Bubble tea establishments are pretty predictable: modern decor, play school wall colours, tinted lighting and filled with the chatter of young Asian kids. Richmond’s Pearl Castle, located inside Continental Plaza, is no exception. They’re known for their bubble teas, but also serve small meals.
(Above: Chicken noodle soup topped with ground pork sauce.)
Tre ordered a Taiwanese noodle soup served with deep fried chicken thigh. The bowl of soup arrived steaming and topped with minced pork, bean sprouts and green onions, mixing elements of both Japanese Ramen and Taiwanese style noodle soup. The starchy ramen noodles were soaking in a bland, lukewarm broth which made this meal a dud. The saving grace was the deep fried chicken thigh which was slightly sweet and crispy.
(Above: Deep fried chicken thigh to accompany the noodle soup.)
I had the pork sauce over rice, with a single cilantro leaf for good measure. It was accompanied with a side of pickled cabbage, garlic cabbage and marinated tofu. Overall, the rice dish and sides played it safe — none of the flavours stood out. Both our meals came with “dessert,” a sad, dried out, two-bite brownie that looked straight out of the package.
The highlight of our meal was the milk green tea with coconut jelly: Iced and frothy with chunks of sweet coconut jelly.
(Above: Ground pork sauce over rice.)
Our meal including taxes and tips came to just under $23 which would have been a great deal if the food was better. I had high hopes for Pearl Castle since I’ve previously had better luck with their take out. One thing Pearl Castle does that I’d like more bubble tea houses to adopt is offer two different sizes of bubble tea. The servers were friendly and the prices reasonable, but the food just fell short.
Perfect for: bubble tea, not much else.
3779 Sexsmith Road, Richmond