Brrrr … do you feel that today, in particular, had gotten another notch colder? I had my jacket on in the office the whole day. There is a thermostat near where my desk in the office but I think it’s fake. It does nothing no matter what button I press.
He he he … I remember reading articles recently that people install fake thermostat so that people don’t complain and keep calling maintenance to adjust the temperature. Those fake thermostat gives people a false sense of control; a kind of a placebo. In fact it does nothing. I was looking at it this morning and was thinking this thing might be a fake. You think.
The article also mentions that the door close button on elevators is another example. Have you come across that before? The close button doesn’t work and yet people press it. It also gives people a false sense of control when they get impatient waiting for the door to close. Placebo effect?
So I went and try to google placebo effect and guess what I found … this entry on Wikipedia about placebo button. Interesting, eh?
Sorry I was off topic. Let me get back on track.
We are not Bubble Tea people. It’s not that we don’t like it but we always have this perception that BBT places are young people hangouts, not a place for mums and dads.
And don’t ask me why people use the acronym BBT for Bubble Tea and not BT. People had been using BBT for so long that not many people even think that it should have been BT.
But we went to a BBT place anyway. Despite the cold weather and all. We would have loved to go to a hot pot restaurant but we were not hungry and for hot pot you need to be super hungry to have your money worth. So it was the BBT place because they have light snacks and food items.
We went to the Tapioca Express. This is located in the Union Square a few doors away from Liu’s Taiwanese Restaurant and Richmond Sushi. He he he … you should look at that post on Richmond Sushi. It was post #5 on chowtimes.com and it was the first post about eating out. My boys were cuter then and they could sing soprano parts then.
This is quite a big place. As we walked in, we came to a large waiting area where there are several big boards on the wall showing their menu. Most of it is for beverage of course. They do have a small selection of food items too. I remember someone telling me that their Fried Pepper Chicken is pretty good in this restaurant.
Tapioca Express is something like a fast food setup. You order and pay for your food at the counter. We had been here twice before and they have a serious expression. We expected something like how-are-you-doing … or … how-can-I-help-you … or … maybe just a simple “hi”. Instead (both times), they just looked at me and wait for me to say what I wanted. Serious-faced.
After you place the order, they will give you the device above. It is a wireless electronic device which will lights up and plays a tune when your food is ready for collection. Like this:
[vimeo 15907684 w=601 h=451]
I see this quite a bit in the US but I have not come across this in Vancouver myself before. I am sure there are but I have not seen this. In the US, I see a lot of popular chain restaurants (like Cheesecake Factory) use this.
I am saying this because I found out that the Tapioca Express is actually owned by a US company. It is part of the chain with the HQ in Los Angeles. They have only two outlets in Canada, both located in Metro Vancouver — one in Richmond and another on Fraser in Vancouver.
You may click above to enlarge the menu. Most of their drinks is of the $3.50 range. Yeah … every conceivable combinations you can think of, they got it.
The food section (the 3rd and 4th image above) consists of a small selection of snacks, noodles, fried rice, soup, mini hot pot, rice and the section we are coming here for … the Deep Fried section. The Deep Fried items are about $4.50 each.
What we liked most was this one above. It is the Crispy Chicken Skin ($4).
We were asked if we wanted it spicy or not spicy. Of course we went for spicy. Actually spicy … just means that they sprinkle chilli powder on it. You want more spicy? They sprinkle more chilli powder.
This is great as it is so crispy and crunchy. Yeah, I know it is not exactly the healthiest of fried food but you gotta try it to know what I mean.
Our boys doesn’t like these kind of beverage a lot. They just didn’t want it. So Suanne and I got them instead.
It was interesting why they gave everyone the cups upside down. It’s more stable on the tray, I guess.
Suanne had the Pudding Milk Tea for $3.55 while Benny had the Coconut Jelly Pudding for $3.30. Suanne wanted the hot version of the Pudding Milk Tea which costs 25cents extra but were told it’s not available. Do you know why a hot version would cost more?
I like my coconut jelly pudding. It was not too sweet. I like slurping the jelly pudding up the big fat straw.
This sort of drinks together with the more popular pearl/bubble tea is very popular within the Asian community. This is like the Coca-Cola for Asians. I do find that non-Asians does not understand this drink. You see, there was once I had my project team who came over to Vancouver for meetings. They were from all over the US and from London. On one of the days, I bought them some Bubble Tea as a beverage for lunch. Half of them declined to drink it and the other half hardly finished the drink.
Yeah, I guess sucking up black balls up the big fat straws is too exotic for them. Good thing we had a stash of Coke left over from the previous lunches.
What else right? How many times have you seen fried rice on chowtimes? It must be at least a few hundred of posts already.
I don’t even want to tell you who ordered this. It’s academic.
The Fried Rice with BBQ, Egg and Vegetable was $6.50. Surprisingly it looks good and smells good too. It has lots of vegetables in it which includes carrot, corn, green bean, peas and green onions. Mummy Suanne was expecting that Nanzaro would pick the green stuff apart and give it to her.
That did not happen. Nanzaro finished them all. Strange.
Going off topic. I wanted to tell you I had been using this iPhone app for a while to help me translate some of the Chinese words. There are many such apps on iPhone. The one I happen to use is called KTdict C-E. This is not a very good app … but it is FREE.
It does the job except that you have to know the correct sequence of strokes. For the most part, I know how the sequence is because the characters follows a certain flow. Yeah, you perhaps need to know basic Chinese to use this.
You know what would be great? I hope there is an iPhone app that allows you to take a picture of the Chinese words with the built in camera and then have the software analyse the characters and does the translation. That would be awesome and I would install it on my iPhone if there is one.
Is there such an iPhone app? Would be great if it also does Japanese, Korean, Indian, Tibetan, Arabic …
OK back to food.
We also ordered the Noodle with Pepper Crispy Chicken in Soup combo which is $6.50. The Pepper Crispy Chicken was the one item we wanted to try. You can order the Crispy Fried Chicken without the noodle if you want which is $5.
Like the Deep Fried Chicken Skin, you can have it spicy or not … and it just means they sprinkle on the chilli powder.
The chicken was tender and not too crispy outside. It was good but then almost all such dishes are good. It was not exactly the best I ever had. Just OK. Just good. Just so-so.
The noodle in soup is just plain yellow noodle with suey choy in soup. Nothing spectacular.
Total damage was $26.71 before tips.
I talk a lot don’t I? LOL!
Sunday to Thursday: 10am to 12am
Friday and Saturday: 10am to 1:30am