Twinkle 2 - Richmond, Canada

Twinkle 2 is an offshoot or a franchised out location of the original and wildly popular Twinkle location.. which I've never been to. The crowd just wasn't my type, many young highschool kids, usually very loud and talking about their latest mom-and-dad gifts from Asia. That seems to be the case here as well, but fortunately my visit was still early in the evening so none of the aforementioned were present. Just me and a group of friends took up the restaurant.

Regarding the DEPH contamination news that broke from Taiwan a couple months ago, many bubble tea restaurants have gone out of their way to assure customers their products are perfectly safe. Here Twinkle2 has put up some prints of reports, and Pearl Castle has even taken out front page advertisements in the local Chinese newspapers. It's a very reassuring fact, and really I have not noticed much of a drop in people frequenting bubbletea places. Maybe initially for the first couple weeks after the news broke, but after it just seemed like everyone went back to normal.

This is my first visit to Twinkle2, as I actually rotate and stick to a few of my regular bubbletea places, but I've heard good things about the drinks, specifically the special drinks, here at Twinkle2. First thoughts upon walking in was wow this place is tiny, (seats about 40) compared to most of the bubbletea places in Richmond, and that there's a lot of pink going on.

The food and drink menus were pink, but well laid out. Prices are definitely on the pricier side here, with most drinks going for $5 and more. No one bothered looking for food as we had all come from dinner.

The blatant inclusion of Doraemon on the menus and the figures on the shelves provided an interesting topic amongst my friends. Is this an issue of copyright?

Drinks were ordered, and they came out pretty quickly. This Hot Passion Fruit Green Tea was the first to come out, which we thought a little strange because it's a hot drink. However, I surmised that all the teas are hot in thermos's and the syrup was just added to this, making it the easiest and fastest to bring out. Daniel sure didn't appreciate me breaking down how his $5.85 drink was made, but it's the truth!

A couple others ordered the Orange Calpis..also something like $5.85 or so.

The lone Grape Calpis on the table.

Almost every bubbletea place has a house special, usually for the milk tea, green tea, etc. It's where they place some pride and want to showcase their creativity, something to stand out amongst the others. Knowing this and wanting to get a feel for how creative they can get, I ordered the House Special Milk Tea. My drink was the last to arrive out of all my friends, and when it came we all went "oooo". First off, the glass was obviously different and of course the whipped cream on top. My first initial thoughts were "damnit, whipped cream again?" then "why does this tea not look like milk tea?".

The server instructed me to mix the whipped cream into the drink, and well, obviously the drink colour changed. Now it looked a lot more the milk tea I'm used to. Taste wise.. it was nothing close. I'm not sure of what exactly makes this special, but my supposed milk tea tasted like Winter Melon Tea. Yea..that's right. It had the characteristic sweet taste, and if I hadn't seen it or knew what it was called before trying, I would definitely say Winter Melon. It tasted fine, but ..was not what I expected for a milk tea. I didn't bother questioning the waitress as she already had difficulty taking our orders in English.

Based on this visit.. I would not go back to Twinkle2.  The service wasn't bad, the place looks nice, but the prices are ridiculous. $5.85 for a drink, and that's not including pearls, tax, OR tip, which would put it at about $7.50 or more. Simply unfathomable how some will pay that price for a bubbletea, when I can already get an alcoholic drink and a half for that price!

Twinkle 2
(604) 910-9209
#125-8291 Alexandra Rd.
Richmond, BC

Guest Blogger: Kevin Wu of 604 Foodtography

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