What once used to be ESTEA is now TRUE’STEA. Hmm .. The meme “I see what you did there” would be appropriate for the owners. Do you see ESTEA in truE’STEA? Having said that, the windows still say Estea, and so do their plates. Menu is still the same as well (in terms of food). They spiced up their interior a bit - it’s more of a Hong Kong feel with a few private rooms complete with an MJ set. There’s also a stage for any people wanting to spontaneously, and is brave enough, to serenade other diners AKA karaoke. The atmosphere is still as loud as ever, but somehow it feels more homey than Estea. They still have the Korean style service bells stuck on the tables so you don’t have to spend eons of time attempting to flag down a waitress.
Wonton in Chili Sauce 紅油抄手 - $6.95 (5/7)
For those of you who can handle spice - this isn’t really THAT spicy, but if you don’t do spice - beware. Okay, it’s not THAT bad (for you non spice eaters), but the spice does linger and you will eventually need to drown out the spice with your bubble tea, so be sure to get a milk based drink! The sauce in general is just meh. We’ve had better, but then again, you can’t go wrong with wonton’s.
Fried Fish Cake 炸甜木辣 - $5.50 (5/7)
This was bland. Very bland. It’s a good thing it came with some chili sauce. The spiciness burnt our mouths/tongues but it was worth it. For you bland food lovers, this is the dish for you.
Fried Chicken Cartilage 炸雞膝 - $6.25 (7/7)
This was absolutely delicious! Fried perfectly, it wasn’t oily at all. Infused with the scents of garlic and onion, it was the perfect combination. A friend of ours doesn’t normally like garlic or onions, but she devoured this dish! Garlic and onion bits included. Be careful of the diced peppers though, they’re dangerously spicy and enough to numb your taste buds for the night. This was our favourite dish of the three and we would definitely order this again! Highly recommended!
Pudding Milk Tea 布丁奶茶 - $4.45 (4/7)
This is one of the must-get items at a bubble tea restaurant, to determine if they’re any good or not. One of them items where it is hard to mess up. They messed it up. Actually, not really mess up, per se, it just wasn’t up to par. As with all bubble tea places, they have an extensive list of drinks to get. This should probably be avoided at this restaurant.
Sesame Milk Tea 黑芝麻奶茶 - $4.45 (4/7)
Again, this is a pass. As shown in the picture, the sesame all anchored down to the bottom, so if you didn’t stir it, it’d be like drinking a milk tea with lots of black sand. If you held the straw mid way up the cup and drank it without sipping any of the sesame, it’d be like drinking a regular milk tea but less sweet. Perhaps this is how sesame milk tea is always made? Regardless, there are other delicious ways to get your black sesame fix, and this is not one of them. This will be a pass.
Will we come back? Sure, to try other items. We wouldn’t say this restaurant is a total fail. They’re getting somewhere .. slowly, but surely. They deserve a few more chances, and with their overwhelming options for food, we’re bound to find a few favourites, with the fried chicken cartilage being one. With so many other bubble tea places in and around Richmond, this would definitely not be up top with the others, however, if you’re looking for a new place to try, this wouldn’t be a bad choice. Free parking in the plaza is ample, and if the lot fills up, there’s always paid parking.