Busy bubble tea cafe in Richmond. Serves Taiwanese snack food as well.
I've come here about half a dozen times and each time is more awkward than the last.
Always packed during the evening hours until closing with stylish preteens and a loud buzz in the air. Mostly booths with bright lighting there is a lot of young eye candy around, patrons and servers alike. Although mostly an asian crowd, being asian myself this is one place where I feel so out of place.
I think this place is the first of its kind and since then a bunch of imitators have sprung up. Mostly known for their drinks you can also order appetizers and meals. Nothing about it is special except maybe the glasses they serve their drinks in. Their Bubble Tea drinks are good (their coconut jelly is a little bland) but they also come with a higher price (and probably with slightly less volume). I've had a few of their fried appetizers which were pathetic altogether and they all tasted alike. All these places must buy the same boxed seasoning packages. These types of establishments are also the only places where you could get away with charging almost $10 for instant noodles.
Servers are young, cute and friendly but wished some could grasp the english language better (fault of the Manager). They probably need a few more drink machines running to keep up with the volume coming in so sometimes it was a snail's crawl coming to the table.
If you have to come for the drinks only. The food and atmosphere is more fitting for the giggly and young teen crowd who are still developing their palettes.
I go here sometimes cuz my partner says so or else I'll try somewhere else. Everytime we go there, we have to line-up. The food is OK. I've tried their hotpots and noodle soup. Their drinks is average, not the greatest, and cost more than other bbt shops. I think the drinks are a total rip off unless u're really craving for them. Another thing is that when u order "fresh" fruits, it's powder! I saw it with my own eyes! How upsetting and we paid like $5 for that crap.
The service is nothing special but what do u expect at a bbt place. Plus they're so busy anyways.
Their peppery chicken is pretty good and it's in big portions. That's the only compliment I can think of.
Mrs. C and I were starving in Richmond, and decided to give PC a try. The place is nice inside, and the menu had lots of choices, mostly Taiwanese dishes. The server seemed harried but efficient, and we soon had our orders placed. I ordered a strawberry milk tea which was fabulous. Then on to the mains: I had satay pork and fried noodles, and my lunch companion had deep fried pork chop with noodles in soup. Both came with a dessert.
The satay pork was tasty and a huge potion. One downside was that it had something gritty in the sauce. Not sure what it was, but I am guessing cheap satay sauce was the culprit. It came with a side of kimchi, and a tarry bean pudding dessert. The pork chop was a little dry and bony, but the noodles in soup were reported to be great, and the pudding was also tasty if weird-looking, so Mrs. C said she had a mixed reaction to her meal. Lots of the other diners were eating little hotpots, and we might try that next time.
Definitely a good place to get a milk tea or a bubble tea, with a huge selection to choose from. The food could be much better though.
Food: Pretty tasty for the price paid - fried rice is tasty but the accompanying chicken was quite bland and soggy tho. Deep fried tofu was also pretty good and also came with a side of kimchi. A nice innovative menu of specialty drinks that I must try more of. Bubble teas are very good but pearls tend to be inconsistent - sometimes good, sometimes mushy.
Service: Long waits which is fine but why should there be waits when there are tables that are free? Servers don't came back to ask how anything is. Don't expect refills for anything. When I ordered strawberry, they didn't tell me it came with milk and when I said I couldn't drink it, she blamed it on me for not knowing! I'm sorry for not having ESP??!??... Well, shouldn't there be an option given as to whether we order it with milk or not instead of assuming that it should always be with milk?? Her ensuing attitude really ruined the meal. Servers here don't deserve a tip since they don't provide service.
Ambiance: Nice interior. Comfortable to sit in and chat with your friends while drinking bb tea or eating a snack. They should really hire servers who speak a little bit of english tho.
Food: i always get one of the fried rice w/ ??? combos. it's only fried rice, but for some reason i lub it here! it's kinda diff't and i find myself craving for it from time to time. i've tried the deep fried pork cutlet and deep fried chicken w/ it. they've always been consistently good until the last time i had it...too much batter! i dont know if it was a one time anomoly but both mine and my b/f's had so much access batter we had to remove it off the meat! bubble tea selection is huge and always very tasty!
Service: average busy busy tea house w/ servers running around. always polite but not always english literate.
Ambiance: very modern edgy looking decor. place to just hangout and chit chat over bbtea. never felt rushed to leave.
Overall: if i was looking for a bbtea place w/ good food and drinks to chill this would def be on my list of places to check out provided i dont have to wait too long to be seated. if you dont come early, u'll be waiting and forced to watch and drool over other ppl's food and drinks while they enjoy!
I've been to Pearl Castle a few times but always during the day, or at most, for early dinner. My friends and I came in this time around 11pm and boy, was it a different experience.
I tried ordering 2 drinks of which the server said they were out of. I chose a 3rd drink but the server came back and told me there were no more pearls. How can a bubble tea place run out of pearls? Shouldn't they keep stock of these essentials? Or perhaps they were too lazy to make more seeing how they were closing soon?
Speculation aside, my friend's drink arrived but they had given him coconut jelly instead of grass jelly. The server then came to confirm that he wanted his Ginger Tea hot instead of cold. When he said yes, she said "are you sure?" several times, which is strange because the menu lists both hot and cold for this drink.
Quality of the drinks were pretty good but not the best. I want to come back but the lack of customer care is kind of a turn off. The kicker was that my drink was still at regular price even without the pearls when I got the bill. I know it's only 75 cents, but why am I paying for something that I didn't get (and it was the restaurant's fault)? That just shows they don't care =(
...but the food is pretty solid. That is if you order the hotpot meals that comes on a tray with a smokin' hot pot/dish of whatever meat/sauce selection. It comes with rice/noodle and some kind of asiany yummy tasting jello. Can't go wrong for less than $10. Of course with ANY chinese place in Richmond, always remember to bring cash and anticipate a wait - to get in and for your food. The ambiance was nice and well lit. The seating is tight and it reminded me of being in most restaurants in New York, where I'd be literally shoulder to shoulder with my neighbor and pretty much hear their entire conversation. =) Overall, not a bad place to go to in the middle of the week. I'd most likely stay away on the weekends though. We did end up trying some drinks - a red bean slush and the blue baby, which was a green colour, not blue. The drinks are not bad, but I have yet to try some more cuz I'm not really a huge BBT fan. Oh well - I do like their hotpot dishes!
i love pearl castle. every time i go there, i'm satisfied with what i get. but today, it was the first time trying out their food menu, and i was disappointed.
i got the fluffy cream toast with hot milk tea and they were both awesome. their toasts are delicious!!! milk tea is always good; no bubble tea place can screw milk tea up.
for food though, i really wanted to try out the hot pot cause it looked so funky with the individual fire stoves and all. one word of caution: DO NOT GET IT JUST CAUSE IT LOOKS GOOD.
i tried the beef in fire hot pot. it didnt even have the side dishes. the soup tasted bland and just hot...and had a strange odour to it. i think it would be suitable in flavour for older asians....and the ingredients weren't of best quality (beef had way too much fat, oden wasn't cooked too well....a lot more cabbage than other things...and they have weird glutinous blood chunks if you know what i'm talking about)
well, the hot pot disappointed me, but the bubble tea and other drinks there is fantastic, so i'm rating it 4 stars. you should try out the special mixed drinks .... they're very good!
service.....all i gotta say is, they should have some more english literate servers. i had to repeat to 3 different servers for wanting a spoon.
I went there few minutes before 6:00 PM on Sunday, so I got seats right away. The restaurant was almost full before 6:00 PM. I heard how crowded it would be, so I went early. I am glad I didn't have to wait.
Food: It's very inexpensive. Meals are around $6.50 to $7.95. That is quite fair considering they give you generous portion. And they taste good too. Hot pot is great. When you leave the restaurant, you will be very full and happy regardless you are a skinny girl with small stomach or big dude with big appetite.
Drinks are expensive from $4 to $6.50. And there is a good reason. There are always some lame teens or cheapos trying to have a cheap date in a boba restaurant, meaning they only order drinks not food even during lunch time or dinner time. The restaurant has to set the price of the drinks a little bit high to make them pay for sitting there forever (occupying seats without ordering food). And I did see that two tables of customers only had drinks not food during the entire time. No one bothered them. In some busy restaurants, waiters might pressure them to order food or leave sooner to keep the table open for customers who do want to eat. At pearl castle, they get to sit there sipping their drinks forever.
Keep in mind that this is still a restaurant not a boba shop which only sells boba and snacks. A restaurant does have higher overhead than a boba shop or coffee shop because of the bigger kitchen space, bigger dining area, expense on ingredients for real meals, natural gas for cooking and labors.
Service: The service for me was quick enough. The waitress was friendly and helpful. I have no complains.
Ambiance: The only thing i don't like is that this place is very cramped. You sit very close to tables next to you. You can hear their conversation even you don't mean to. If you sit next to some nosy people, you don't feel very relaxed talking to your friends.
Though their line-ups are long it's worth the wait. I really enjoy having their teas (milky, black, green) because they don't give off a bad after taste like other bubble tea places does, suppose they have nice quality tea. Their food on the other hand needs some improvement. My friends and I all ordered at the same time and my food took so long that nearly all of them finished before mine actually arrived. When I questioned them about my order, all they said was to check up on it, but they never really got back to telling me what they did with my order. Lesson learned. I'll only order drinks, and perhaps doing take-out, since they're always so busy.
Well, what do you expect o a BBT place? Yeah, you get bubble tea, and this place also offers some food. But ultimately, you come for the bubble tea. which - is just decent. It doesn't wow me.
There's just simply TOO MANY people ordering take-out on a Friday or Saturday night. if you get a table near the bar where staff are making drinks, or if you get a table near the cash register, be prepared to be SURROUNDED by people ordering take-out drinks, which leads too nobody noticing customers near the tables, and well, just a general lack of ambiance.
At least, if you order take out from Well Tea, you won't block other people who are sitting in the restaurant enjoying their drink.
Hey Pearl Castle: a suggestion; if you have a cash register and order-taking near the DOOR, rather than at the back of the restaurant, it will improve your ambiance, and your restaurant won't always be so crowded that we never want to come!
Consistently decent food and drinks. Love the side dishes. The atmosphere is nice. It's always busy here.
One downside? Three times we came, trying to order shaved ice and they were out of ice. Um, isn't there ice in the bubbletea? Can you not make shaved ice out of that? I guess they don't have the machine for it, and they merely order flaked ice by the bag? Oh well.
This place is so asian, I love it.
I have tried lots of bubble tea houses around the Lower Mainland, and definitely Pearl Castle is at the top of my list. When I used to live in Vancouver, I would frequent this place more often since there was a Pearl Castle on Cambie (Oakridge), but every now and then I would venture into Richmond just for my bubble tea fix. The house special milk tea is my favourite, it's creamy, hot, and smooth...and served in a nice tea cup. The restaurant has expanded their menu, long before their specialty was bubble teas exclusively. The chicken elbows are really good, nicely salted and crunchy. The food is good and inexpensive, clean, modern decor, but the line-ups can be long in the evening....
Pearl castle is a drinks establishment, the food is there only if you are really starving and need nourishment badly. Maybe it would taste good if you haven't eaten in three days, doubtful.
Out of a party of 6, we ordered 4 entrees and a couple drinks. Do not order entrees, go after you have had a proper meal elsewhere. The Taiwanese meat sauce and noodles I ordered were incredibly bland and lacking in any flavour; it tasted like leftover shredded pork microwaved with some instant noodles. Two of our party ordered hot pot sets, one seafood miso and one lamb I believe. Both lacked the variety of meat that you would expect from a rather expensive set meal; the seafood hot pot seemed to be half made up of fish cake, while the lamb hot pot was mostly soggy vegetables. The worst was the breaded chicken on fried rice entree my friend ordered. The fried rice was dry and the breaded chicken was more "bread" than chicken, and overall it was also very dry and salty. The kicker is my friend went home to a night of stomach issues.
The two people who only ordered drinks were the lucky ones. Pearl castle has decent pearl tea and smoothie drinks, although slightly more expensive than elsewhere. The service was the usual curt and impersonal but efficient service you'd expect from such places, and the ambiance is similar to a White Spot full of Chinese people. Again, if you stick to the drinks menu you should be fine.
Gosh, I go here so much it's getting embarassing.
For starters, the place is spacious, well-lit, non-smoking and clean - not really what you could say about most other BBT places anywhere in Richmond or Vancouver. They have a great menu of real food (i.e. not just snacks) that are... surprisingly good for food served at a BBT hangout! Their snakcs are also great: Kimchi fried tofu is highly recommended as are the Shaved ice plates. BBT flavous are pretty innovative and there are tons to choose from.
In the end though, no matter how good the food is, keep in mind that this is a BBT hangout and not a restaurant. The service is excellent if you keep that mind. Not always suitable for large parties, but they will try their best to accomodate (they are pretty creative with re-arranging tables). Full to capacity with a line out the door on the weekends.
Not only do they have the best bubble tea you'll ever taste, Pearl Castle has awesome food as well. I also love the atmosphere. The chairs are comfortable and the interior looks so nice. One of my favourite places to go to every Friday of the week!
Although parking may be a problem, since it's located at a plaza filled with other stores, you'll only wait a few minutes until you find parking. It maybe pretty packed too, specially on Friday nights and weeknights, so you better come earlier than dinnertime or a few hours before they close. Or you can make reservations.
I don't remember ever leaving pearl castle a happy camper.
i ordered an earl grey milk tea, and there was pudding in it.
another time, my drink took a ridiculously long time (30 minutes or more?) and i had to ask them to check on my drink TWICE.
the wait is always really long, and you can't make reservations.
i would not recommend this place.
Been a regular patron for a number of years now, good place to hang out with friends for a late night drink and snacks.
Having said that, the service and food are both inconsistent - depends on the time of the day and the server you get.
Great bubble tea though, that's the primary reason why I always go back. Authentic and not too sweet, best bubble tea in the lower mainland!
I used to be a regular patron of this place meaning that I'd go there at least once a month. Now I just can't stand it anymore
Service: Is that even service??
Got sworn at by the waitress for waiting for a seat.... Can you believe it???
Food: Dirty, what else?
Ordered a curry but had stickers in it (FRUIT stickers)!!!! Told them about it, but they did NOTHING about it!!!
Ambiance: Dirty to the regular folk!
If you consider sticky n' stained seats clean, then it's clean!!!
The food and ambiance of this place is not the best, but acceptable to the regular student and it's a nice place to chill and talk. Not really expecting much from their service, but just had it when the waitress swore at me!!! Was waiting for a seat for 45 minutes and the waitresses kept on giving seats away to her 'friends'. It's normal when it's just one or two tables (I'm reasonable), but FIVE tables???? Then asked her when I will be able to be seated in a nice manner "excuse me, I waited for 45 minutes already! When will I be able to get a seat?". The response was some mandarin swear words and I was shocked!!!! Got mad and went out with friends and slammed their door!!! Never got as angry as this at a public place! BOYCOTTING IT!!!!
My friend, a Richmond local, took us to Pearl Castle and I really liked it! There are 2 menus: an extensive drink menu and a food menu. Depending on what you order, the drinks can be pricey, but my drink ("Floating Ice" - milk, coconut, and ice cream) was really delicious. I also ordered rice with Taiwanese meat sauce ($4.95) and wasn't expecting much, but was impressed with the generous portion which included accompanying side dishes (spicy tofu, fresh broccoli with dressing, and some bok choy), and dessert of a single cream puff.
The atmosphere was bright and fun. Also, our server was really nice, friendly and helpful. It's clearly a popular place, so be prepared to line up and wait a bit on Friday/Saturday evenings.
I would definitely go back and recommend the place to others!