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

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bubble tea

New Age Chinese Cuisine aka Jing Yuan 京園小館

Jing Yuan / New Age Chinese Cuisine Exterior

I can totally picture Yanni having Asian fetish.

That’s what this restaurant’s name brought to my mind anyway.

Previously named Jing Yuan 京園 and located on Rumble street and Royal Oak at a venue half its present size, New Age (I still feel funny typing that) features traditional Chinese/Taiwanese cuisine served in a Post modern style decor.

Jing Yuan - Interior
Almost a replica of Vogue in Richmond, New Age has all the elements for a hip hang out for young adults and families alike.

  1. Bubble Tea.
  2. Stylish design and bright lighting.
  3. Good looking waitresses with attitude and ready to strike a pose.
  4. Portions more suitable for smaller group.
  5. Saucy dishes making you want #1.

They’ve been around for a few years. some would call it new age. I call it Chinese Food 2.0

On this night we had a sampling of a few of their more common Chinese dishes, nothing too fancy:

Kung Pao Chicken
Jing Yuan - Kung Pao Chicken

Ma Po (Spicy) Tofu
Jing Yuan - Ma Po Tofu

Ying Yang Rice (I had to order it or I’d get HK Cafe withdraw)
Jing Yuan - Yuan Yang Rice

Bamboo Shoot Beef, Wintermelon in some sort of starchy goo, and Pineapple Shrimp (A relatively unknown but delicious dish)
Jing Yuan - Bamboo Shoot w/ Beef Jing Yuan - Wintermelon Jing Yuan - Pineapple Shrimp

…and a few others but the pics didn’t turn out so well.

Where this place showed its personal flair was its rice thermos. Brought directly from Taiwan likely at a street stall and even had its original made in Taiwan 24k gold sticker on the back. Cute.
Jing Yuan - Taiwan Import

Prices for anything with pork/beef/chicken are around $10, but if you want to eat anything that lives under water, the price jumps up to $16+ for about the same sized dish.

I found the food indistinguishable from Vogue and other Taiwanese / Bubble Tea places, which is to say it was alright. If you lived in Burnaby, and don’t want to make the trip to Richmond to have a slice of sweet and sour Chinese pie, this place will do nicely.

P.S. They’re now on Kingsway near Royal Oak.

map

snap of their take out menu

Food: 6/10 Meh.
Ambiance: I think the lights could sterilize a small animal. Its the way I’d like my flat to look. 8/10

Jing Yuan Chinese on Urbanspoon

Richmond Night Market – Eating Out

It’s that time of year again…

Richmond Night Market

Established in 2000 and now in its 7th year, the Richmond Night Market has become an annual Vancouver tradition. It’s Richmond’s take on the iconic night markets in places like Hong Kong, Macau, Singapore, Taiwan, and Thailand.

The Richmond Night Market is here all summer: May 18 – October 8.
Open on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and long-weekend Monday nights.
Friday & Saturday: 7pm-12am
Sunday & long-weekend-Mondays: 7pm-11pm

We went on a warm Friday night and it was PACKED. If you suffer from agoraphobia or claustrophobia , you might want to look away.

Richmond Night Market

On busy nights, the market supposedly attracts up to 30,000 people. Judging by how long it took me to get from one end of the food area to the other end, it’s not hard to believe.

There are other non-food attractions at the market like bootleg merchandise, a stage for music performances, and more bootleg merchandise, but the food is the #1 reason to go (and only reason in my opinion).

Richmond Night Market

Richmond Night MarketThis ain’t your typical sit-down restaurant. There are dozens of food stands and even more choices. Tasty examples include BBQ meat skewers (pictured above), curry fish balls, stinky tofu, fresh fruit, Korean BBQ, Bubble Tea, and much more. A selection typically ranges in price from $2 to $5, depending on what you order.

The coolest part of the Richmond Night Market is being able to watch your food get cooked right in front of you and then being able to snack on it as you make your way towards the next food stand.

Richmond Night Market

Richmond Night MarketI was pretty full from dinner and was contempt with ordering a mango shaved ice, which is basically fluffy snow drenched with super-sweet condensed milk and fresh mango. It was absolutely delicious. You can get shaved ice desserts year round in most bubble tea cafes, but they taste so much better at the night market; similar to how Coke always tastes better out of a cold glass bottle.

Getting my shaved ice was no easy task though. After wading through the crowds and placing my order, I had to wait at least 10 minutes. There are just too many people. In fact, getting to the Richmond Night Market is no easy task in itself. On a busy night, you have the choice of either parking 20 minutes away for free or queuing up for 20 minutes to have the opportunity to pay $5.50 for closer parking.

Love it or hate it, you can’t deny the fact that the Richmond Night Market serves up some great food with a side of unique Asian culture. Check it out at least once.

Pearl Castle – Social Taiwanese Cafe

There are roughly 52,123,234 bubble tea cafes in the lower-mainland area (approx 17.4 cafes per capita). One of the more popular ones is Pearl Castle, located in Richmond just off Cambie Rd. Busy during the day, busier during the night, and busiest during late night, Pearl Castle is a great place to chill with friends. That is, if you don’t mind the long wait and the loud crowds.

On this night, I ordered a drink whose name escapes me at the moment. It wasn’t the Young Girl’s Dream. Nor was it the Somewhere in Time. It was more masculine – something to do with pirates. Whatever it was, it was a creamy concoction of peaches, coconut, pineapple, and tapioca pearls. It was swashbuckling delicious – and with a price tag of over $6, it had better be.

Pearl Castle does more than just drinks. Flowing with the high seas theme, we ordered up a dish of deep fried squid tentacles. Regular calamari is also on the menu, but I prefer the crispier tentacles. Served hot with tangy dipping sauce, these won’t last long when shared between friends. They taste exponentially better than they look.

Contrasting the crispy and salty tentacles, we also ordered the Taiwanese Sausage. Sweet and soft, another great dish to share among friends.

Both dishes are priced a few dollars more than my bubble tea: not bad.
Pearl Castle has a great selection of “snacky” Taiwanese dishes on their menu. They’re great for sharing and go great with the bubble tea drinks, which is no surprise considering the fact that bubble tea was born in Taiwan.

The overpriced drinks are offset by the reasonably-priced foods. Combined with a great atmosphere, Pearl Castle gets a 9 out of 10 (worth the hype).

Pearl Castle Cafe on Urbanspoon

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