Pearl Castle (Sexsmith Rd) - Canada

Pearl Castle is nearly synonymous with bubbletea in Richmond, BC, Canada. With aggressive expansion totaling in 4 locations around Metro Vancouver, they're doing something right and it starts with their drinks. Food of course accompanies the bubble tea, like many Taiwanese run restaurants. Recently, they actually won a Diner’s Choice Award for “The Best Taiwanese Cafe & Bubble Tea” at the 2011 HSBC Chinese Restaurant Awards

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 The food menu is extensive, covering all aspects from hot pot, traditional Taiwanese dishes, rice and noodles with everything under $10.00CAD. On the drink side, there's seasonal fresh fruit, red/black/green/oolong tea, hot drinks and special drinks with the most expensive drink being $5.00CAD. Pearls, coconut jelly, pudding or grass jelly are an extra $0.50 charge, which is on par with many other bbt joints. There's also icy plates and thick toast for dessert. 

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My friend loves this drink and always orders it when he's at Pearl Castle. On the menu it's found under House Special Drinks, and is simply called Blue (blue tangerine, calpis, pop, cream) - $4.00CAD. When this came out, I couldn't help but laugh at the whipped cream and sprinkles on top. This isn't cake, it's a drink! However I guess that's what makes it special, that little bit extra on top. I had a sip, and it was like an orangey soda ..colored blue. 

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Another friend ordered Grass Jelly Milk Tea $4.00CAD. I've actually never had grass jelly in my milk tea before, I'm just a stickler and prefer the more traditional pearls in my bbt. However, seeing as grass jelly is quite popular amongst my friends and on menus, I may have to give it a try next time. 

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As for me, I had the House Special Green Milk Tea $4.00CAD. Serves me right for laughing earlier, my drink was topped off with whipped cream, sprinkles AND chocolate drizzle. I quickly ate it up as I didn't want the chocolate or sprinkles to mix with the tea. The whipped cream itself doesn't change the taste of the milk tea as it's dairy based, so it's not a big deal. 

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Pretty standard Fried Squid Tentacles $5.75CAD but it's really the garlic and thick soy sauce dip that gives this a whole 'nother level of taste.  

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Pepper Salt Chicken Knee $5.25CAD. Yes, this is the cartilage portion of the chicken leg. It's got meat and cartilage, which is a little crunchy and chewy at the same time. While not the same as sallt peppery chicken, otherwise known as yan su ji, a popular snack in Taiwan, this was just as good and well balanced with the seasoning. 

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Last up was the Mango Slush $4.00+pearls $0.50. They actually forgot to put in the pearls and brought the drink over, but providing the pearls on the side like this had two benefits. 
1. My friend got a full drink up to the brim without the pearls taking up space.
2. The pearls don't freeze in the slush. 
Seeing as it's still late spring and Mango is not exactly a seasonal fruit available in Vancouver, I am 99% sure that this was made from mango concentrate or pulp and blended with ice.

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Pearl Castle (Sexsmith) 
(604) 270-3939

3779 Sexsmith Rd
Richmond, BC
Sun-Thurs 1130am-0100am
Fri-Sat 1130-0200am

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Guest Blogger: Kevin Wu of 604 Foodtography

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