Bubble Fruity on Saba Road, Richmond

I asked Suanne to write this post. She refused.

I don’t want to write a post about a dessert place. I don’t know how to write about desserts. Dessert places are a girl thing. Guys hang around in these places just because we want to keep the girls happy. Tell me, you have never caught a group of guys going for desserts have you? It’s always the girls. And if you happen to see a guy there, it is always with a girl.

Like me.

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A couple of weeks ago, I wrote about the only dessert place we know of in Richmond. It was in this post about the 100% Healthy Desserts. Cathy who writes on the blog Yum-Yum in My Tum-Tum told us about this other place called Bubble Fruity on Saba Road.

So with that, Suanne made sure that we went at the slightest hint of heat. We drove to Saba Road. It is a quiet stretch of road right off the middle of the busiest area in Richmond. I know, it is kind of weird. On No 3 Road, you risk life and limbs crossing the road there but the moment you turn into Saba Road, you can jaywalk across the street anytime.

The biggest problem of this location is the lack parking … no, I mean the lack of free parking. The city Richmond had learned from Vancouver the ridiculous habit of gouging folks like us through street pay parking. There are plenty of parking spots along Saba Road and yet no one wants to park there. It is $2.50 an hour and it is in effect until 9PM, seven days a week!

Richmondites are mostly stingy people. We don’t believe in pay parking.

You could try to park in the Richmond Public Market and walk over. But when we where there, it was already 7:30PM. I remember that the Richmond Public Market closes their parkade at 8PM.

Without any choice, we had to park on the street.

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The inside of Bubble Fruity is small. Anyway, dessert shops like these need not a lot of space to operate. It is bright, clean and neat. The chairs and tables are definitely from IKEA.

I was surprised to see that they have a CRA award plaque hanging behind the counter. They apparently won the CRA award for Best Dessert. Looks like we are in the right place.

This little dessert place is manned by a husband and wife team. The man who works the front was helpful and friendly especially when we could not decide what we wanted. He even brought Suanne a printout of the menu when he saw Suanne taking notes from the menu on the table.

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The menu above is clickable to display a larger image.

Bubble Fruity serves mainly Hongkong style desserts. Most of the desserts are $4 with some off the menu specials at $6. Those are posted on the windows and walls. They also serve light food like sandwiches and noodles too.

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Suanne had the Durian Flavour Sago Cream ($4). This is served with basil seeds and sago. If you love durians … I know you will like this dessert. This has a really distinct and strong durian flavour. It even smell of durian.

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There is a few chunks of fibrous durian meat (the lumpy bit at the picture above). It is an acquired taste I know.

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For those of you who don’t know about durians, the above is the fruit. It is considered as the King of Fruits in South East Asian countries. Asians love it but westerners hates it. I personally think they smell great but to the western nose, they smell offensive. I don’t know why.

But the flesh is really great. It is like custard. Although we can buy durians in some Asian grocery stores, the variety sold here are just not the same. Firstly, it is devoid of smell and worse, they are mostly frozen. Frozen durians taste awful if you ask me.

The durians come in seasons. They are the most expensive local fruits. When it is in season, my parents used to buy a whole basket of them — like twenty over fruits at one time — especially when there is a glut and it gets really cheap. So it was like a treat that we always look forward to. I miss durians.

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I can’t decide what to get for my dessert and so I asked for a recommendation. The owner referred me to the sign pasted on the window and said I should try the Glass Jelly with Fresh Mango and Sago. This is a bit more expensive at $6.

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This dessert is also served with basil seeds and sago which is a wonderful mix with the glass jelly and mango. I like it. It tasted very refreshing and the fact that it is not too sweet. I am just not into really sweet food.

I find that it is not cheap eating here. It is not expensive but certainly not cheap. Maybe I was factoring in the $2.50 parking we had to pay. At least the quality is very good and they use fresh ingredients.

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Apparently they have a nicer Chinese name. It is called “kwei far lum” in Cantonese which means sweet osmanthus. Sweet Osmanthus is a more appropriate name for a Chinese dessert shop. I guess the current name Bubble Fruity is just so that it is more acceptable to more people. Perhaps the word “Bubble” is safer. I am not sure if Bubble Fruity even serve bubble tea because they don’t even mention bubble tea on their menu.

Anyway, Bubble Fruit is opened weekday until 11 pm and until midnight on weekends.

Bubble Fruity 果間茶坊 on Urbanspoon

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  1. I like this cozy little place! I tried the mango sago last time and I liked it. I am actually interested in trying their food since my friend tried the pork chop bun and really liked it.

  2. Well…. my husband is French, and I can tell you that desserts are definitely his thing. He loves to seek out very good desserts as well as create them whenever he has the time. I think it must be a cultural thing since the French don’t consider sweet things to be girlie at all….. they are more concerned with what wine would pair best with whichever dessert was being presented.

  3. this is my fave bubble tea place, you should try their bubble tea, it’s so good and i think it’s the best in town..

  4. BASIL SEEDS!That’s what it’s called in English!
    What I mean is, there is a Sri Lankan drink called Sarbath, which is made from rose syrup mixed with milk and ice cream, and served with a scoop of ice cream and “kasukasu” on top. That kasukasu is the basil seeds (but I didn’t know until now because my parents didn’t know the English word for it).

    1. Sri Lanka? Did someone just said Sri Lanka? OK, I’ll write about a really nice Sri Lanka restaurant tomorrow. 🙂 Seriously. Anyway, Praveena, do you know of any place that serves Kasukasu in Vancouver?

      1. Oh, kasukasu is what we call basil seeds in Tamil. It’s not the name of an actual dish. Sorry for the misconception. The drink is called sarbath, (also called sherbet, faluda), and there aren’t many Sri Lankan restaurants around in Vancouver. The only one that comes to mind is House of Dosas and Noor Mahal (on Fraser street). You’d have more luck with Sri Lankan food in Scarborough, Ontario.

        1. Oh Faluda. I know Bo Laksa has that on the menu sometimes but every time I was there he runs out of it. Oh BTW, I thought I saw a newish Ceylonese restaurant on Knight and Kingsway recently. I can’t remember the name though. Ben

          1. Yeah, I think you are right. The name is Something-Ceylon. Have you been there before JS?

  5. Ugh, durian! Did you try the Durian gelato from that place on Venables? They keep it covered so it doesn’t contaminate the other gelatos.

    By the way, do you think you could put as a header, the name, address, hours etc…at the top of your reviews? Thanks.

    1. Hi Shirl: Good suggestion. I had intentionally left the details of the restaurant out (eg. phone, hours, address, website, etc) because it ends up cluttering the page layout and making it look too “technical”. Instead what I had done is provide a link to the Urbanspoon site where readers can click on to get those info … but of course, I also realize most readers would not know of it. Let me think about it. Doing it is easy but I just wanted to implement this elegantly.

      1. My $0.25 ….. just insert:

        address (without “BC” unless out of town)
        tel #
        website (if avail)

        ……. as the restaurant name is already in the thread title and content.

        Three lines of text could actually take up less room than the Urbanspoon icon. Maybe(?) possible to hypertext the address text to a Google Map (instead of showing the map window which takes up a lot of room).

        1. OK Shirl and LotusRapper … take a look at the bottom of the post. Is this what you’re looking for? He he he … I don’t know if I can commit to do this on a regular basis. It takes a lot of manual work. Unless I can get this into a database and populate the data without having to format it.

          1. (under the Kurumba post)

            Kurumba Restaurant [Website]
            604.461.2245
            107-3003 St. Johns Street, Port Moody ♦ [Map]
            11AM – 10PM ♦ 7 days a week

            Niiiiice ! 🙂

            Is it that much work to insert a few lines of text in that blue box ?

            Would it be easier to simply insert as last paragraph in your own write-up (ie: below the line “If you are familiar with Malaysian and Sri Lankan food, you will probably be salivating reading it.”) ?

            Sorry I’m playing armchair blogger ……

  6. Okay, close enough. It’s just that most reviews in the paper (as it might be different in the blog world) show the name, address etc…traditionally. I guess if you want to get technical about it, a thorough article should cover the Five Ws so the reader does not have to ask any questions.

    They are: Who, What, Why, Where, When and if that is answered in an article then it’s well-rounded.

  7. You guys should try Dessert Kitchen @ 8580 Alexandra Road. They have both western style dessert and asian style dessert. They do have some dinner/snack dishes as well. Only real complaint I have is parking! I guess free parking is hard to come by in Richmond.
    Bubble Fruity is still great though. They are the only place to serve durian desserts, much to the dismay of my husband.

    1. Hi Sylvia: Thanks for letting us know of yet another dessert place. I am sure we will go try their dessert one of these days. Suanne will make sure of that. 🙂 Ben

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