I wasn’t expecting to find in New York City.

Beard Papa

Beard Papa, a Japanese company founded in 1999, has over 250 locations in Japan and another 50ish scattered around the world in China, Korea, Taiwan, Australia, the USA, and others. As I mentioned above, their first (and still only) Canadian location opened up last year in Richmond’s Aberdeen Center; you can find it in the 3rd floor food court.

Beard Papa

So what is Beard Papa?

Their motto is “fresh’n natural cream puffs“. Although they also have cakes and mochi ice cream, they are most famous for their cream puffs. These fluffy Choux pastries are baked every morning and cream-filled throughout the day to maximize freshness.

There are different flavors of cream filling (coffee, chocolate, green tea, strawberry, etc.) that rotate on a daily schedule. However, every time I’ve been to the Richmond location, they are always out of the “special flavors” and only have the classic vanilla-filled ones.

Beard Papa

They taste awesome. When you take a bite, the flaky pastry crushes under your teeth until you reach the cool, cream filling. Even though there’s a lot of cream, it’s fairly light and not too decadent. Even after a big meal, there always room for 1 or 2 Beard Papa cream puffs. They’re ideal for takeout too. Share a dozen of these and I guarantee that you’ll be the most popular kid on the block.

The negatives are that they are priced fairly high (~$1.50 per cream puff if you buy less than 6), they need to be eaten as soon as possible to ensure freshness, and there are often long lines during peak hours.

Will you like them?
There’s only one way to find out.

One Pic Post – Daiso Coffee

I have a lot of respect for Japanese ad design and marketing. They can make absolutely anything look like a premium upscale product. That’s why I love going to Daiso. I can always find something that makes me say “Wow, that’s cool”, within 2 seconds of looking at just the packaging. It shows that these guys have really done their jobs, and that is to catch consumers’ attention while having their product placed on a shelf among a hundred other similar products on a display shelf.
These two cans of coffee were picked up from Richmond Daiso for $1 each, and they might as well have cost three times that price if someone put them at another store next to other overpriced import products, and no one would be able to tell. The minimalist design and expressive typography tells you…no…ensures you that these products are of premium genealogy and that even the greatest luxuries in life are within your reach.
This one in particular is branded Whistler Black coffee. I’m not sure if that is intended to sound like Whistler Blackcomb or not. The subtext reads “You can enjoy the finest flavor and taste”. Isn’t that so positive and encouraging? Its like getting a good fortune from a fortune cookie, but without all the philosophical pretense.
The coffee itself taste like something you pick up at a supermarket for cheap. To me that didn’t matter. I just wanted to hold the sexy can.

Other posts about Daiso

7th Heaven Cafe – Hot Dishes, Cool Setting

7th Heaven
7th HeavenNeed a break from the $2 shopping at Daiso? Craving HK Style food?
Go to 7th Heaven Cafelocated on the 2nd floor of Aberdeen Center in Richmond.

7th Heaven Cafe is one of the nicest HK Style Cafes in Vancouver. Like most parts of Aberdeen Center, 7th Heaven Cafe is drowning in bright natural light. This is attributed to the mall’s glassy design. Thankfully, the prices are mostly consistent with other HK Style Cafes: low. For ~$7, I ordered the beef topped with black pepper sauce, sided with french fries and pasta, served on a sizzling hot plate. It’s an impressive dish. The waiter brings the scalding hot plate to your table and pours the sauce in front of you. This creates a plume of steam. Fun to watch.

7th Heaven

Fun to eat too. Everything tasted great. There are a lot of great food options in Aberdeen Center, and 7th Heaven Cafe is… one of them.

7.0 out of 10

7th Heaven Cafe also plays host to ballroom dancing events during the night. If you’re into that, it might be worth checking out.

7th Heaven Cafe on Urbanspoon

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