Magnetic Cafe on Garden City and McKim Way, Richmond

Updated: 4th July 2012: This restaurant had been replaced by Mochi Bubble Tea Cafe.

We did not realize it until someone told us that the Go Go Tea Cafe had closed and that it had reopened as Magnetic Cafe. You see, Go Go Tea was very different from other bubble tea restaurants. The difference is the way that the waitress dressed. I did not mention this on the Go Go Tea post but a reader did pick up on this omission and commented on the post.

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Go Go Tea is now gone. It is now called the Magnetic Cafe. The restaurant is located on the 2nd floor of the Cosmo Plaza.

There are parking in the building but it is kind of narrow and hard to navigate. The other alternative is street parking which given the stingy nature of Richmondites, hardly anyone ever parked on it ever since the city made this whole area pay parking.

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The restaurant looked exactly the same when it was Go Go Tea. As far as I am concerned, it is exactly the same restaurant except for the name.

While the place is clean it does show a little of its age. The last time we were in Go Go Tea was 2 years ago, so am not surprised.

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A few days after our visit, the Richmond Review actually featured Magnetic Cafe on the front page. The picture above is from the Richmond Review.

The waitresses here are dressed up in costumes. They have a name for this. It is called cosplay. While the picture above are tastefully done, when we were there, I must say some of the outfits were a bit too sexy.

So yeah, I think I saw that Arkensen and Nanzaro were a bit uneasy with mum and dad there. LOL! I did not talk about it and pretended I did not notice. Anyway, our boys are kind of shy with girls just like their dad when he was their age. They will grow out of it, am sure.

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The menu consist mostly of drinks but there are quite a lot of meal options (see the four pages of food). There are:

  • Appetizers which are basically Taiwanese style appys, mostly in the $4.50 range
  • Korean Hot Pots, at $7.50
  • Special Hot Pots ($10)
  • Hotpot Combos ($10) where you get to choose the soup base and one main dish
  • Hot Plates ($8.50)
  • Set Meals with Rice or Noodles ($8-$9)
  • Soup ($5)

So price-wise, they are quite within the normal range of similar restaurants.

Currently, they have a promotion going on that a free drink from the black and green tea menu (valued at $4.25) is free with a meal. This is only if you come in before 6PM. We were there at about 5:30PM and so we got the drinks for free (50 cents extra for added pearls).

We found it kind of funny that there were a lot of new customers walking in at 5 minutes before 6PM. I guess a lot of people know of their promo.

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We had the Taiwanese Oyster Pancake ($6). We ordered this because there were so much talk about the oyster omelette on chowtimes. LOL!

Unlike the crispy Chiu Chow-style oyster omelette from T-Hut, this one is the less starchy kind. We are glad this one is more … eggy than it is starchy.

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The pancake is quite thin and the serving is small. We understand … t is just an appetizer although we wished that there are more to it.

Taste-wise, it is quite good. This was gone pretty fast as our boys like it a lot.

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The $10 Special Hot Pot was pretty good too. There are about 10 different choices which includes interest options like:

  • Pig’s (sic) Intestine in Hot Spicy Sauce
  • Milk Seafood
  • Taiwanese Lamb
  • Sour Cabbage
  • Chicken and Yam with Herb Soup
  • Japanese Style Sukiyaki

I selected the one called the Poached Sliced Lamb in Hot Chili Oil Pot. This is served with a side of Soy Bean Sprout Kimchee and rice.

While the soup looked spicy, it was just OK spicy. I think even people who have low tolerance of spiciness will be able to take it.

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Even though this came with rice, there are mung bean noodles in it too. So yeah, this is a very filling dish to order.

What I like best is the soup which goes very well with rice. I like this hotpot although I must also say that I had better ones.

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Suanne’s order is from the Special Menu on the table. This is called the Taiwanese Meat Sauce on Rice with Egg ($5.50).

A very simple comfort food and a very typical Taiwanese style rice. It is served with pickled radish and sour cabbage, and meat sauce with mushrooms.

Suanne said she liked the combination of the sour and crunchy pickled vegetables with the meat sauce. Yeah, this is something I would like too. For just $5.50, this is a cheap option for a light lunch. I wish there are something like this near my workplace.

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Nanzaro had the Spicy Diced Chicken with Peanuts ($8.25). It is served with 3 sides, broccoli with red pepper, salad and bean sprout. Needless to say, Nanzaro did not touch the sides at all and left it to mum who just can’t stand wasting it.

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The chicken does look very tasty and had enough sauce. OK, maybe too much sauce that you need to eat this with rice.

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Arkensen had the Satay Beef Fried Rice ($7.50). I did not quite like the color of the fried rice (looked too brown) and thought that it is too moist. I like fried rice that is dry.

Arkensen said it was OK.

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All of us had free drinks. Although we ordered our individual ones, we could not tell which is ours. Between us we had:

  • Honey Lemon Black Tea
  • Mango Green Tea
  • Sour Plum Black Tea
  • Bubble Green Tea

We did not fuss about it. After all, they all taste about the same to us.

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Service is less than favourable. The young girls seem to be inexperienced although it did not quite bother us. For instance, the drinks were brought to us one at a time.

They messed up the bill. You see, they told us they ran out of pearls (strange given this is a tea house) but on the bill they charged us for the 50 cents. We tried to flag the waitress down but we finally gave up and just paid the bill and deducted the pearl ($1.50) from the bill ourselves.

They accept cash only BTW.

Oh, I was just checking Urbanspoon and thought the User Reviews (here) is interesting. How do you interpret such reviews anyway? For me, I almost always discount any reviews by individual who had only made one single review. It is because it is so easy for anyone to create an account on Urbanspoon and write a glowing review or for the matter a negative review.

11:30 AM to 2:00 AM, 7 days a week — 604 244 7336 — http://magnecticcafe.com

Magnetic Cafe on Urbanspoon

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  1. Buddha Boy and I wanted to try the new cafe after we heard Go Go Tea closed…well…Buddha Boy was more interested in the “scenery”…LOL! I think I will take advantage of the promotions and go there sometimes before 6pm! Thanks for the review Ben!

  2. I LOL’ed at the shy part with the kids. There must have been an awkward moment of silence when the waitresses walked by. But I wouldn’t call their uniforms cosplay though, unless they particularly dressed up like anime characters or is representing some other idea for purpose of demonstrating art.

  3. I wonder if it is the same owner as Gogo tea, but just re-branded, kinda like the Zephyr place you visited by XS Cargo.

    I too saw the article in the Review and the News. I’m wondering how they made it on the front page! Good marketing I guess.

  4. Hi Ben,

    From your posts I’m aware that you work around the Burnaby-Metrotown area. Lao Shao Dong, Bubble World Restaurant on Kingsway and the newly open Tea Team on Nelson and Kingsway all offer the meat sauce on rice dish that you are talking about. In fact, they offer it at lower price, I believe around $4.50. Tea Team actually offers a lot of the dishes that you mention in this post; I highly recommend the black pepper and beef fried rice for your sons.

    Sally

    1. Hi Sally: Oh really? At Lao Shan Dong, I had always gotten the “#3 small spicy please” all the time. I did not even read the menu. Glad to know they also have meat sauce on rice. This is something I am looking for because it is lighter than a full sized lunch. I will also check out Tea Team too. I totally forgot about them! Ben

      1. Hi Sally: I went for lunch at Lao Shan Dong today and got the meat sauce on rice. It was only $3.95 — very cheap and also it is a lot of rice. I expected at this price, they would be a smaller serving but it is a full lunch. So I am really full right now. And it was pretty good too. I enjoyed it. Anyway, before I went to Lao Shan Dong, I meant to go to Tea Team for lunch today. It was 11:45AM when I got there but they were surprisingly closed. The sign outside says that they open at 11:30AM and that they are opened 7 days a week. Very sloppy. Ben

  5. “Arkensen had the Satay Beef Fried Rice ($7.50). I did not quite like the color of the fried rice (looked too brown) and thought that it is too moist. I like fried rice that is dry.”

    Funny I too like fried rice (regardless of flavour) where the rice must be pure and white (and dry). Guess that’s why I’m not a fan of nasi goreng.

    Nothing beats a nice plate of Yangzhou Fried Rice/揚州炒飯 (with salted fish).

  6. I agree with the others LSD’s meat sauce+rice is pretty good.
    And to comment on the oyster omlette, the “typical authentic street style Taiwanese oyster omlette” is starchy, with 1 egg added + a green leafy veggie+ “sweet-spice saucy”. This one is too eggy.
    However, I will be sure to check this place out!

  7. Haha, in my area the Chiu Chow style is not starchy at all while the Taiwanese one has plenty of starch. Completely opposite! LOL.

    I like how everything looks so pretty and organized, but I can’t help but say that the spicy chicken looks like it is a Korean dish! Guess its the plating and the stuff on the side. 🙂

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